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Brokering BelongingChinese in Canada's Exclusion Era, 1885-1945$
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Lisa Rose Mar

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199733132

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199733132.001.0001

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Transforming Democracy

Transforming Democracy

Brokerage Politics and the Exclusion Era’s Denouement

(p.111) Five Transforming Democracy
Brokering Belonging

Lisa Rose Mar

Oxford University Press

During the Second World War, crises forced Chinese Canadian political brokerage to extreme limits, suspended the usual rules, and forced sudden social change. Traditional brokers failed to secure adjustments in war time policies, so many Chinese turned to wider labor and anti-conscription movements. Mass protests rooted in these movements helped influence the repeal of anti-Chinese policies, building a foundation for a new politics that claimed minorities’ rights to equality. Thus, interpretations of the Second World War as a “good war” that brought about a “triumph of citizenship” for patient Chinese minorities tell only part of the political story. Chinese Canadian mass protests also helped transform Canada’s democracy.

Keywords:   Second World War, conscription crisis, labor unions, labor movement, remittances, Foreign Exchange Control Board, Chinese Canadians, human rights, civil rights, race relations

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