Bargaining with the State from Afar

Bargaining with the State from Afar: American Citizenship in Treaty Port China, 1844-1942

Eileen P. Scully
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 304
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/scul12108
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  • Book Info
    Bargaining with the State from Afar
    Book Description:

    In the early 1990s, when organizations representing the 2.6 million U.S. nationals living abroad appealed to Congress for their own non-voting representative, the response of one Senator was to dismiss these "moans of the mink-swathed Americans abroad." However, the image of a life of luxury abroad is usually a harsher reality complicated by income taxes, military duty, and legal jurisdiction. What exactly is the obligation of a state toward citizens who live outside its borders?

    Bargaining with the State from Afar traces the relationship between the United States federal government and sojourning Americans living in the colonial enclaves of pre-World War II China. This group of Americans was not subject to Chinese law, but rather to an amalgam of laws borrowed from the District of Columbia and other territorial codes, as well as to local ordinances enacted by foreigners themselves. Scully explores U.S. government efforts to police this anomalous zone in the American policy and places the struggle between federal officials and sojourning U.S. nationals in the larger context of changing international law and modern citizenship regimes.

    She argues that the American experience with extraterritorial justice in China offers an important new vantage point from which to examine a singular area in the history of modern states. This case study of U.S. consular jurisdiction reveals the legal, political, and cultural process through which modern states have struggled to govern citizens outside their borders. Scully's examination of the U. S. Court for China is one of the first serious analysis of this anomalous institution.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-50631-1
    Subjects: Political Science, History, Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
    (pp. 1-20)

    Most broadly conceived this is a study of the relationship between the federal government and U.S. nationals sojourning abroad, particularly those living in Western colonial enclaves during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Drawing inspiration from the growing literature on American citizenship struggles, including Rogers Smith’s Civic Ideals (1997), Gerald Neuman’s Strangers to the Constitution (1996), and Richard Epstein’s Bargaining with the State (1993), it explores the bargaining process between federal officials and these sojourners over the rights and responsibilities of U.S. nationality beyond the territorial confines of the American nation.¹ The focus of the work is the federal-sojourner struggle...

  5. CHAPTER ONE EXTRATERRITORIALITY IN THE CHANGING WORLD OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
    (pp. 21-48)

    This chapter provides the historical and international context necessary to understand the American experience with colonial legal privileges in treaty port China. The “extraterritorial enclave” was an extraordinarily complex space within the American policy, but cannot be appraised solely in those terms. The U.S. grew to great power status in an international system dominated by Western Europe. American laws and practices on nationality, citizenship and extraterritoriality were formulated within the framework of international law, as it was then being codified. Nineteenth-century extraterritoriality in China was largely shaped by the British; so too, the extrality Great Britain brought to China was...

  6. CHAPTER TWO EXTRATERRITORIAL AMERICANS, BEFORE THE RUSH TO EMPIRE
    (pp. 49-80)

    U.S. approaches to colonial legal privileges and extraterritorial governance were shaped not only in the colonial context described in the preceding chapter, but also by late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century internal American struggles over federalism, race, expansionism, and the meaning of consensual citizenship. Their war of independence from England’s claims of “perpetual allegiance” had convinced early Americans of the need to put strict constitutional and territorial limits on government authority over citizens. U.S. nationals operating abroad thus generally held to an Enlightenment-era international law tenet that sojourners must take local law as they found it.

    Yet, by 1900, the United...

  7. CHAPTER THREE COLONIZING THE COLONIZERS
    (pp. 81-108)

    Sojourning Americans, both native and naturalized, were targets of the ethno-centrism pervading the United States in the 1890s.¹ One contemporary despaired: “When the phrase ‘Americans residing abroad’ is uttered, several groups form themselves before the mental kodak,” most prominently well-born women in search of titled, but likely impoverished, European males.² In general, the European air was fine for a brief time, but enervates the American spirit, thought Theodore Roosevelt. The Europeanized American was no traitor, but constituted “a silly and undesirable citizen,” “a noxious element in our body politic,” “over-civilized, over-sensitive, over-refined.”³ One congressional critic lamented how easy it had...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR PROGRESSIVISM SHANGHAIED
    (pp. 109-138)

    This chapter examines American official responses to intersecting domestic and international developments in extraterritorial enclaves at the turn of the century. The focus turns upon the early operations of the U.S. Court for China by way of illustrating the competing pulls on extraterritorial justice systems. The discussion details how Court officers tried to rein in their troublesome treaty port wards, hoping thereby to gain Chinese cooperation and commercial openness. These efforts brought the Court into conflict with a shifting coalition of powerful treaty port Americans, including Catholic missionaries, local (i.e. Anglo-American) real estate companies, attorneys at law, and American gambling...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE WILSONIANISM AND AMERICAN IMPERIAL CITIZENSHIP
    (pp. 139-162)

    The intensification of international competition for markets during the Wilson era made the U.S. government highly responsive to the needs of American business throughout Latin America and Asia. There was a tremendous expansion in what Emily Rosenberg has called the “promotional state,” as seen in the multiplication of government bureaus directed to collect information on trade, the passage of legislation designed to give companies every advantage in foreign markets, and the general celebration of commerce as a vehicle for advancing the American vision.¹ The issue of diplomatic protection came to the fore not only because of Woodrow Wilson’s efforts to...

  10. CHAPTER SIX INTERWAR DEMISE OF CONSULAR JURISDICTION
    (pp. 163-194)

    In the interwar period, the conditions that had buttressed great power agreements on colonial empires dramatically changed, leading ultimately to war in Europe and in the Pacific. The end of formal empires, though, was not the end of imperialism, but rather one signpost of a new stage in that unfolding process. The era, traditionally seen as a time when overidealistic statesmen belatedly realized their inattention to the dictates of realism, was more in fact one “long transitional crisis that led ultimately to a basic restructuring of the global order,” principally involving a shift “from imperial systems . . . to...

  11. EPILOGUE: SOJOURNING AMERICANS IN THE AGE OF EMPIRE
    (pp. 195-204)

    Americans returned to post-World War II China in significant numbers, bringing political, cultural, and commercial expectations not so different from turn-of-the-century Progressives. By 1947, there were about 152 American business concerns and 4,000 U.S. nationals centered in Shanghai. The Chamber of Commerce, as well as American clubs and schools, were reestablished with surprising speed, and the effort to propagate the American vision was facilitated by the arrival of the U.S. Information Service.

    These Americans expected to assume the preeminent position long held by Great Britain, but to supplant treaty port imperialism with a “cosmopolitan, ‘Open Door’ community” fully embracing like-minded...

  12. NOTES
    (pp. 205-264)
  13. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 265-286)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 287-308)