Chinese Exclusion Act Essay

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As one would expect from a publication of such stature, Harper’s Weekly reported on the Chinese in America.

Besides carrying articles on Sino-American relations and some of the more exotic features of Chinese culture, Harper’s Weekly provided lengthy essays on aspects of the Chinese that were of interest to the public, such as opium consumption and Chinese coolies.

Chinese could be found throughout the region, laboring in agriculture, mining, industry, and wherever workers were needed.

They are best known for their contribution to the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, the completion of which united the country economically and culturally.

This bill made it possible for Chinese to become naturalized citizens and gave them an annual quota of 105 immigrants.

While the bill ended an injustice that had been committed sixty-one years earlier, the damage to the Chinese community had already been done.

Such separations made it difficult to maintain strong family ties.

As the annual quota of 105 immigrants indicates, America’s immigration policy was restrictive and particularly discriminatory against Chinese and other Asians.

The earlier hostile attitude toward Chinese is a far cry from the contemporary esteem for them as a "model minority" to be emulated by others.

But as the pages of Harper’s Weekly document, in the 19 century, Chinese came to "Gold Mountain," as they called America, to join the "Gold Rush" that began at Sutter’s Mill, Sacramento, California.


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