Academic journals for high school students

Academic journals

Introducing academic journals for high school students

Profit-Based Diplomacy: Successes, Failtures, and Consequences of Korean Immigrants to Hawaii

Seoul Foreign School
Jenna Kim


Over the years, there has been much discussion and argument about immigration. As a result of immigration, countries have gained a good synergy among diverse populations, and the amalgamation of ideas from diverse views has advanced technology, living conditions, and even other forms of international relations. However, both the welcome of a fresh wave of immigrants and their departure to another country are extremely complex. Due to its multifacetedness, migration necessitates a deeper interaction between the involved states, as well as consistent, strong diplomacy. There must also be a lot of variables that are tempting to both parties, yet despite this, both failures and achievements can result from the partnership.

This paper focuses on the origins of South Korean immigration to the United States, particularly to the state of Hawaii. This immigration procedure is characterized by its profit-based diplomacy. South Koreans initially migrated to the United States in response to push factors such as the fear of Japanese colonialism, but mostly in response to the captivating promises of an American minister, Horace Newton Allen. The paper emphasizes the personal advantages Allen would obtain from the migration, as well as his significant influence on Koreans. In addition, it describes the subsequent decisions immigrants had to make in Hawaii, including the pervasive concept of temporary migration. The paper finishes with a discussion of the extent to which Koreans impacted Hawaiian culture, as well as the viewpoints of Koreans adjusting to a new life full of hardships and far-reaching repercussions in an unfamiliar environment.
The Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 between the Kingdom of Hawaii and the United States sanctioned the free-trade agreement guaranteeing a duty-free market for Hawaiian sugar in exchange for exceptional economic benefits for the United States.1 With the emergence of diplomatic interactions between the U.S. and Hawaii2, the subsequent demand for sugar plantation laborers became emblematic of the relationship between labor, profit, and immigration that is inherent to international alliances.3 As a
Profit-Based Diplomacy: Success, Failures, and Consequences of Korean Immigrants to Hawaii
Seoul Foreign School Jenna Kimresult of the Reciprocity Treaty’s tariff-free entry of Hawaiian sugar into the U.S., the demand for sugar skyrocketed,4 leading to an inflow of Chinese and Japanese immigrant laborers on Hawaiian sugar plantations.5 With the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, which restricted Chinese immigration to the United States, Korean labor became a realistic alternative for Hawaiian sugar plantations.6 Horace Newton Allen was the diplomat and physician who utilized this to his advantage.7 His bipartite alliance with King Gojong and the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association (HSPA) persuaded the king to grant Allen permission to recruit Korean immigrants to Hawaii in 1902, highlighting the economic motivations underlying his engagement. 8 Whereas Horace Allen’s immigration-based diplomacy led to the exchange of Korean labor for sugar plantation harvests, the link between labor and mobility among subsequent generations of Korean-Hawaiians is exemplified by the consequences, failures, and success factors of profit-oriented immigration.

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