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ChinoAnti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940$
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Jason Oliver Chang

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040863

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040863.001.0001

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Motores de Sangre

Motores de Sangre

They Do Not Think, or Assimilate, or Master

(p.59) 2 Motores de Sangre

Jason Oliver Chang

University of Illinois Press

This chapter recovers the history of recruited Chinese laborers, known as motores de sangre, for use in national colonization. Records from cientificos, or technocratic officials, of the Porfirian regime show how racialized notions of Chinese migrants as disposable workers informed Mexican modernization programs. The chapter traces agents of industrialization and how they appropriated streams of contracted Asian coolie laborers, to advance railroads and plantations. The highest concentrations of Chinese people in Mexico occurred in the states of Sonora and Yucatán. Chinese workers were primarily used in contentious territory with rebellious indigenous populations. The chapter turns to the development of treaty relations with China and national debates about Chinese immigration. These debates demonstrate how racial discourses of Indians and Chinese were linked. The more that Indians were seen as obstacles of modernization, the greater the reliance upon the Chinese; and when Indians were seen as agents of modernization, the more the Chinese were despised. Finally, a close look at the near complete reliance upon Chinese in national colonization of Baja California

Keywords:   modernization, railroad, plantation, motores de sangre, coolie, Sonora, Yucatán, China, Treaty of 1898, cientifico, racial discourse, Baja California

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