1st Edition

Agriculture and Rural Connections in the Pacific

Edited By James Gerber, Lei Guang Copyright 2006

    Agriculture and Rural Connections in the Pacific brings together key studies from across several disciplines to examine the history of trans-Pacific rural and agricultural connections and to show an agriculturally-oriented Pacific World in the making since the 1500s. Historical globalization is commonly understood as a process that is propelled by industry or commerce, yet the seeds of global integration - literally as well as metaphorically - were sown much earlier, when crops and plants dispersed, agricultural systems proliferated, and rural people migrated across oceans. One goal of this volume is to demonstrate that the historical processes of globalization contained an agrarian dimension in which sub-national and national spaces were shaped in part through the influence of forces that originated in distant lands. Social and economic trends emanating from outside local territories had large impacts on demographic change, choices of agrarian systems, and the cropping patterns in many domestic settings. A second goal is to encourage readers to abandon the traditional Euro-centric view of events that shaped the Pacific region. The modern history of the Pacific World was undoubtedly shaped by Western imperialism, colonialism, and European trade and migration, but the present volume seeks to balance the interpretation of those forces with an emphasis on the increasing intensity of trans-Pacific interactions through rural labor migration and agricultural production.

    Contents: Introduction; Dispersion and Diffusion of Seeds and Food Plants: Introduction of American food plants into China, Ping-ti Ho; American food plants in China, Ping-Ti Ho; The early impact of Japan upon American agriculture, H.F. Graff; Early coconut culture in western Mexico, H.J. Bruman; The peripatetic chili pepper: diffusion of the domesticated capsicums since Columbus, J. Andrews; Diplomats and plant collectors: the South American commission, 1817-18, W.D. Rasmussen. Systems of Production and the Impact of the Spanish Conquest: Agricultural biodiversity and peasant rights to subsistence in the central Andes during Inca rule, K.S. Zimmerer; Landscapes of cultivation in Mesoamerica on the eve of the conquest, Thomas M. Whitmore and B.L. Turner II; Chinese plantation workers and social conflict in Peru in the late 19th century, M. Gonzales; Free versus compulsory labor: Mexico and the Philippines, 1540-1648, J.L. Phelan. Migration of Rural People Across the Region: Chinese settlements in rural southeast Asia: unwritten histories, M.S. Heidhues; Hawaiian labor and immigration problems before annexation, W.A. Russ Jr.; Socioeconomic origins of emigration: Guangdong to California, 1850-82, J. Mei; Chinese livelihood in rural California: the impact of economic change, 1860-80, S. Chan; History of Japanese migration to Peru, part I, I. Toraji and W. Himel. Integration of Markets and the Stimulus to Agriculture: Supply and transportation for the Potosi, 1545-1640, G.B. Cobb; The poetics of American agriculture, P.A. Coclanis; Gold rushes and the trans-Pacific wheat trade: California and Australia, 1848-57, J. Gerber; The passage to India revisited: Asian trade and the development of the Far West, 1850-1900, T. Cox. Index.


    James Gerber is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies, and Lei Guang is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, both at San Diego State University, USA.