A Questionable Affair: Shanghai’s International Settlements in Global Context

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Title: A Questionable Affair: Shanghai’s International Settlements in Global Context
Author: Wolensky, Elizabeth
Advisor: Glassman, Hank; Jiang, Yonglin
Department: CPGC: 2010 Summer Intern
Department: Bi-College (Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges). Dept. of East Asian Studies
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: Shanghai’s International Settlements are commonly seen as a integral part of both China’s and the West’s combined history, a unique point of contact that has most famously been viewed as one of the main stages on which the drama of Western imperialism in China played out. And in terms of the Settlements’ establishment, their history can sometimes seem as though the Settlements were established completely in 1842, thus artificially creating the International Settlements as they would be known to the world by the turn of the century. By looking at the Shanghai Municipal Police Files, as well as the contemporary pieces by A.M. Kotenev and Zeng Youhao, a picture materializes in which the Settlements are really a questionable mixture of precedent and circumstance rather than the clear-cut result of treaty stipulation. By revising the understanding of the problematic foundations of the Settlements, the picture of the contemporary international order in which Shanghai played a major role is also shown to be less concrete than it is sometimes believe to be.
Subject: Shanghai (China : International Settlement) -- History
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Wolensky, Elizabeth. "A Questionable Affair: Shanghai’s International Settlements in Global Context". 2011. Available electronically from

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