Chinese Working Class

1507 Words 7 Pages
In the late nineteenth century, the majority of people coming into the United States were from European countries, and the Chinese immigrants were in the minority. However, these European immigrants felt threatened by the Chinese, and they wanted to stop them from coming in despite their small numbers. Even though the United States claimed that all men are created equal, it still felt compelled to exclude people based on their race and nationality. The United States was built upon the basic democratic ideals of equality, freedom, and prosperity, but through the Chinese Exclusion Act the United States abandoned these ideals in order to fight for a white nation; however, the few people who spoke out against the cries of exclusion believed in …show more content…
They believed that they should “organize and raise our voices against low wages and long hours. Let us use our organized power against the capitalistic combinations that carry on a slave trade between this country and China . . . Let our first stand be against those rich and intelligent thieves who strive to perpetuate and establish a system of overwork and starvation pay.” The working class should not fight against the Chinese because they are coming as cheap labor. They should fight, along with the Chinese, against the rich who are able to pay more but instead chose to hire cheap laborers and pocket the rest of the money. The Chinese would not be able to fix the situation if they leave the United States, but the rich can fix it by increasing wages for everyone. However, they can only do this if the majority of the working class turns on them and demands for better wages and working conditions. When the Chinese people leave, the rich will only find another group of people who will fill in as cheap laborers. Furthermore, the Chinese population was extremely small, but they were still seen as people who brought negative consequences with them that impacted everyone. From 1849 to 1882, about 300,000 Chinese immigrated to the …show more content…
This treaty was called the Burlingame Treaty, and it was drafted in 1868. This treaty “dealt with the question of Chinese immigration to America as part of American policy looking to the development of trade and economic relations between the United States and China in a cooperative spirit.” America wanted to establish trade relations with the Chinese government, so it allowed Chinese to immigrate to America. Also, the Burlingame Treaty promised to give these Chinese immigrants the same rights and freedoms that any other nationality received. However, the Chinese were not treated with the rights and freedoms they were supposedly granted in this treaty. In fact, they were “often annoyed and harassed by overzealous inspectors and United States marshals, who, at times, without a word of warning, surround a community of Chinese, herd them together, and demand the immediate production of their registration certificates . . . if no such evidence is found on their persons, they are placed in confinement.” The treaty granted the Chinese the rights that all other immigrants had in America, but there were no other group of immigrants who were subjected to this kind of treatment. Therefore, the Chinese were obviously not given the privilege to freely roam around their cities because they were always suspected of being illegally in America. This treaty was not

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