Chinese immigration 19th Cent Essay
The gold rush into California in the 1800's brought with it many social and political changes, including the introduction of Chinese immigration to American society. Most Chinese that came to the area were from regions that suffered from poverty, crime, and overpopulation. They came to America in hopes of new jobs and financial support for their families. The Calfornia Gold Rush created a demand for labor that supplied many Chinese an alternative to a meager ten or fifteen cents a day.
Making the trip to America was thefirst task that a Chinese immigrant had to overcome. Many Chinese had to borrow money from debtors to pay for their transportation to the states. This debt, plus interest and taxes for entry papers, added up to more than ten years worth of wages for the Chinese men. So while the Chinese were not slaves, they were indebted for years of work to the American businessmen that hired them. Before 1852, the small amounts of Chinese that came to the U.S.usually ended up in the merchant trade, such as cooking or cleaning. These were the feminine jobs that needed to be done, but didn't pose any threat to American miners traveling sometimes thousands of miles in hopes of gold. In 1852, a massive influx of about twenty thousand Chinese men landed on Californian soil. These men were looking for gold, and the prospectives for American businessman were enticing. These wealthy entrepreneurs began to money into foreigners, something that angered many American miners who viewed California as a "white-mans" land. This "unfair competition" fueled the beginnings of anti-American sentiments.
Another factor that stimulated anti-chinese sentiments were the ban on women and spousal privileges for Chinese laborers. In the late 1800's, the ratio of Chinese men to women was about thirty to one. The only Chinese women coming to the states were young prostitutes, who had been tricked or kidnapped into