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HIST 325 (17)

hist 325-1.docx

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HIST 325
Jonathan Newell

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Lecture: Race-based Exclusion and Ideas of Citizenship in the 1920s: Post-WWI Policies on Chinese and Japanese in Canada  The Vote o Federally, 1885 Electoral FranchiseAct explicitly denied Chinese-Canadians the right to vote o 1898, new legislation extended franchise toAsian voters o 1920, new electoral law exception to universal suffrage: if a province discriminated against a group by reason of race, that group would also be excluded from the federal franchise, meaning that BC residents of Chinese, Japanese, and SouthAsian background lost right to vote in national elections (Chinese in Saskatchewan) o After WWI, official discrimination againstAsians began to dissipate: restrictions on immigration from Asian countries eased and prejudicial laws were revoked o 1947, Chinese- and SouthAsian- Canadians regained right to vote, Japanese-Canadians followed in 1949 (later than others because of Pearl Harbour event and internment camps) o Denial of franchise had far-reaching implications because provincial law also required that pharmacists, lawyers, and provincial and municipal civil servants be registered on voters’list o As a result, Canadians of Japanese and Chinese origin were barred from these professions  BC o BC had long history of such discrimination: when it entered Confederation, 61.7% of province’s population was ofAboriginal or Chinese origin, while people of British origin accounted for 29.6% of population o Measures excludingAboriginal and Oriental people from franchise were extended as th immigration increased toward end of 19 century o In BC, people of Chinese ancestry were denied vote from Confederation o Provincial government extended ban to Japanese in 1895 and SouthAsians (mainly Sikhs from India) in 1907  Significance of 1920s o Politicians and others took active role in discriminating against all ethnic groups other than whiteAnglo-Saxons o Discrimination was stronger in this decade than any other o Interval between World Wars saw spread of antagonism toward minority groups.A degree of mistrust or suspicion of ‘aliens’had persisted since WWI o Racism against Chinese and other immigrant groups (Japanese and South Asians) and againstAboriginals were expressions of white superiority and economic power o Slowly changed post-WWII: introduction of human rights legislation internationally and nationally limited discrimination based on race, sexuality, religion nationally, provincially, and municipally  Chinese ExclusionAct 1923 o 1885 Chinese ImmigrationAct: the Chinese Head T
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