What are the origins of the three waves of Chinese immigration to the United States? What impact did they have on the American economy?
Chinese Immigration to the United States
Chinese immigrants came to America to look for fortune and to escape political conflict at home. The first wave of immigration originated in Canton, China or South China. The merchants of the Chinese-American maritime trade were the first to arrive in few numbers. In 1850, 20,000 Chinese immigrants came to settle in America to take advantage of the Gold Rush, build the transcontinental railroad, the Southern plantation fields and the Southern California agricultural and fisheries. They were also fleeing the Taiping rebellion, a Chinese religious rebellion against the Chinese dynasty that influenced the South China region. They were faced with racism in the form of massacres, special 20$ miner taxes, laws against marrying whites and they were forbidden American citizenship. Because of this discrimination, the Chinese gathered in special enclaves called Chinatowns. This discrimination resulted in the Chinese Exclusion act that stopped all immigration of Chinese except for diplomats in 1853.
The second wave was started in 1949 with the repeal act of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1943. Warren G. Magueson of Washington signed into law an act that allowed immigration and Chinese citizenship in December 7, 1943. Because of World War II, China became the ally of the United States. As a result, the United States allowed a quota of 105 immigrants to come from mainland China. After the war, the United States had separate immigration quotas for China and Taiwan, because of the relationship between democratic Taiwan government and the United States.
The third wave was the immigration of Fujianese Chinese people, who traveled to the United States during the 1980's to escape the Chinese one child policy and persecutions for the Fa Lung Gung group, a chi-kung movement. They spoke Fujianese which is a dialect of Chinese that made them a minority within the Chinese population when they moved to the United States. In addition, the PRC had many students traveling to the ...
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