9 Nov 2022


Asian American History

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 425

Pages: 1

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The Chinese immigrants came to America for various reasons. Some came after the discovery of gold in California, others were escaping the natural catastrophes in China, and others were forced out during the Tai-Ping Revolution of 1850-1964 (Matsouka & Ryujin, 1991-123). The Japanese, on the other hand, came to America in the late 1980s during the Meiji restoration period after the government attempts at industrialization and many farmers were faced with unemployment. Their immigration to America was however not crowned with the best experiences. The Asian immigrants faced many challenges that the current immigrants are facing today. This essay will compare the challenges the current immigrants face today and those faced by Asian immigrants at the time. 

The Asian immigrants faced blatant racism when they arrived in America. The government went as far as developing legislation, the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 (Goyette, 2014) that would deny them any form of citizenship including naturalization (Matsouka & Ryujin, 1991-129). Today, immigrants face the same racial problems including violent forms of racism that have led to movements such as “black lives matter.” Asians also faced job discriminations when they arrived. They were paid very little and only had the manual jobs at the farm at their disposal while all the good jobs were reserved for the whites. The Asian immigrants were also victims of xenophobia that saw them be feared and treated badly. They were perceived as a political and economic threat to the white majority. Today, Locals view immigrants as a threat and especially those of the Middle East decent. Asians and Mexicans are also seen as a threat to their jobs, and the black community is feared for violence. 

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To overcome this challenges, Asian communities developed their own community organizations now called the China towns. They were tightly knit communities insulated from the society. Chinatowns came up as a result of the legal barriers that had been put up by the government that prevented them from assimilating with other communities and to avoid racism (Goyette, 2014). Another reason why the Chinatowns developed was the increase in anti-Chinese attacks that included murder, beatings, and arson by the white laborers who were fearing that the Chinese would take up their jobs. 

The United States had not changed much from the 1800s when Asians started migrating here. The same problems that they faced are being faced by new and existing immigrants today. Just as the Asians developed their own communities that would ensure their safety, the black immigrants also live in communities that are mostly occupied by black people and the ghettos. The trump administration seems to be going the same route too by insinuating that immigrants coming from blacklisted countries are terrorist themselves. 


Matsouka and Ryujin, Donald H. (1991) "Asian American Immigrants: A Comparison of the Chinese, Japanese, and Filipinos," The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare : Vol. 18: Iss. 3, Article 8. Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/jssw/vol18/iss3/8 

Goyette, Braden. (2014). How Racism Created America’s Chinatown. Huffingtonpost.com . Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/11/american-chinatowns-history_n_6090692.html 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Asian American History.


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