When tension between the two nations grew due to American discrimination against Japanese immigrants. Leland Stanford and his associates were building the western section of the Trans- Continental railroad across the United States. They employed Chinese laborers because they were cheaper and more efficient than European laborers. After the railroad was complete the Chinese sought work in the American labor market. American workers began to oppose this new labor force, the Government responded by passing the Chinese Exclusion Acts, forcing most of the Chinese to return to China.
They also thought to stockpile the money and bring back to China with them. The main and most important reason the Chinese immigrated was the economic hardship in China due to the British dominance over the country, after Britain defeated China in the Opium War of 1839-1842. The United States resented the Chinese for invading their borders. As one San Francisco newspaper said, “Step up to the front…and battle to hold the Pacific Coast for the white race.” (32) Americans looked down and condemned the Chinese because of their race. The way the Chinese dressed, and styled their hair made the Americans perceive them of not having proper gender roles.
Most of them worked on the railroads because "the Gold Rush had fueled the demand for rail lines to link the east and west coasts of North America." When America hit economic decline, many Americans lost their jobs because their employer could not afford to handle as many people with less money. This made the Americans compete for jobs that the Chinese had. Of course the employer of the Chinese would be American, so he would hire Americans instead of Chinese. Eventually, Congress passed an act called the Chinese Exclusion Act, which said that no more Chinese could come to the United States.
Some Chinese were also stealing some of the Americans jobs which led to a lot of people hating them. The Chinese overcame poverty, harsh conditions, and racism to survive in America. The Chinese, along with the rest of the world, had heard about the so called “Gold Rush” going on in California at the time. ("Chinese Immigration to the United States.") With a major war going on in their country many Chinese found themselves falling poor and into debt.
Having escaped their misfortunate pasts, the Chinese immigrants took the opportunities afforded to them in the gold mining fields and on the railroad tracks. Providing a much needed labor force to America at the time, the Chinese would never get their just credit. Instead they would be discriminated more in the years to come. Acts such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 would greatly reduce the number of Chinese immigrants allowed to come into the country ("The Chinese," n.d.). Coupled with measures put in place by the state of California such as the “Anti-Coolie Act of 1862”, the Chinese immigrants faced humiliation after contributing so much to the United States of America.
Foreign Chinese couldn't become voters as a result the Naturalization Act of 1790 that reserved naturalized citizenship to "free white persons". This remained in until repealed by the Civil Rights Act of 1870.By then, American state had collected 5 million dollars from the Chinese. To defend Free White Labor against competition with Chinese Asian Labor and to Discourage the Immigration of Chinese into the State of California" was another ... ... middle of paper ... ...time period when white Americans discriminated Chinese immigrants. It was called the "Yellow Peril" because they would call Chinese yellow and make other racist jokes about them. This was not only applied to the Chinese but to the Japanese as well.
As stated in Menlo’s Sun Server, when the American economy became unstable during the Panic of 1873, labors thought that the "working and low-paid" Chinese were receiving more money than they should, therefore reducing the non-Chinese workers’ wages. The Chinese eventually became scapegoats for the economic downfall, and the non-Chinese workers started propaganda against the Chinese, making cartoons and slogans like “Mark the man who would crush us to the level of the Mongolian slave.” Immigration taxes and laundry-operation fees were passed to limit Chinese population (Menlo’s Sun Server). Ultimately, ... ... middle of paper ... .... "Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences." Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences. University of Chicago, n.d.
Many people died from either galling off ledges or being blown up, and it was sick and sad to watch your friend being blown up. The Chinese were willing to do this because it was basically the only thing that they could do. Discrimination against them was high, so they wanted to do something that they would not be made fun of doing. They were willing to work for low pay, since even as low as their salary would be, it would still be more than they got paid in China, because of overcrowding and the Civil War. I think that Chinese railroad workers were definitely exploited by the owners.
The Chinese Exclusion Act was enacted to curb the influx of Chinese immigrants seeking work in the failing post-Civil War economies. The Chinese settlers created enclaves in many West-Coast cities; the most famous of these being the “China-Town” in San Francisco. Anti-Chinese sentiment grew from the Nativist policies of Denis Kearney, his Workingman’s Party, and California statesman John Bigler. White power organizations fought against Chinese immigrants as well, specifically the Supreme Order of Caucasians in April 1876 and the Asiatic Exclusion League in May 1905. They stated that Chinese laborers had driven wages down to an unacceptable level, Resultantly, they fought against the rights of Chinese Immigrants, many of whom had been natur... ... middle of paper ... ... Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882.
At first Americans looked up them with curiosity and favor, and accepted their arrival. Yet soon thereafter this favor turned to violence, as riots against the Chinese broke out towards the late nineteenth century. The Chinese did not only mine for gold, but took on jobs such as cooks, peddlers, and storekeepers. In the first decade after the discovery of gold, many had taken jobs nobody else wanted or that were considered too dirty. However, in 1870, hasty exploitation of gold mines and a lack of well-paying jobs for non-Asians spurred sentiment that the "rice-eaters" were to blame.