Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies

Article: Fong

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Natalie Fong
Griffith University

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‘Your Petitioners Will Ever Pray’: Chinese Merchants and Organised Protest in the Northern Territory, 1880-1920

Protest movements are an aspect of history garnering closer attention in recent years, in particular those instigated by ethnic minorities or diasporic communities from the mid-1800s to early 1900s, when governments introduced discriminatory policies. This article will survey Chinese protest movements in this period in Australia and around the world with a focus on the Northern Territory (the ‘Territory’) as a case study of organised, sustained, and varied resistance. The Chinese in the Territory, led by wealthy merchants, were active protesters around the time of Federation and the formulation of discriminatory legislation, such as the 1901 Immigration Restriction Act. Remarkably, such protests were often made in English and were supported by some Europeans.

Keywords: Chinese diaspora, Northern Territory, petitioning, protest, governance, racial discourse, White Australia policy

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Updated 26 Jul 2017


Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies

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