Nineteenth-Century German Community

  • Ricardo K. S. Mak


Anthony Smith suggests that an “ethnic group” is a group of people who have a collective proper noun, a myth of common ancestry, collective historical memories, one or more differentiating elements of common culture, an association with a “homeland,” and a sense of solidarity among significant sectors of its population. 1 According to historical experience, it seems to be a rule that political entities consist of different ethnic groups. Different ethnic groups in a nation or a larger community do not always coexist peacefully, because they are inevitably caught in the struggle for social, economic, and political resources. Those who are bigger in size, more coherent, and politically or militarily better organized usually prevail over the others. War, invasion, and changes in the political boundaries continue to produce privileged as well as underprivileged ethnic groups. Peoples subdued by foreign invaders are likely to be politically, economically, and culturally marginalized. Ethnic groups possessing immense wealth and social resources such as the Chinese in twentieth-century Southeast Asian countries, though small in size, can play a key role in the domestic affairs of the host-state.


German State German Government German Firm Colonial Government German Identity 
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This chapter is a revised version of an article, “The German Community in 19th Century Hong Kong,” published in the Asia Europe Journal, vol. 2 (2004), pp. 237–55.

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© Cindy Yik-yi Chu 2005

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  • Ricardo K. S. Mak

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