Chinese Exclusion Act

By: Zachary Ledvina

What is this?

It was a law that congress passed and was signed by Chester A. Author. It was the first major act that restricted immigration. After the first ten of this law, Congress decided that since it worked so well that they would extend it until 1902 it was permanently illegal. Chinese were let back into America at 1943 and could get citizenship.
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Page One of the Act

Pros

There were some benefits that came because of the act. It allowed more job opportunities for the white Americans and because of that it allowed them to get money. Also it lowered the creation of slums. Since there was less, poor immigrants coming in meaning that areas wouldn't be overpopulated.

Cons

At the same time there were some bad things that were bad. The production line rapidly decreased within factories and railroads were being slowly made. Also the act took away not only Chinese rights but other immigrant's rights because this act made whites think that they were more superior and didn't care about anyone else equality. Finally that law made it quite ironic by saying that America is the land of the free but isn't allowing people's rights or letting them in.
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Flyer of the Act

What did the Americans think?

They only truly cared about this because there was a national fear that the immigrates would be getting all the jobs over the Americans for a lower pay. Truthfully, they really didn't want immigrates to come to America in the first places so excluding some made them happy.

What did the Chinese think?

They were very angered because they traveled all this way and now they can't come into America. Chinese were forced back to China which they had to go back to work in the hard work environment. This too affected the Chinese immigrates in America. They were viewed and discriminated poorly, also they didn't get equal rights like Americans. The Chinese were really only saw in the west making railroads and some white railroad companies wouldn't even accept them. This also happened for other work places, schools, housing, etc.
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Chinese Exclusion Act Political Cartoon

My Reaction

I don't think that the act should have been put in place at all. Although having the Chinese come in caused the creation of slums and overpopulation, it didn't allow America to combine cultures and took away the fact of America being free. If they were going to just exclude the Chinese, I say that they should have just excluded all immigrates from coming to America.