Chinese exclusion


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Chinese exclusion,

policy of prohibiting immigration of Chinese laborers to the United States; initiated in 1882. From the time of the U.S. acquisition of California (1848) there had been a large influx of Chinese laborers to the Pacific coast. They were encouraged to emigrate because of the need for cheap labor, and were employed largely in the building of transcontinental railroads. By 1867 there were some 50,000 Chinese in California, most of them manual laborers. Their numbers continued to increase after the conclusion in 1868 of the Burlingame Treaty with China, which guaranteed the right of Chinese immigration; it did not, however, grant the right of naturalization. In the following decades a great deal of anti-Chinese sentiment arose in California, partly because the growing American labor force had to compete with cheap Chinese labor and partly because many Americans were opposed to further immigration by what they considered to be an inferior people. In 1877 anti-Chinese riots occurred in San Francisco, and in the three decades that followed further riots, roundups, and violent expulsions of Chinese immigrants occurred in communities throughout the West.

Legislative efforts were made to ban Chinese immigration, and in 1879 Congress passed a bill to that effect. It was vetoed, however, by President Hayes on the grounds that it violated the Burlingame Treaty. In 1880 a new treaty with China was concluded; it allowed the United States to regulate, limit, or suspend the entry of Chinese labor, but not to prohibit it. In 1882, however, the Chinese Exclusion Act banned immigration of Chinese laborers for 10 years. As was the case with previous discriminatory acts, this legislation was met by protests from Chinese residents, and for the next decade more than 7,000 lawsuits were filed, the majority of which were won by the Chinese litigants. Some of the later acts (1888 and 1892, which required that Chinese immigrants carry an identity card or face deportation) were flat violations of the 1880 treaty. A new treaty was signed in 1894 by which China agreed to the exclusion of Chinese laborers for 10 years. When that period expired, Congress continued the exclusion unilaterally until the immigration law of 1924 excluded, in effect, all Asians. In 1943 the acts were repealed when a law was signed setting an annual immigration quota of 105 and extending citizenship privileges to Chinese immigrants. The quota was abolished in 1965.

Bibliography

See R. D. McKenzie, Oriental Exclusion (1928); S. C. Miller, The Unwelcome Immigrant (1969); B. L. Sung, The Story of the Chinese in America (1971); J. Pfaelzer, Driven Out: The Forgotten War against Chinese Americans (2007).

References in periodicals archive ?
In an introductory note, Lee explains that between 1882 and 1943, Chinese people were prohibited from entering the United States under the Chinese Exclusion Act, "the only federal legislation to ban immigration based on a specific nationality." Lee describes it as a "shameful" time for Asian Americans: "Nobody wants to talk about it, even though it's many years later.
In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act became the first federal law barring immigration based on race and class; it also prevented Chinese immigrants already here from becoming citizens.
While early scholars of nativism, such as John Higham, ignored the Chinese experience, later ones have focused primarily on California and the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
This book explores Chinese immigration and Canadian immigration policy, including Chinese migrant railway workers, the head tax and the Chinese Exclusion Act.
By proudly serving their country, even in the face of the shameful Chinese Exclusion Act, Chinese American veterans exemplified patriotism and demonstrated a deep commitment to the United States.
A cursory scan of the contents of these journals and their authors reveals the prevailing anxieties and ambitions of half a century ago: "The Chinese Exclusion Policy in the Philippines," by Tomas S.
Whether it is through slavery, manifest destiny, the exclusion of indigenous students from land-grant universities, the Chinese Exclusion Act or the redlining of people of color from home ownership, the white supremacist racial hierarchy in the U.S.
Meanwhile, we passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Alien Contract Labor laws of 1885 and 1887 to limit foreigners according to their ethnic background.
Later in the book, Downey, however, notes that Strauss, despite the prejudices he held toward Chinese immigrants, called upon the United States Congress to vote against a bill (the Geary Act) that would effectively extend the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
Though his government attorneys do not cite to or directly rely upon the Chinese Exclusion Case or Korematsu v.
States, commonly known as the Chinese Exclusion Case, in which the Court
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