"Exploiting Chinese Labour Emigration in Treaty Ports: The Role of Spanish Consulates in the 'Coolie Trade'", by mònica ginés-blasi
Authors writing about the history of the “coolie trade” in Cuba have generally focused on the multinational effort to halt the trafficking of Chinese workers. Little has been written about either the role of consuls as middlemen or of Spanish participation in the traffic in treaty ports. Yet, several sources indicate that many officials at Spanish consulates in coastal China were intensely involved in the shipment of Chinese emigrants to Cuba and other coolie trade destinations, and were also at the centre of international scandals. These consular officers frequently used their authority to obtain a monopoly over the trade. In this article, I argue that the coolie trade was the main objective of Spain’s consular deployment in China, and that the involvement of these consular officials was crucial in developing an abusive migratory system and sustaining the mistreatment of Chinese immigrant workers throughout the second half of the nineteenth century.
IRSH (International Review of Social History), 2020, p. 1-24.