Chinese and Japanese in the Americas

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Envy of the world
Chinese exports of silk, tea, porcelain and drugs were wanted by all part of the world.
The historical ideology that China was the cultural center of the world
Foreign Trade
China’s wealth restricted it along lines of national security
Until the end of the 18th century Europe viewed China as a superior and advanced civilization, mostly by indirect contact.
Why that changed

(Test question for sure)

Failed attempts by missionaries to woo China as intellectual equals led to 1) rejection of confucianism, 2)Conflicting attitudes about same sex marriage, 3)morality and political inferiority and 4)scientific racism’s color designations for non-whites
Dislike for China and it’s culture
Push Factors
The Social, economic and historic process that create conditions that facilitate or compel people to leave their native lands and immigrate to new lands
Pull Factors
The lures of economic prosperity, or sense of social well-being that provide an attractive rationale for moving to a new place to live and work
Political views
Considered excellent engineers and scientifically advanced, but politically they exhibited “suspicious meanness knavery, silly pride and other ill qualities, to their depraved mode of government”
Social and moral views
Chinese culture was full of idolatry, but missionaries also focused on gambling, perceived sexual immorality, and Confucius.
Foods and medicine
Early reports praised the creative and exotic foods and medicinal traditions. After the Penny Press period a shift to negative views pointed out consumption of cats dogs and rats that made their way into children’s books and more stereotypical behavior and appearance, other things noted were the large population
Penny Press
The founders of the penny press popularized both low prices for newspapers and newspaper economics based on sales instead of political party backing. Benjamin Day created The Sun without any political party backing. This was rare because this was an era where political parties sponsored
Motives for Immigration: Push factors
-Hard economic conditions, partly due to high foreign taxes.
-land was lost due to dept
-floods destroyed crops and land
-Opium wars opened up paths to the outside world as laborers
Motives for Immigration: Pull factors
-Gold Mountain:The discovery of Gold in Ca.drew many Chinese men after 1849
-The prospect of working abroad temporality led many to leave home
-weak government let foreign contractors hire and mistreat thousands in the Caribbean, Central America, Peru, Mexico and the US
Was a degrading term applied to the (mostly) men transported to expanding colonial markets to replace freed American slaves and serve as a social force for wage suppression and intergroup rivalry.
A Chinese achievement, construction of the transcontinental railway.
Donner Summit Strike
portions of California’s Donner Pass remained blanketed in 10 to 12 foot drifts. As long as the snow piled up it had to be shoveled, which inhibited progress in the Sierra. Tunneling efforts continued in earnest, but the company was having trouble attracting fresh laborers. competing mining concerns were siphoning the workers from their route. Crocker raised the workers’ monthly wages four dollars — to $35 a month — in hopes that news of the increase would attract more workers to the summit. The results were not what he expected.Grievances and Demands
Two workers talk together
Utah State Historical Society
Two workers talk together
On June 25, Chinese workers left their grading work along a two-mile stretch on the eastern Sierra slope and went back to their camp. The workers demanded $40 a month instead of $35. They requested a reduction in hours. A workday on the open Sierra lasted from dawn till dusk; the Chinese laborers wanted to work no more than 10 hours daily. They also asked for shorter shifts in the cramped, dangerous tunnels. Charles Crocker called in leaders of the movement and promised them he’d stop work entirely before considering a single one of their demands. The men took his message back to the camps, but still the workers refused to budge. Two days later, workers struck all along the line, and raised their wage demands to $45 a month. After a week’s worth of lean rations had settled upon the men, Charles Crocker returned to the work camps. He dictated the options as he saw them: wages and hours were immutable. If the hungry Chinese workers returned to work immediately they would only be fined, but if they continued on strike they would not get paid for the whole month of June. Motivated by malnutrition, most men agreed to return to work. Those who did not were outraged at their companions. When it looked like these remainders might get out of hand, Crocker brought up a posse of well-armed white men to emphasize his point. Work on the mountain resumed
The Chinese question
-Always on the table in Ca, and slowly attitudes changed nationally leading to a series of legislation and bills targeting the Chinese workers.
-First Approach: An “economic threat” was constructed between the 1896 bill and the 1875 page law.
-Second phase: Chines men were not “men”. Gender segregation was disrupted, as was the assumption that Chinese woman were exploited as prostitutes who carried VD.
-White woman economic loss: Feminine’ industries were infringed upon by Chinese men willing to work for less, This “forced” upright anglo women into disreputable trades
Shaping ca.’s agriculture
Building t0 agricultural infrastructure in ca. consisted of dykes, dams, and irrigation. Mostly men, the Chinese reinvented their options by opening restaurants and laundries: emasculating and humiliating work for men from a paternalistic culture. Low wages and exploitation led to more strikes by 1880.
Economic competition
Deliberate attempts to drive out black labor and replace them with Chinese workers after the Civil War led to intergroup rivalries and escalated racism in ca.
Irish and Chinese were also pitted against one another as a form of divide and conquer.
Economic concerns, “morality threats” and racial discrimination led to many legal exclusions.
The Chinese exclusion act
A depressed economy and labor concerns ended Chinese immigration to keep the US economy stable for Anglos and “more welcomed” immigrant groups
Northern Mexico
Chinese immigration encouraged to replace the menthe went to America, but discrimination and racism followed by 1910.
Yellow Peril
Yellow peril was the persistent theme in Sonoran newspapers that denounced foreigners as degrading to Mexico’s populace. Excluded from mestizaje philosophy of intermixing. Deported Mex-Chinese to the US and China despite the cost.
Eugenics movement
Assumption that “unwelcome” immigrant groups carried social and physical maladies with them
Immigration Act of 1917
-Escalated US interest on the Southern border created more security apparatus, and health inspectors to vaccinate, delouse (with zyklon and kerosene) and exclude those deemed unfit or unhealthy.
-Literacy Testing: Pre-screening
-Head Tax: $8 per person
Visa Fees: 1924 supplement added a mandatory $10 enry visa
Categories: Chinese