28 November 2011
Immigrants in the United States faced many challenges as they struggled to assimilate into American society while trying to keep their cultural and ethnic identity. A main society has always had many biases that make it difficult for immigrants to be accepted into the social and economic structure of society. The Chinese immigrants were excluded, discriminated against and suffered severe exploitation. Because of the arrival of Chinese immigrants in 1784, they were subjected to violence, prejudice, and discrimination.
Chinese immigrants had come to America to earn money and then return to China. The Chinese did not come to America to mind gold, but took on jobs such as cooks, peddlers, fishers, railroad workers, and laborers. In the first decade, many Chinese workers took on jobs that were considered unpleasant and dirty. However, in 1870, a lack of well-paying jobs for non-Asians was blamed on “rice-eaters”, what American society called Chinese immigrants. The large presence of Chinese workers in California created high levels of resentment among white workers. They were willing to work for very low wages, which had caused Americans to compete with Chinese immigrants for work as railroad workers or laborers. White workers viewed Chinese as competitors and inferior. According to John Higham," No Variety of anti-European sentient had ever approached the violent extremes to which anti-Chinese agitation went in the 1870s and 1880s. Lynching, boycotts, and mass expulsions…harassed the Chinese.”
The hatred of Chinese immigrants often resorted to anti-Chinese segregation, newly passed laws, and violence. In California, Chinese immigrants were banned from living in San Francisco, Monterey Park, and San Marino. They were then confined to ghettos called “Chinatowns”. During this time, the Chinese were faced with many discriminatory acts. Some...