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HIS385H1 (117)
Chin Lim (107)


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University of Toronto St. George
Chin Lim

Vocab: 1) Mui Tsai- These Chinese girls in the 1920s were sold by poor families who couldn’t provide for them. They would sell the girls for compensation to brothels or rich families who would provide shelter and food for them. The girl becomes mui tsai and is owned by the families that bought her, and she is expected to cater to the other children in the family and do chores as well, basically a servant. The only way for these mui tsai girls to get out of this contract with the people that bought her, is either by finding a husband to pay for her back, or her family would also have to pay whoever bought her in the same amount. Europeans saw the domestic servants as slaves, and in 1917 in London a riot broke out to stop the mui tsai. The London government abolished mui tsai in 1922. 2) The Basic Law- The basic law serves as Hong Kongs constitution from 1997 onwards. This constitution replaced the constitution that England had in place from 1842 to 1997, letters patent and royal instructions. The basic law was adopted in 1990 by the Nationals Peoples Congress by the Peoples Repubkic of China, but put into affect in 1997 when the British handed over Hong Kong to China as a Special Administrative Region. The Basic Law was drafted by the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the question of Hong Kong. It stipulates basic policies; such as continuing its own capitalist system for 50 years after the handover in 1997, and it grants a number of rights and freedoms to residents. Under the Basic law was developed the “One Country 2 systems”. This was seen as controversial by scholars due to the fact that the basic law is a domestic legislation deriving its constitution from the PRC. 3) Star Ferry Riots- The Star ferry riots started in 1966, and during this period there was social turmoil’s that happened in the 1960s. Star ferry riots were riots that had to do with the increase of fares for the ferry that took people to Victoria Harbour. This was the only transportation to Victoria Harbour, and people started to oppose it and create disturbances to express their views against the fare increase. This is a period of industrialization, and not everyone benefited from economic prosperity. The 1960s showed class conflict, and the increase in fare meant that other services could be increased as well. As a result 905 people were arrested but half would be released. 4) Residental Segregation- Europeans discriminated on implicit levels. In 1844, what is seen as the earliest implicit discrimination, was the first time the colonial government made a record of the Chinese that entered, and the government made them register. Another incident was in 1857 which was the “light and pass ordinance”, which made Chinese people carry a piece of identification if they travelled at night. Another form of discrimination was in 1888 when the government created the “European District Preservation Ordinance” where it wouldn’t let anyone but Europeans leave there, it was a place intended only for Europeans. 5) Different perspectives on Hong Kong History- The four perspectives are National Humiliation, refuge opportunities, trade and empire, and Hong Kong people. National humiliation was what the people who lost Hong Kong to the British saw and as a result Hong Kong was seen as a consequence of the old ruling elite of losing the war. “Refuge oppostunities” was for people who looked at HK as a place they would escape from China and work and write freely under the protection of the British government. “Trade and Empire” was the third perspective , which the british saw Hong Kong as a base to conduct business with China. Buying luxurious goods, but mostly tea. “Hong Kong people”, the fourth perspective, looked at Hong Kong as a place for work opportunities, political and social order and economic prosperity. 6) Triangular Trade- Triangular trade involved Britain, China and Hong Kong. th In the 19 century, Britain wanted Tea which came from China, and that was the biggest reason they took over Hong Kong, to have a port to trade with china. Tea cured illneses such as diarrhea which was a growing illness in London, and they wanted to buy as much Tea from China as possible. The British would trade with Sterling Silver, and fearing that too much was leaving London, they resulted to using Opium which was grown in Bengal, India, a country which was run under the British East India Company. Hong Kong acted as a port for export and import. 7) Sterling Area- The 1930s great depression affected the world. The London government knowing that this affected the world, wanted to group all the commonwealth countries into using one currency, and lowering the prices on goods and tarrifs, which by doing this strengthened the currency and kept the countries under stability. The two colonies, Hong Kong and Singapore, would also be included in this area. The imperial economic conference was held and all countries were on board with this idea to keep out of the great depression. The countries would lower tariffs and receive special incentives. 8) “Touch Base” policy- This policy was introduced in the 1950s but put into affect in the 1960s and 1970s. This was a policy to halt the influx of refugees/immigrants coming from mainland China. With the influx, and people were coming to live permanently, not just for work opportunities, the government put in place the policy to sustain a population under control. This influx had to do with the the PRC taking control of China, and this scared people to flee. The influx led to shortages in food and shelter, the basic necessities, so the government had to come up with a plan. The touch base policy allowed people to enter, but had to find the government office to registe
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