California Gold Rush Chinese Immigration

Powerful Essays
The Gold Rush, beginning in 1848 and ending in 1855, was a period in American history which opened the doors of opportunity to a new group of immigrants, the Chinese. The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill, California, in 1848 was the cause of mass Chinese immigration that would last for decades to come. When James Marshall discovered gold in 1848, there were fifty-four recorded Chinese in California, this number quickly rose to 116,000 by 1876. Title (Chinese Immigration During the Gold Rush: The American Encounter) The California Gold Rush allowed for immigrants, such as the Chinese, to encounter the various beliefs and suspicions of the American society. One of the many results of the Chinese experience was the Chinese Exclusion Act, which…show more content…
The California Gold Rush was amongst one of the many attractions that America offered. However, the Chinese immigrants had many difficulties on their way to following the American Dream. An obstacle they had to overcome was the laws of their imperial monarchy of the time, the Qing dynasty of China. Their rule, which lasted from 1875 to 1908, had opposing views on the working class of China migrating to America and is what postponed immigration for many Chinese people. Those who were able to immigrate were second and third class and often came without much wealth, enduring the poor living conditions on their transportation, with small cabins and terrible food. When the Chinese arrived, they would wait for days, even months in the barracks of the immigration station for their interrogation that would allow them to gain entry into the United States. Their journey to America was rough, and there was almost no support for the immigrants. While living in America, the mass majority of Chinese immigrants were poor and experienced terrible living and working conditions. Many died from the toxic chemicals in the gold mines, and from the diseases transmitted from one worker to another. Often, supervisors of the mines would take advantage of the Chinese workers’ inexperience and would pay them low wages for dangerous…show more content…
Currently, the population of people with Chinese descent in America reaches to 1.2%, which accounts to an estimated 3.8 million people. This all started with the Gold Rush, which let two completely opposite cultures that had never interacted before encounter their differences. The religious and cultural exchanges between the American and Chinese societies occurred with many difficulties of acceptance and tolerance, resulting in the diverse American society of present day. After differences between the two cultures were overcome, the Gold Rush opened the doors of exploration for many generations of not only Chinese immigrants, but all Asian ethnicities to follow. Many immigrants would later follow in their footsteps to find what America has to offer them. Interviews Chinese immigration helped pave the road for Asian immigration in America. As quoted from Justice Harry A. Blackmun, "One last word: Diversity yields strength. To oppose it is to ignore and violate the American testament and its precious dream." The Gold Rush, an event which lasted only a decade yet so crucial to American history in more ways than one, had an everlasting impact on the society that Americans live in today. Although their ethnic and cultural background may be different from other immigrants in the U.S., the Chinese immigrants helped shape and construct
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