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1876 Chinese impact report

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Duke View Drop Down
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    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 (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 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 5:12am
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: 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 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 Sansome Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 11:21pm
Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

Also I don’t know where your 30 women and half a million garments annually comes from (I agree it’s not possible)

But if the 700 girls were true, working around a 60h week (typical for the time) then you have a 42000h week which is easily 20000 garments - more than 1 million/year


The 700 women at the Fremont street factory is true, but that was in the late 1890’s.
When the factory first started up, sometime in 1887, it was something like 400 women
The figures I gave, came from a 1877 report, this is where the 180 Chinese figure came from.
I’m sure we have the Number of people working at the New York factory ( but I don’t have those numbers in front of me)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sansome Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 9:38pm
Originally posted by Duke Duke wrote:

Fairly reliable data says, at that time, the Chinese female population was around 7% of the total Chinese population - that’s only 7000 women/girls in the whole of the U.S. (albeit the majority were centred in California or New York)

I have serious doubts that many industries used large percentages of female Chinese labour.


Your doubts, at least in San Francisco, would be confirmed in this report.
If this report is anything to go by. (And I think it is) The Chinese women/girls were property.

When I can tear myself away, from a 10 girl birthday/ sleepover, I’ll answer your other 2 posts
I was pleasantly surprised when the girls sang happy birthday, in both English and French
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Duke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 3:00pm
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 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 (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Duke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 2019 at 2:49pm
Also I don’t know where your 30 women and half a million garments annually comes from (I agree it’s not possible)

But if the 700 girls were true, working around a 60h week (typical for the time) then you have a 42000h week which is easily 20000 garments - more than 1 million/year
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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