Chinese Immigration To North America

Chinese Immigration to North America

This essay will show how and why the first Chinese immigrants came

to North America, the events that occured in those times, and the

contrast between how the first Chinese Canadians and the Chinese

of today have been treated.

The first immigrants that came from China to Canada began to come

soon after the American Revolutionary War. There were immigrants

before them, but very, very few. Around 1790, students, merchants, and

sailors began to come to America and Hawaii. However, between 1790 and

1850, only a few hundred Chinese came to America!

The few immigrants that returned to China around 1848 brought

news of "The Land Of The Golden Mountains" to their friends and family.

This was the time that gold was discovered in California and the Yukon.

Between 1849 (the year of the Gold Rush) and 1882, 300,000 Chinese had

come to the United States seeking a fortune in gold.

They immediatley discovered that it really wasn't what they had

expected. The "Chinese Exculsion Act" of 1882 was formed from hatred

for the Chinese immigrants. Called "coolies" and "strikebreakers", the

Chinese would work for almost nothing because they had no money. They

were despised and treated as slaves.

The Chinese immigrants were forced to live by themselves in slums

called "Chinatowns" (some of which survive today in large cities including

Vancouver.) The Chinatowns often resembles the alleys in China's cities,

because the Chinese often set up small shops and built their dwellings

with Chinese architecture in mind.

In the 1930's, Franklin Roosevelt passed the "Major Minorities

Labor Coalition" which made things far easier for the Chinese Americans.

Things remained this way until 1949. A war had been raging in China for

37 years before this, and alot of the Chinese who had come to America to

make money for their families (back in China) wanted to go home. In

1949, The People's Republic Of China was formed under Chinese

Communist rule.

After these changes had been made, things began to come together

for the Chinese-Americans who had worked so hard in a new land with a

foreign language. In 1962, John F. Kennedy welcomed 15,000 new

immigrants to the United States, because things weren't so good in China

with the Communists. But the Chinese in Canada and the United Sates had

it much better. They were accepted by the general population and had

good jobs, because they were willing to work very hard.

Today, Chinese are a part of the ethnic heritage of Canada and the

United States and are credited with helping build the situation that we

appreciate today. We have a great standard of living today, that without

all the help from not only Chinese immigrants, but all the hard-working

people that built our country, might not have been possible.

In conclusion, the Chinese who first immigrated to Canada and the

States endured many hardships and faced prejudism and hate, but

prevailed, and thrive in Canada today.

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