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1876 Chinese impact report

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Sansome View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sansome Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2019 at 1:20am
Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

What is it you want to achieve from this thread? To somehow prove Levi’s (especially) and other businesses used ‘slave’ labour?

I don’t think there’s an awful lot more to say about this unless the discussion is about the entire American economy of shady business practice, racial persecution and corruption throughout government ... then you’d need to identify a decade and a century starting from today and choosing literally anytime right back to when Americans were British (or German, Swedish, Russian et al)

... and for that you’ll need a bigger internet 


I never intended to rehash old news, as you already know, we talked about this years ago.
It’s early days, and answering a few questions questions about Chinese labor and Levi. ( why not)
Seems harmless.

What do I want to achieve? Nothing much

I see this as a clash, of night and day cultures ( what’s not interesting about that)

I’m not looking to change the world with this thread.

I think you and many others, might enjoy it.

Edited by Sansome - 10 Nov 2019 at 10:28am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Foxy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2019 at 5:26am
It might be worth to check which of the early garment worker unions were active in this area as their efforts & history is often well documented.
By 1890 there were already a few unions established.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Foxy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2019 at 5:12am
Given the status of Chinese Coolies in the US around that time, it would be surprising if Chinese seamstresses were regarded as anything but property...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coolie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Foxy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2019 at 5:32am
“... in 1854 that the Chinese were not allowed to testify as witnesses before the court in California against white citizens, including those accused of murder.”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Chinese_Americans

I would also take into consideration that this impact report may be linked to efforts in anti-Chinese propaganda around that time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Foxy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2019 at 5:43am
Same source:

“...
A notable incident occurred in 1870, when 75 young men from China were hired to replace striking shoe workers in North Adams, Massachusetts.[62] Nevertheless, these young men had no idea that they had been brought from San Francisco by the superintendent of the shoe factory to act as strikebreakers at their destination. This incident provided the trade unions with propaganda, later repeatedly cited, calling for the immediate and total exclusion of the Chinese. This particular controversy slackened somewhat as attention focused on the economic crises in 1875 when the majority of cigar and boots manufacturing companies went under. Mainly, just the textile industry still employed Chinese workers in large numbers.
...”

No words about female Chinese workers, though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Duke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Nov 2019 at 11:14am
Originally posted by Sansome Sansome wrote:

Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

What is it you want to achieve from this thread? To somehow prove Levi’s (especially) and other businesses used ‘slave’ labour?

I don’t think there’s an awful lot more to say about this unless the discussion is about the entire American economy of shady business practice, racial persecution and corruption throughout government ... then you’d need to identify a decade and a century starting from today and choosing literally anytime right back to when Americans were British (or German, Swedish, Russian et al)

... and for that you’ll need a bigger internet 


I never intended to rehash old news, as you already know, we talked about this years ago.
It’s early days, and answering a few questions questions about Chinese labor and Levi. ( why not)
Seems harmless.

What do I want to achieve? Nothing much

I see this as a clash, of night and day cultures ( what’s not interesting about that)

I’m not looking to change the world with this thread.

I think you and many others, might enjoy it.
I’m not challenging your discussion, I was interested to know why this couldn’t continue on the original discussions (which I appreciate weren’t specifically about Chinese labour)

There’s no doubt Levi’s, and many other businesses, used Chinese labour - let’s not take the obvious in mining and railroad. 

I think what’s important to recognise here is context.

Around the time of the ‘immigration legislation’ there were around 100k Chinese in the U.S. - and as I noted around 7000 of those were female. The total number of employed women was approaching 5 million - i.e. Chinese women represented about 0.15% of that labour force. 

What these reports and legislation actually did was describe the overwhelming attitude of 19th century Americans towards the Chinese people. This was a response to public demands to halt the potential of cheapening labour conflated with testimonies of ‘dignitaries’ who helpfully noted the poor immigrants to be, variously, “not to be of the class of people we would like to have in our country”, “... very immoral, mean, mendacious, dishonest, thieving people”, or would “think no more of taking an oath than eating rice”.

The point here is that any potential ‘impact’ was summarily dealt with before it became the imagined problem - and whatever Levi’s did in employing some Chinese, it looks like they were thoroughly effective in cleansing that situation in a very short time, as did nearly every other business.

I don't swim. I can swim. I just don't have much cause to do so in the normal run of things.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BlueTrain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2019 at 5:24pm
I'd like to throw out a few thoughts on this topic.
 
First, it sounds like "factory work" is "woman's work." At least it's that way in some industries.
 
Second, it was only around the time of the Civil War, give or take a decade (probably earlier), that modern industry came to be the norm, something requiring large numbers of men (or women) working in one place; a factory or mill. Until then, at least in more rural areas and small towns, many products were produced locally in small shops. It does not follow that change came at the same time everywhere but may have been brought on to some extent by the technological changes in the product rather than in the production methods. Wagons versus motor vehicles, for example.
 
Although I don't think it was mentioned in those scanned pages, child labor was still used up until around 1920, which only confuses the social issues of foreign labor. But I think that foreign labor (that is, immigrants) has been an issue since before 1800. Only the origin changes. I'm from an area in the West Virginia that had considerable numbers of immigrants from overseas, Italy in particular in the southern part of the state. But unfortunately, I have no first-hand knowledge of what the "natives" thought about them. I personally knew or met a few Italian immigrants, too, but they were all older than my father and I'm 73, so this all happened before WWII.
 
In some places, and probably in California, during the boom times, the men far outnumbered the women, as was mentioned, although it has nothing to do with immigration from overseas especially. It's just that some industries only employed men, like mining and logging. Also, when new industries develop, like having a new factory built somewhere, there is usually a greater demand for labor than can be provided from the local population. And so, there is immigration to that place and almost no matter where the newcomers are from, it creates a certain amount of social tension for different reasons.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sansome Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Dec 2019 at 7:18pm
After the holidays are over- I’ll post a few pages of interest.
I have to read the report again, I do remember a company owner-
explaining how he had to use Chinese labor.
The owner said, when he employed young females (child Labor)
The girls would make up their own holidays- then with no notice, the girls wouldn’t show for work.

Duke- we can take all that into consideration
Our old conversation is buried somewhere in the Levi thread somewhere?
I thought this would be a place to focus, on these sort of matters.
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