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.
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.
The way the Chinese dressed, and styled their hair made the Americans perceive them of not having proper gender roles. America had a big problem with the Chinese because they were cheaper labor, so factory owners would hire Chinese over the native-born Americans. Even though the immigrants were deemed as physically unsuitable for labor jobs, they still got hired. Also later on in the future Americans blamed the Chinese for a major depression that occurre... ... middle of paper ... ... of the country or was turned into a slave. The relationship between America and China became very strained during this time.
In the late 1800s and the early 1900s, many immigrants such as the Jews, Chinese and Japanese immigrations came to America with the hope for better life also got exploited, and treated brutally in many ways. Although their contributions to the American were ineligible, their lives were cruel not only because they were treated badly from the government but also from the competition with the white labors for low paying employments. Many immigrants came to America with many different reasons and share the same feeling. Jewish people were expunged from their homeland because of the long lasting, futile hatred between religions. The Chinese people fled from their mainland due to the upraising revolutions and the Opium war with the British.
Immigration and Assimilation Throughout history, Americans have always been intimidated by immigrants. The idea of an immigrant coming to America and easily being able to get a job scared Americans. Americans feared that good jobs would be taken from hard working Americans and given to immigrants for less pay because they required less money to live on or were used to no wages or lower wages in their Country of origin. People would immigrate to America in search of a better life, and often times they could find homes and jobs that made them want to stay. A melting pot is described as being a mixing of different cultures into one universal culture.
The demand for jobs increased as a result. The Chinese Opium Wars with Britain, the Red Turban Rebellion, and a harsh economy all served as motivation to exit China and find a new life in Gam Saan, the Gold Mountain. For many immigrants, the Gam Saan led to possibilities of employment, higher pay, larger houses, stable food, fine clothing, and no war. These hopeful immigrants first arrived voluntarily and as free laborers. As an economic future for Chinese immigrants began to look bright, the job market began to be saturated by Chinese laborers working for low pay and long hours, eventually causing the growing sense of anti-Chinese sent... ... middle of paper ...
Introduction During the Gold Rush of 1848-1849, California began to experience a large wave of Chinese immigration to the United States. Stories of the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill drew thousands of Chinese immigrants into North America from various parts of Asia. These immigrants, who were primarily poor peasants, flooded the “Golden Hills” we know as California in pursuit of better economic opportunity. To fill in the needs of the increasingly widespread mining communities in the West, many Chinese immigrants ultimately became merchants, railroad workers, agricultural laborers, mining laborers, and factory workers. Throughout the Gold Rush, members of the Chinese labor force played significant roles in both the social and economic development of the American West, particularly with regards to the construction of the transcontinental railroad.
Even working in the lower class jobs they were discriminated by the white people they were working with. Making it hard enough to keep the low paying job they had already. In response to this the 1868 Burlingame Treaty was created for equality between the Chinese and white laborers (Rivero, Chen, Huynh, Peterson, Lasky, 2010). Even with the passing of this treaty it did not change much for Chinese immigrants. They still dealt with discrimination while at work causing a lot of them to lose or quit their jobs (Rivero, Chen, Huynh, Peterson, Lasky, 2010).
The positive and negative sides of this situation are what make this condition such a tremendous problem in our society today. Americans can at times find immigrants as a threat to the economy and work force. They feel as if the immigrants that come into America take the only jobs that are left here. There are no jobs, no money, our economy is at an end, do we have space for others to come and take what we have left? These two opposing views bring separation and debatable arguments into our society, “some people say that illegal immigration benefits the US economy through additional tax revenue, expan... ... middle of paper ... ...is more than just a political problem, “Immigration for all of us is more than a political issue.
The immigrants noticed an increasing demand for their labor because of their readiness to work for low wages. Many of those who arrived wanted to go home at some point, and therefore there was no push for naturalization... ... middle of paper ... ...ent “this problem is too important to be treated with indifference” and must be solved before the United States turns into “practically provinces of China rather than States of the Union.” When the Chinese Exclusion Act was signed into law in May 1882, it was followed by a rapidly decreasing amount of new immigrants to the United States. Regardless of problems that the United States attempted to solve with the Act, violent massacre and persecution of Chinese people in the United States continued. Because of this, many Chinese immigrants that did stay in America continued on for years to receive prejudice and racism in the labor market and cultural society. This then continued to force many Chinese immigrants further and further down the path of segregation and into the protection of Chinatowns and poverty, counteracting the great American idea of the “melting pot.”