Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Empire careersWorking for the Chinese Customs Service, 1854–1949$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Catherine Ladds

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719085482

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719085482.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use (for details see www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 16 January 2019

‘That chaotic and Gilbertian Service’: working life in the Customs

‘That chaotic and Gilbertian Service’: working life in the Customs

(p.80) Chapter Four ‘That chaotic and Gilbertian Service’: working life in the Customs
Empire careers

Catherine Ladds

Manchester University Press

This chapter reconstructs the working environments of staff in the various branches of the Service, demonstrating how employees of imperial institutions were required to steer creatively through turbulent political currents in their professional lives. Particular attention is paid to the dramatic changes wrought upon working life in the Customs by the growth of popular nationalism in the 1920s, the rise to power of Chiang Kai-shek's Guomindang (Nationalist Party) in 1927, and the War of Resistance (1937–45). Although the Inspectorate insisted that it was a politically neutral institution, in reality its contentious position at a crossroads between the Chinese and foreign worlds placed it at the centre of political storms. Negotiating delicate relationships with other powerbrokers, such as local Chinese officials and foreign consuls, was essential to performing Customs work. Overall this chapter shows that colonial administrative services were not impregnable bastions of imperial power; instead versatility and compromise were vital to their day-to-day running.

Keywords:   Chinese politics, colonial administrative services, consuls, Guomindang, nationalism, War of Resistance, working life

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.