Marginal Westerners in Shanghai
The Baghdadi Jewish community, 1845-1931
in New frontiers
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This chapter concerns with the presentation of the Shanghai Baghdadi Jewish community from a fresh perspective, that of its marginal position within the Shanghai Western community. Upon his arrival in Bombay David Sassoon set up a trading house, and in less than a decade he became the most respected member of the local Jewish community. The chapter attempts to delineate the modus operandi of the Baghdadi Jewish merchants in the India-China trade in the second half of the nineteenth century. It compares the Baghdadis' commercial role with that of Parsi and Ismaili merchants. The chapter traces the Baghdadis' relationship with the British, focusing on a number of interdependent aspects: nationality, Anglicisation, and social interaction. It aims to define the ambiguous positioning of the Baghdadis vis-a-vis the British, and to show that their marginality did not represent, as a whole, a significant hindrance to their sojourn in the Shanghai foreign settlements.

New frontiers

Imperialism's new communities in East Asia, 1842-1953

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