Business, Water, and the Global City: Germany, Europe, and China, 1820-1950
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CitationYe, Shirley. 2013. Business, Water, and the Global City: Germany, Europe, and China, 1820-1950. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
AbstractThe dissertation examines the evolving role of Germans under the auspices of European imperialism in modern China's hydraulic management and economic globalization. In the early nineteenth-century, Germans were on the margins of both the Chinese and British Empires, connecting former frontier regions to the major hubs of Asian trade. Over the nineteenth-century there was a large expansion of trade on the coast, where Qing authority had to contend with an emerging international maritime legal and economic order, and German shippers before national unification had a niche as carriers of domestic Chinese trade. As transport technology changed, western shipping interests clamored for the Chinese state to undertake material changes on China's waterways to develop new port infrastructure. Galvanized by a series of natural disasters as well as a dramatic increase in trade, Chinese officials began to collaborate with Western officials and engineers to manage infrastructure projects. Germans in particular played a key role in the transnational transfer of technology. All the while, late Qing and Republican Chinese governments gained increasing control over the internationally-staffed water conservancy organizations. With the First World War, Europeans, preoccupied with their own conflict, shifted their attention away from China, and Americans took up where the Europeans had left off in the financing and advising of hydraulic projects. Yet, German modernity continued to have an enduring influence in visions for China's economic globalization, hydraulic infrastructure, and state power.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11181171
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