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Asian Americans: Exclusion And Segregation Essay

771 words - 4 pages

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 had it in their minds 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 for equal educational opportunities within the school systems. “This combination of racism and ...view middle of the document...

In the 1850s, many were driven by the lure of gold. “These first arrivals were free laborers who paid their own transportation to the gold fields of California. By 1852, there were about 20,000 Chinese immigrants in California. By the 1860s, approximately 16,000 Chinese immigrants were working in the California gold fields. But as mining profits decreased, the Chinese immigrants found themselves without enough money to return to their homeland (Spring, 2013).” “Searching for work, these Chinese immigrants were hired to build the transcontinental railroad at wages that were about one-third less that it would have been to pay white workers (Takaki, 1993).” As a result, the Chinese who arrived soon was faced with fierce racial hostility. White workers wanted their positions and wanted their pay. They did not care how much the Chinese cleared trees and brushes, blasted rocks with explosives, shoveled debris and carted it away. More importantly, laid the tracks. They had to make a living too. This racial hostility intensified to the point of violence against the Chinese and it erupted all over the state. Physical attacks against the Chinese soon became common in California. As a result, the San Francisco newspaper warned: “It is scarcely safe for a Chinaman to walk the streets in certain parts of this city. When seen, whether by day or night, they are...

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