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  • Writer's pictureYiming Sun

Thinking on “People Patterns: Was the Real America Sichuan”

Yiming Sun 2022.1.18

The author uses this title to clear up misunderstandings about comparing immigration patterns between America and Sichuan.Indeed, both the new world and Sichuan are primarily made up of immigrants. European immigrants dominate North America and New Latin America, while for Sichuan, immigrants from other parts of China gradually occupy the region. However, the migration patterns of the two are pretty different, so it is necessary to compare and analyze the two types of population flow.

America and Sichuan were new places where people moved long distances in search of free land, whether forced or willing. As a result, the people of both created new societies and greatly relieved the population pressure of the old world. There are some apparent differences between immigration in Sichuan and that in America.The authors argue that the Chinese people showed a more substantial motive of moving vastly to seek free land than Europeans. Thus, it is a stereotype to think that Europeans who had colonized the new world were more adventurous and willing to leave their homeland while the Chinese were less inclined to migrate.

The authors use the following evidence to illustrate their arguments about Chinese migration. First, Chinese immigration was voluntary. people were willing to explore the new areas, and Sichuan, in particular, was the most popular destination for emigrants. In fact, many immigrants had moved into Manchuria,Taiwan, or other frontier spots. In addition, the government played a significant role in promoting or restraining immigration. For example, immigration began with the state imposing large numbers of soldiers and their families in the southwest. However, the mobility of the population to Taiwan and Manchuria was banned by the government, but the Chinese were still willing to go to these areas. For example, in Manchuria, on the one hand, the government wanted to protect the equestrian and archery culture. On the other hand, the government wanted to monopolize the highly profitable ginsengs in the forest. At the same time, the state creates policies to ensure that locals do not lose everything, guaranteeing ownership of their land and promising rents to keep the country stable. On the contrary, the NewWorld had limited numbers of Europeans to attract, which was why they used million of Africans through the slave trade.

Comparing Chinese and European migration statistics and trends helps us break some

traditional stereotypes and understand the patterns and motivations of population migration in different regions. First, the acquisition of persona property. such as land is an essential

incentive for migration.The authors point out that Chinese settlers could take ownership of land.While in Europe,The peasants and the landowners were legal subjects, they had less

freedom and low spontaneity to move. Also, because the elites had finished occupying the new ands, peasants preferred to remain at the edge of cities, despite the New World having high profit commodities such as sugar tobacco, and coffee. As a result, there were more Chinese immigrants than Europeans.Secondly, the freedom granted to ordinary people by social structure and political system, especially the promotion of migration, reminds us that we need to pay attention to the relationship between migration trends and public policies.

Overall, we cannot simply assume that Europeans moved enthusiastically to the New World, while Chinese people preferred to live in their native land. Instead, we should analyze the migration behaviours of ordinary people in the context of history and public policy.


Pomeranz.Kenneth.and Steven Topik"People Patterns: Was the Real America Sichuan?" Essay

nTheWorldThatTradeCreatedSocietvCulture and the World Economv: 1400 to the Present 66-

68. New York: Routledge,2018.

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