Chinese Exclusion Act And Immigration Problems In The United States

1549 words - 6 pages

In 1882 the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress. This act exiled Chinese laborers from arriving in the United States. This was the first time ever that a specific ethnicity was banned from immigrating to the U.S.A. Racism against the Chinese was strong, so the ban remained for ten years, but was eventually made “permanent”. However, China soon became a war ally in World War II, so the ban was repealed in 1943.
There are many issues concerning immigration and racism that still plague the United States today. For example, many people are still prejudice against groups of immigrants. Mexicans are often discriminated against. In this essay I will use internet resources, in-class documents, my knowledge of social studies, and current events to write an essay comparing the Chinese Exclusion Act to illegal immigration in the U.S.A. The essay will follow.
Chinese workers were not always despised and unwanted in the U.S. In fact, from the 1850’s through the early 1870’s, Chinese workers were accepted and were very useful to the state of California. The more fruits and vegetables the Californians wanted, the more the Chinese grew and picked. A growing population of people in California also demanded more Laundromats, more restaurants, more buildings, and more railroads. The Chinese built and provided all of these. Moreover, the Chinese worked for such low wages, that the prices of things were cheaper than if white Americans had been supplying these services. However, soon America, especially California, fell on some hard times. The Chinese were used as scapegoats during this time. Everything seemed to be their fault. Just as Hitler blamed a minority for Germany’s economic slump and for losing World War I, the United States was doing the same exact thing. As a post-Civil War recession led to a loss of jobs, anti-Chinese feelings escalated. Part of the economic problem, most Americans felt, was that during the times between 1873 and 1875, over thirty thousand immigrants arrived here from China. The Chinese were blamed for job shortages, and were attacked many times in various ways. Newspapers wrote racist articles about the Chinese, and also showed cartoons depicting the Chinese as rogues. In 1873 the stock markets crashed and a record number of people became unemployed. Although the Chinese really played no role in the stock market, they were still blamed. In 1877 riots in San Francisco against the Chinese took place. The Workingman’s Party also declared that the Chinese must go, and that they said they would not accept the wages that were paid to the Chinese. They felt that because the Chinese worked for such low wages, they were forcing white men into taking huge pay cuts or being replaced by a Chinese laborer who worked for much less. Ten Chinese were murdered in what is now titled the Snake River Massacre. A mob chased Chinese people out of Denver’s Chinatown, burning buildings as they went. They even hanged one man. In 1881 leprosy...

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