CRM 404 Lecture – Week 2
CHINESE MIGRANTS (1858-1947)
- A lot of Chinese men were migrating in towards Canada because of the Gold Rush.
Mainland China at this time was largely farming communities and wasn't doing so well. A lot
of them went to West Coast and British Columbia.
- Gold rush dries up around 1870's and 17,000 Chinese workers made the CPR (1881-1885).
John A. MacDonald was very endorsing of Chinese men to come over and fill out the labour
shortage in order to build the railroad.
- A lot of Chinese men volunteered to use explosives. They were also paid half the amount of
- ESTIMATES OF CHINESE DEATHS RANGE FROM 600 - 3500 over four years.
--> The Chinese at the time were viewed as disposable labour, because they were paid very
little and a lot of them would die whilst during the job.
After railroad was built, Sir John A MacDonald put up the Electoral Franchise Act which
barred Chinese people from voting.
----> Persons of Mongolian or Chinese race were not allowed to work. And this stayed on for
65 years until 1948.
Chinese Immigration Act (1885) - Chinese Head Tax - "persons of Chinese origin are
required to pay a $50 head tax upon entering Canada.
In 1900, it rose to a $100. In 1904, it went up $500. This was one of the first example of
taxation of the people by the government. It raised $23 million dollars and that was roughly
the same cost to build the CPR.
Chinese Exclusion Act (1923-1947) - At this point in time, Chinese people were outright
barred from entering China. JAPANESE MIGRANTS
- Barred from voting + holding office etc. (1895-1949)
- If you were not the voter's list, then you couldn't hold many positions such as lawyer,
politician, pharmacist, accountant.
- Anti-Asian riot (1907) - major riot through downtown Vancouver. Smashing businesses,
creating troubling and targeting Asian people at the time.
- Canada sent the Minister of Labour to Japan and created an agree where Japan would
restricted the number of labourers at the act.
----> Hayashi-Lemieux Agreement (1908) - Restrictions was that only 400 Japanese people
were allowed to enter into Canada. In 1928, they dropped the number to 150.
---> World War II (1939-1945)
- Dec 7, 1941, Pearl Harbour. War Measures Act is implemented - and through this act the
government controls its citizens such as curfews.
So all Japanese nationals including naturalized citizens had register in the Registrar of Enemy
After this Registrar, all sorts of Anti-Japanese racism and policies.
The Japanese Fishing Vessel Disposal committee which resulted in Japanese fishermen to
give away there boats to this committee.
Japanese language newspapers and schools were closed out of fear that there might be
communication between Japanese people.
Insurance policies were ended, dusk-to-dawn curfew.
Shortly after minister of justice administered that all persons of Japanese race were forced to
leave the coastal areas. So BC initiated road-camps and work-camps for men. Women,
children and elderly people were put into detention into ghost towns.
Japanese men were sent to prisoner of war camp because they were considered to be of
heightened threat as compared to Chinese
Japanese cars and business, horses were sold @ a fraction of their costs and the money
made from that were used to pay o