As one would expect from a publication of such stature, Harpers Weekly reported on the Chinese in America.Besides carrying articles on Sino-American relations and some of the more exotic features of Chinese culture, Harpers Weekly provided lengthy essays on aspects of the Chinese that were of interest to the public, such as opium consumption and Chinese coolies.Chinese could be found throughout the region, laboring in agriculture, mining, industry, and wherever workers were needed.
This hostility hindered efforts by the Chinese to become American.
It forced them to flee to the Chinatowns on the coasts, where they found safety and support.
Finally, Chinese workers were prevented from immigrating to America by the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
Its passage was a watershed event in American history.
Lynching, boycotts, and mass expulsions harassed the Chinese. " an anti-Chinese movement emerged that worked assiduously to deprive the Chinese of a means of making a living in the general economy.
The movements goal was to drive them out of the country.Such separations made it difficult to maintain strong family ties.As the annual quota of 105 immigrants indicates, Americas immigration policy was restrictive and particularly discriminatory against Chinese and other Asians.The earlier hostile attitude toward Chinese is a far cry from the contemporary esteem for them as a "model minority" to be emulated by others.But as the pages of Harpers Weekly document, in the 19 century, Chinese came to "Gold Mountain," as they called America, to join the "Gold Rush" that began at Sutters Mill, Sacramento, California.In spite of their indispensable role in the development of the American West, the Chinese suffered severe exploitation.They were discriminated against in terms of pay and forced to work under abysmal conditions.Between the 1890s and 1920s, the Chinese population in America declined.But the worst effect was to undermine the one thing that was most precious to the Chinese, their families.Indeed, the most recent census data indicates that they have median household incomes and educational levels higher than their White counterparts.While problems of discrimination still exist, they are mild compared to those reported in Harpers Weekly over a century ago.