Millions of immigrants over the previous centuries have shaped the United States of America into what it is today. America is known as a “melting pot”, a multicultural country that welcomes and is home to an array of every ethnic and cultural background imaginable. We are a place of opportunity, offering homes and jobs and new economic gains to anyone who should want it. However, America was not always such a “come one, come all” kind of country. The large numbers of immigrants that came during the nineteenth century angered many of the American natives and lead to them to blame the lack of jobs and low wages on the immigrants, especially the Asian communities. This resentment lead to the discrimination and legal exclusion of immigrants, with the first and most important law passed being the Chinese Exclusion Act. However, the discrimination the Chinese immigrants so harshly received was not rightly justified or deserved. With all of their contributions and accomplishments in opening up the West, they were not so much harming our country but rather helping it. The Chinese immigrants started flooding in through the West coast to California around the time of the Gold Rush, looking for economic opportunity. With the Chinese immigrants came a whole new cultural group and a whole lot of laborers that were eager to work. The Chinese quickly became involved in all kinds of labor from gold mining and building railroads to agriculture and fishing skills. The new Asian population just kept growing and growing as immigrants spread word of their good fortune in California and swayed more and more of their family to come over to the states. With their growing population they created their own large communities and the first ever Chinatown ... ... middle of paper ... ...xperienced harsh discrimination and even legal exclusion from our country. They were blamed for the lack of job opportunities and low pay of jobs and received extremely unfair treatment that labeled them as an inferior race. However, the inter-ethnic tension blinded us from seeing how the immigrants were contributing to our country in positive ways. They not only created economic and social gains for us, but also opened our minds to a whole new way of life and prepared us for the multicultural years to come. With all of the help and modernization that they contributed to our country, the racism and discrimination that the Chinese immigrants received day-in and day-out was not rightly justified or deserved. References "Chinese in California." Bancroft Library, 31 Jan. 2005. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. .
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One particular ethnic group that suffered severe discrimination was the Chinese people. They first came to America for several reasons. One of them was the gold rush in California in 1849, in which they were included in a group of immigrants called the “Forty-Niners” (179). From gold mining, they switched to other jobs with resulted in the rise of anti-Chinese sentiments. People felt that Chinese people were taking the jobs away from them, because Chinese people worked for much smaller salaries that businesses preferred. This mindset gave way to the creation of The Chinese Exclusion Act passed in 1882, which prohibits more Chinese immigrants from coming to America. In addition, the act states “no State or court of the United States shall admit Chinese to citizenship”. Like the Naturalization Act, the Chinese Exclusion Act was created to hinder Chinese people from becoming citizens so that America could remain homogenously white (186). It also aimed to stop Chinese people from establishing a bigger community in the country in hopes of eliminating the threat of competition to their white counterparts (186). Like African-Americans, Chinese people were considered racially inferior and have struggled to prove that they were worthy to be called true Americans, rather than
Chinese immigrants were often discriminated against because they were easy to spot. They spoke a different language and, looked different physically. Irish immigrants, however, had an easier time blending in because they had physical features similar to Americans. They were not so easy to pick out in a crowd. Erika Lee says, “Immigrants have been excluded and restricted on the basis of their race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, moral standing, health, and political affiliation, among other factors.” (Lee, p. 39) Lee is saying that Americans would do anything to discriminate against immigrants. If immigrants stood out because of physical features they could more easily be targeted by society. Those immigrants that could better blend in were more likely to be included within a society. Racially those who were different were not wanted in America, but why? Americans loved the idea of having one transnational race. When immigrants of another race would arrive and start reproducing with people of the white American race, cultures started to mix, racial lines became blurred. Erika Lee says, “It provided a powerful framework, model, and set of tools to be used to understand and further racialize other threatening, excludable, and undesirable aliens.” (Lee, p. 42) In this quote Lee is stating how with the exclusion of the Chinese, this further pushed Americans to be more discriminatory against immigrants solely based on race. This
Immigration has existed around the world for centuries, decades, and included hundreds of cultures. Tired of poverty, a lack of opportunities, unequal treatment, political corruption, and lacking any choice, many decided to emigrate from their country of birth to seek new opportunities and a new and better life in another country, to settle a future for their families, to work hard and earn a place in life. As the nation of the opportunities, land of the dreams, and because of its foundation of a better, more equal world for all, the United States of America has been a point of hope for many of those people. A lot of nationals around the world have ended their research for a place to call home in the United States of America. By analyzing primary sources and the secondary sources to back up the information, one could find out about what Chinese, Italians, Swedish, and Vietnamese immigrants have experienced in the United States in different time periods from 1865 to 1990.
With the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, the first significant restrictive immigration law in United States history was instituted that would provided a framework to be used to racialize other threatening, excludable aliens. Furthermore, this marked the first time that groups of immigrants were excluded based on their race and nationality. At the time, America could be identified as being an Anglo-Saxon dominated nation where native-born citizens had the ultimate say in government and societal issues. The influx of Chinese immigrants in the 19th century posed a problem for many of these nativists. The Chinese immigrants were coming to America at an astounding rate and willing to work for less money, thereby, endangering American values and civilization. Additionally, they were deemed as a threat to the white supremacy in the West. In order to bring this racial threat to light, many Anti-Chinese activists’ compared the new immigrants to African Americans in that both were believed to be inherently inferior savages only suitable for degrading labor in which they were often employed (Lee 34). However, the strongest argument against the Chinese focused on them being unwilling and incapable of assimilating into society. In the ...
Gold Rush 1849 was the reason for such a frenzy. It caused people to migrate to California from near and far too dig for gold from the river. According to the film, The Chinese Exclusion Act Explained: US History Review, “This attracted Chinese entrepreneurs to try to make it rich”. The Chinese was one of the cultures that was one of the cultures that left their home to find a better life for their families. However, after being greeted in the United States, they were discriminated against them since they were feared by the Europeans. Racism towards the Chinese immigrant caused a lot of hardship on them in the Western civilization, enabling them to enter or exit without returning to the States.
-Despite the already severe legal and social restrictions on Asian immigration, some European Americans felt that immigration should be forbidden altogether with a specific Asian Exclusion Act. In arguments which seem familiar to modern followers of the immigration debate, Asians were accused of taking white jobs and causing social
The United States of America is the place of opportunity and fortune. “Many immigrants hoped to achieve this in the United States and similar to other immigrants many people from the Asian Pacific region hoped to make their fortune. They planned to either return to their homelands or build a home in their new country (Spring, 2013).” For this reason, life became very complicated for these people. They faced many challenges in this new country, such as: classifying them in terms of race and ethnicity, denying them the right to become naturalized citizens, and rejecting them the right of equal educational opportunities within the school systems. “This combination of racism and economic exploitation resulted in the educational policies to deny Asians schooling or provide them with segregated schooling (Spring, 2013).”This was not the country of opportunity and fortune as many believed. It was the country of struggle and hardship. Similarly, like many other immigrants, Asian Americans had the determination to overcome these obstacles that they faced to prove that the United States was indeed their home too.
Historically, the United States has not been kind to Asian immigrants and until as late as 1965, legal discrimination against Asians has been an accepted part of American culture. In the mid-nineteenth century, Chinese immigrants began to come to the United States in response to the gold rush in California. By 1852, over 20,000 Chinese had emigrated to the United States. Many of these would end up working on the Transcontinental Railroad as contract laborers. Local groups demanded, however, that the flow of emigration be stopped and in 1858, a law was passed that barred the Chinese from entering. This began a series of laws and treaties with China and Japan that would govern Asian emigration to the US. In 1868, Chinese emigration is reopened as a result of the Burlingame...
...e arms, which was largely due to their passion for work, diligent nature, and willingness to work for less money than others. Chinese workers played a significant role in both the internal development and economic enhancement of California, particularly with the successful completion of the Central Pacific Railroad in May 1869. As immigrants, the Chinese greatly changed the nature of the West from a purely social perspective, through the establishment of new languages, religions, and cultural customs. Over time, Chinese workers faced poverty and significant anti-Chinese sentiment, which severely limited their participation after the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. Despite facing these challenges, however, the Chinese labor force intensified the multicultural nature of Western society and distinctly helped to shape the American West as we know it today.
The United States of America was founded on the idea that anyone could leave their destitution and ‘make it’ in America. This idea came to be called the American Dream; a phrase that was written into being around 1850. Not thirty years later, however, an entire immigrant group would be barred from entering the country, and that bar would last for sixty-one years. The Chinese Exclusion Act was put into law by President Chester Arthur in 1882 and repealed in 1943. During that period, all Chinese laborers were barred from immigrating to the United States. The Chinese Exclusion Act stagnated the growth of Chinese Culture in the United States and led to the racial stigma that fueled racism against Japan in the Second World War.
After the first wave of Chinese immigrants arrived in the United States in the early 1840s during the California Gold Rush, many Chinese people continued to travel across the Pacific escaping poor conditions in China with hopes and ambitions for a better life in America. Soon after the first wave, many more Chinese immigrants began to arrive into the 1860s on the Pacific coast for work in other areas such as the railroad industry. 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...
In chapter thirty five, author Shelley Sang-Hee Lee explains that “Immigration is an important part of our understanding of U.S. social experience” (Hee 128). Asian immigrants bring their diverse culture, language and custom from various Asian countries. They help improve American economic development. Also, they play an important role in American society. The first Asian immigration flow is the Chinese Immigration in the mid-19th century to work in the gold mines and railroads. The Asian immigrant population grew rapidly between 1890 and 1910 (Hee 130). The increasing of population of Asian immigrants have brought a lot of problems. Many of them were facing the issue of ethnicity, discrimination, and the process of assimilation. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which banned the immigration of Chinese laborers and proscribed foreign-born Chinese from naturalized citizenship and the Asian Exclusion Act League in 1907 which limited the entry of Asian immigrants have reshaped the demographic of Asian immigrants in the U.S (Hing 45). With the rise of anti-Asian movements, many Asian immigrants were rejected from entering America or deported to their homeland. In the early history of immigration in America, the issue of deportation is an important part of the Asian American experience in the
For nearly a century, spanning from the latter half of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century, Chinese-Americans and Chinese immigrants endured discrimination from the United States government and its people. The Chinese are another group of people that were treated as less than in America’s long history of legal racism. The Chinese experience is often overlooked as other
Gold was discovered in California in the late 1840s which brought thousands of immigrants who hoped to become rich to the land. After the gold rush was over, migrants needed stable work. The Chinese in particular predominately worked on the construction of railroads. Over the course of six years, Chinese immigrants played a significant role in the completion of the Transcontinental railroad in the United States.
In many cases throughout America’s history immigrants have settled here for many different reasons. In conclusion these reasons were known as push and pull factors. Push factors are factors that repel migrants from their country. And pull factors are factors that attract migrants to move. In my main immigrant group which is the Chinese, there were several push and pull factors that I will be mentioning. First, some of the push factors that were included in my group were the fact that there were a lot of disasters. For example there was draught, poverty, a famine, and floods were also included in these disasters. To state these factors more specifically, it was around the 1840s and 1850s when China faced these disasters. In the fact of the draught, it was a place called Henen that suffered this tragic event. Then two years later that’s when the famine struck Guangxi. The flood affected many provinces such as Hubei, Anhui, and Jiangsu which was caused by the Yangtze River. These factors killed and injured a lot of people, as a result numerous amounts of them settled in the United States. On the other hand Chinese also came to the United States because of pull factors. Which I mentioned before that it is a factor that attracts a migrant to move. The things that attracted them to the United States were the fact of having better jobs, education, health, and economic funds. But the most important and major factor that lured the Chinese to the U.S was the California gold rush. The way that they have obtained their information on the opportunities that America held were from random people, advertisements, and last but not lease the most important way that they learn was by trading vessels. Th...