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Lecture 7

ASIAN AM 160 Lecture 7: Asian American History Lecture 7

4 Pages

Asian American Studies
Course Code
Cheng Cindy

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Chinese Exclusion  Illegal immigration began Economic Context for Exclusion Crisis of 1870  1874 Stock Market Crash in San Francisco; inflated speculation way above market value of stocks  Bank of California closed August 1875; Terrible “70s” began  1876 drought hit farmers hard and more headed into San Francisco  Labor market tightened in 1869, completing of transcontinental railroad  By decade’s end over 30% unemployed in California  Wages for most trades cut, up to 15%  Immigration 19 century U.S. o Period of unrestricted immigration  1815-1915: Over 30 million Europeans to U.S.  1849-1882: About 300,000 Chinese to U.S.  .2% of nation’s population  1870: Chinese 8.6% of California population; 42% European immigrants Why is Economic Reason important to understand campaign of Chinese Exclusion?  Scapegoat  Amplified Racism and Xenophobia  Differences between each other is greater Anti-Chinese Violence: Expression of racism and economic frustration  People (white) were not punished  Working class people were the ones who were extremely anti-Chinese Rising Influence of Labor Unions  Rapid economic growth  Everyone was considered cheap labor  Workers tried to fight back against harsh conditions Workingmen’s Party of California  35 clubs in California  Began with critique of big corporations and government support of corporate interests  Denis Kearny: “The Chinese must go! They are stealing our jobs!”  Chinese Exclusion as platform for consolidation of labor unions and growth of membership  Powerful force in labor unions were Irish o Bottom of racial hierarchy of European immigrants o Irish wanted to find equality, so they showed that they are not like Chinese but like other white labor o Like blood unionism Nativism and the Formation of “Whiteness”  Exclusion developed white concept Whiteness and making of legitimate citizenry  Nativism: Know Nothing Party  In 1870, 42% of white population on West Coast were foreign born o Irish, British, German, Spanish, French, Italian  Transf
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