In the period encompassed between the First Opium War (1839-1842) and the rise of the PRC (1949), China experienced a quasi-colonial régime in several cities, where foreign concessions were located. These were the cases of Shanghai and Tianjin: the so-called ‘Paris of the East’ saw the institution of British, American and French concessions (the first two merged, in 1863, in the so-called Shanghai’s International Settlement), while the second urban area, between the late 19th and the early 20th centuries, was opened to the establishment of eight foreign settlements. In Shanghai, through the decades, there was development of a small Italian community, mostly from Lombardy, focused mainly on silk production and trade; the traditional good relations between France and Italy and some cultural aspects in common (e.g. Catholic religion) formed the basis for some official road names related to Italy in Shanghai’s French concession. In Tianjin, the Kingdom of Italy gained a formal concession after having joined the Eight-Nation Alliance in the framework of the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901); here the official toponymy was completely in the Italian language, as a reflection of the Italian power. In both cases, the Italian road names underwent a drastic removal after the rise of the People’s Republic of China. The paper will discuss geo-historical issues related to this peculiar Italian toponymy established in the Far East, and its present-day situation.

Urban Toponymy in Shanghai and Tianjin before the Rise of the People’s Republic of China. The Presence of Italian Road Names

Stefano Piastra
2019

Abstract

In the period encompassed between the First Opium War (1839-1842) and the rise of the PRC (1949), China experienced a quasi-colonial régime in several cities, where foreign concessions were located. These were the cases of Shanghai and Tianjin: the so-called ‘Paris of the East’ saw the institution of British, American and French concessions (the first two merged, in 1863, in the so-called Shanghai’s International Settlement), while the second urban area, between the late 19th and the early 20th centuries, was opened to the establishment of eight foreign settlements. In Shanghai, through the decades, there was development of a small Italian community, mostly from Lombardy, focused mainly on silk production and trade; the traditional good relations between France and Italy and some cultural aspects in common (e.g. Catholic religion) formed the basis for some official road names related to Italy in Shanghai’s French concession. In Tianjin, the Kingdom of Italy gained a formal concession after having joined the Eight-Nation Alliance in the framework of the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901); here the official toponymy was completely in the Italian language, as a reflection of the Italian power. In both cases, the Italian road names underwent a drastic removal after the rise of the People’s Republic of China. The paper will discuss geo-historical issues related to this peculiar Italian toponymy established in the Far East, and its present-day situation.
Toponymy and Cartography between History and Geography
99
108
Stefano Piastra
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/724059
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