1860-1898 1918-1929

Hong Kong 1898-1918

Administration . In 1898 Britain leased the New Territories from the Chinese Empire, for a period of 99 years. Henry Arthur Blake served as governor 1898-1903, Francis Henry May 1903-1904, Matthew Nathan 1904-1907, Frederick Lugard from 1907 to 1912, Francis Henry May from 1912 to 1919.

Domestic History . "The formal taking over of the outlying districts occasioned a riot, in the course of which the natives fired on the police" (NIYB 1899 p.411).

The Economy . Hong Kong had grown to prominence as a regional trade hub. In 1898, the total aounts of exports and imports was estimated at 15 million (U.S.) Dollars (NIYB 1899 p.412). In 1907 the Chinese inhabitants staged an anti-Japanese boycott (NiYB 1908 p.334).
In 1909 the Legislative Council decided duties to be collected on imported alcoholic licquors, which was perceived as an interference with the status of free port (since 1842) (NIYB 1909 p.347).In 1913 Hong Kong island was a manufacturing (sugar refineries, cement, bricks, rope-making, cotton-spinning, breweries etc., NIYB 1918 p.297) and shipbuilding centre without cultivable land; on the leased territories sugar cane, rice and fruits were cultivated by the Chinese (NIYB 1913 p.333).
Following the outbreak of World War I, the export of a number of products to countries in Europe other than the Entente Powers was prohibited (NIYB 1916 p.312).

Social History . The census of 1901 counted 297,200 Hong Kong residents, the census of 1911 456,739, the census of 1921 625,200. Insecurity caused by the Chinese Revolution caused an influx of Chinese refugees from 1911 onward; fears of World War I affecting the colony caused the exodus of 60,000 Chinese in 1914 (Wikipedia).
The emergence of a wealthy Chinese elite with modern education triggered measures such as the Peak Reservation Ordinance of 1904, which barred ethnic Chinese from purchasing land at Victoria Peak, formally establishing a segregated society.
A typhoon in 1906 killed c.5,000 (NIYB 1907 p.371).

Modernization . Hong Kong Electric began supplying electricity to the city in 1890. The Hong Kong-Kowloon railway was connected with a Chinese railway leading to Guangzhou (Canton) in 1910 (NIYB 1914 p.341). The first automobiles arrived in 1903.

Article History of Colonial Hong Kong 1800s-1930s, Claud Severn, Francis Henry May, Frederick Lugard, Matthew Nathan, Henry Arthur Blake, Peak Reservation Ordinance, Kowloon-Hong Kong Railway, Hong Kong Electric, from Wikipedia
DOCUMENTS Hong Kong Administrators, from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon), scroll down for Hong Kong
Historical Population Statistics : Hong Kong, from Population Statistics (Jan Lahmeyer)
REFERENCE Frank Welsh, A Borrowed Place, The History of Hong Kong, NY : Kodansha 1993
Article : Hong Kong, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1913 pp.635-637 (on events of 1912) [G]
Article : Hong Kong, in : Statesman's Year Book 1901 pp.120-125, 1905 pp.125-131, 1910 pp.111-115, 1918 pp.108-112 [G]
Article : Hong Kong, in : International Year Book 1899 pp.411-412, 1900 pp.446-447 [G]
Article : Hong Kong, in : New International Year Book 1907 pp.370-371, 1908 pp.334-335, 1909 p.347, 1913 p.333, 1914 pp.340-341, 1916 p.312, 1918 pp.296-297 [G]
E.W. Andrew, K.C. Bushnell, Heathen Slaves and Christian Rulers (1907), posted by Gutenberg Library Online
News from China (on Hong Kong), from "The Great Round World and What is Going on in it", Vol.III No.16, April 1899, pp.559-564 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 9th 2007, last revised on September 14th 2008

Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics

Impressum · Datenschutz