Asian History in Canada

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Asian History in Canada Around the mid-19th to early 20th centuries, British Columbia was in a period of economic explosion. Those who were willing to work hard could find many opportunities. At this time, gold was found in British Columbia and Canada became dependent on workers to finish making the transcontinental railway. Many lumbering, coal mining and fishing business were not experiencing enough growth to match the needs of the society. This portrayed Canada as a place of opportunity and settlement for Asians whose homelands were becoming overcrowded. Sadly, the early pioneer years were extremely difficult for Asian immigrants due to the extensive racism and barriers keeping them from full participation of the Canadian life. It is through these hardships and sacrifices that the birth of many vibrant communities became possible. The Asian-Canadian pioneers are unforgettable and their legacies sculpt an important time in Canadian history. The first Chinese people came in the mid-1800s to take advantage of the opportunities brought on by the discovery of gold. The majority of the early Chinese settlers were uneducated, unskilled and unmarried men who were farmers or laborers looking for a better life. Many early Chinese settlers of the 19th century originated from Guangdong and Fujian, two coastal provinces of China. Still, most of the Chinese who came to British Columbia in the 1850s and 1860s came straight from California because the gold rush in California was coming close to an end as the rush was just beginning in Canada. There were two major gold rushes in British Columbia in the mid-1800s that attracted the Chinese. News of the Fraser River gold discovery spread and the first group of Chinese arriv... ... middle of paper ... ...Coast of Canada gave a great deal of their life’s energy to the building of the infrastructure of Canada. All of the early pioneers came to Canada prepared to work hard in order to send money back home to support their families and to build new lives in Canada. In many cases, this was a long and lonely sacrifice and few experienced support from the white settlers or received protection from the government. In almost every situation, the Asians were paid less than the whites and had no rights or privileges in the new country. Little by little, they were denied until eventually, immigration was rejected altogether separating families and leaving individual alienated from their loved ones. Thousands of men and women sacrificed and endured a great deal of pain in order to be accepted as citizens of Canada. Their stories are a vital part of the history of the West.
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