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Discrimination Against the Chinese

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 11 months ago

Discrimination Against the Chinese


The Chinese were initially attracted to California because of the gold discovery. Many came with the thought of returning home to start a new life. When the gold began to dwindle, competition increased. This also increased the animosity to the Chinese. By the 1860s thousands of Chinese laborors were involved with constructing the transcontinental railroad. White miners and prospectors imposed taxes and laws to inhibit the Chinese from success.

The Chinese were "regarded as an alien race with peculiar customs and habits that made them unassimilable in a nation that wanted to remain white." "Their hard-working, frugal ways, their willingness to work for lower wages than whites, rendered them an economic threat and thus targets of racial violence."

In 1822 the Chinese were banned from immigrating. This was the Chinese Exclusion Act. The act began as a ten year policy and was made permanent in 1902. In 1943, the Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed because China was an important ally of the United States against Japan.


"Most of the Chinese immigrants settled in cities such as San Francisco, and took up low end wage labor such as restaurant work and laundry."

"Naturalized citizenship for Asians was permitted in 1954, long after African Americans and American Indians."

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