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Liping Zhu shares the dramatic story of the Denver Riot which led to the Chinese Exclusion act in his book The Road to Chinese Exclusion. Zhu illuminates this time of anti-Chinese society in the United States with a large pull for nativism. The way in which Zhu writes about this riot and the consequences that followed shed light on just how anti-Chinese Americans were at the time. Before this time, Asian immigrants were untrusted but never to this extreme. Over time as more and more Asian, specifically Chinese, immigrants arrived the American society felt as though they were being outnumbered in the labor work force. This is a major point that Zhu makes in his narrative about what led to the riot and the actions that followed. The nativist Americans in the labor force felt as though these Chinese immigrants were threatening their livelihood. Chinese immigrants would work for far less than the average American labor worker, which led to Chinese being hired over Americans. These looked over Americans grew in their resentment and anger toward the Chinese as this theme continued over time. At first Zhu points out that this was merely a regional political issue for the locals to deal with but over time it grew to be a nation-wide phenomenon that eventually led to the Chinese Exclusion Act. This major impact was mostly to do with the timing of the actual riot. There were only two days that separated the riot and the national election which impacted the voting of society. The negative impacts of the riot gave way to the equal rights that had shortly before been won after the Civil War. This was a major step back for American society. One of the strong points that Zhu showcases in his writing is showing just how major the riot affect... ... middle of paper ... ...writing is clear and to the point which allows the reader to pull light from such a dark part of American history that is skimmed over in classes and textbooks. I believe Zhu understood that most readers would not have an in depth knowledge of the events that took place so the writing was meant to be as if it were the first discovery of this event. In the end, Zhu sheds light on an event in American history that is marginally looked over. Zhu’s writing showcases the fact that after the Denver Riot a major shift in American minds changed toward the Chinese immigrants. Zhu does an amazing job relating the consequences of the Denver Riot to the 1880 National Election and eventually the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The Road to Chinese Exclusion was an interesting and captivating read over a time in American history that has only recently been held accountable for.
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