Chinese Space in Pre-Confederation British Columbia: An economic, social, and historical geography
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
This essay was submitted on 1 December 2016 as part of coursework for GEOG 327 at the University of British Columbia with Professor Richard Mackie.
The history of Chinese immigration to British Columbia is as old as the colony itself. Between the arrival of the first Chinese immigrants and the entry of British Columbia into the Canadian federation, attitudes towards these immigrants have varied wildly, from remarkably tolerant to virulently racist. These inconstant responses can be attributed to a wide variety of economic, political, and social factors. This essay will examine the physical and economic space occupied by Chinese immigrants in British Columbia between 1858 and 1871. The tangible physical space and the less-tangible economic space that White British Columbians created for Chinese immigrants worked to place Chinese people in a specific social space in relation to the dominant White population.
The full paper is available as a PDF by clicking the link below.