China and Her Neighbours by Michael Tai;

China and Her Neighbours by Michael Tai;

Author:Michael Tai;
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Book Network Int'l Limited trading as NBN International (NBNi)
Published: 2019-02-14T16:00:00+00:00


For mutual aid and protection in a frontier land, the Chinese established kinship organizations along dialect and place-of-origin lines. There was overlapping membership and leadership in the social organizations, including what came to be described in Western literature as ‘secret societies’ 会党. Originally formed to overthrow the Manchu government and restore Han rule in China, secret societies were created in Southeast Asia to provide protection where indigenous law and order was lacking. Some were little more than ad hoc survival strategies while others facilitated cooperation and organization on an impressive scale. Although some took part in the opium trade, gambling and prostitution, quite a few evolved into joint-stock companies that invested in mining, plantation and other legitimate businesses. In 19th century Malaya, secret societies were accepted as social institutions that provided leadership before the advent of the British who saw them as a political threat and banned them in 1889.39 It was in the midst of fierce contest between two bands, the Hai San 海山 and Ghee Hin 義興, each allied with rival Malay factions, that Yap Ah Loy emerged.


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