Shanghai International Settlement

The Shanghai International Settlement (Chinese: 上海公共租界; Japanese: 上海共同租界; French: Concession Internationale de Changhai; Russian: Шанхайский международный сеттльмент) began originally as a purely British settlement. It was one of the original five treaty ports which were established under the terms of the Treaty of Nanking at the end of the first opium war in the year 1842.

American and French involvement followed close on the heels, and distinct areas of settlement for the Americans and the French were drawn out to the north and south of the British settlement respectively. In 1854 a united municipal council was created to serve all three settlements, but in 1862, the French concession dropped out of the arrangement. The following year the British and American settlements formally united to become the Shanghai International Settlement.

As more foreign powers entered into treaty relations with China, their nationals also became part of the administration of the settlement, but it always remained a predominantly British affair, at least until the late 1930s when Japan's involvement became of increasing importance. Unlike the colonies of Hong Kong and Weiheiwei which were sovereign British territories, the Shanghai International Settlement always remained Chinese sovereign territory. Hence when the British declared war against Germany in 1939, German nationals continued to operate freely within the territory of the international settlement.

The international settlement came to an abrupt end in December 1941 when Japanese troops stormed in immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor. In early 1943, new treaties signed by Chiang Kaishek's free Chinese government with Britain and British India on the one hand, and with the United States on the other hand, brought to an end the extraterritorial privileges which had been enjoyed by British subjects and American citizens for one hundred years.

Read more about Shanghai International Settlement:  Legal System in The Shanghai International Settlement, Currency in The Shanghai International Settlement, Postal Services in The International Settlement, List of Chairmen of The Shanghai Municipal Council, Notable People Born in The International Settlement, French Concession, See Also

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