The Chinese coolie trade, a system of indentured labor that targeted young, poor Chinese men, operated from 1847-1874. Throughout this period, African slavery was slowly being abolished around the world. The coolie trade was initiated by Britain and was eventually dominated by both Britain and the United States of America. Chinese coolie laborers were sent to work in British, American and Spanish colonies, and the nature of the trade changed throughout its 27-year operation, due to social and political pressures. The coolie trade took place, in large part, between the shipping port in Macao (now a part of China, then under Portuguese rule) and Havana, Cuba (then under Spanish control). This article will explore the WHAT, WHO, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW of the coolie trade in general with a special focus on Macao-Havana trade.
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