Chinese Immigrants

By: Ryan Vachon-Sacrey

Chinese Immigrants on the Transcontinental Railroad

Ryan Vachon-Sacrey

Mrs. Haas

Social Studies

18 March 2016

Throughout history, people have treated newcomers like they did not belong. For example, in the U.S this has happened several times including with immigrants. People from the United States treated immigrants from China like they were not humans and used them as workers. This is a time when human lives were less important than the expansion of the United States.

Chinese immigrants started coming to the United States in 1850, their landing place was in California. One of the only reasons they were allowed over was so the railroad companies could hire them for hard labor and they hoped they would die during their work. These people were looking for a new life and were desperate for money to provide for their families. Around the same time these people settled in, the Union Pacific Railroad Company and the Central Pacific Company began work in 1862. The Central Pacific Company started in the West where the Chinese immigrants were. There was about enough space for 4000 men and the company usually had around 800 men at a time. The Chinese were their first choice because there were so many of them and they were ready for work. The Chinese immigrants were paid much less than the other workers but they continued to work. Making 31 dollars a month they would never be able to afford to support their family. When they reached mountains they had to somehow get through the hard rock so they had the Chinese workers go in with nitro glycerin to blow through the rock. This explosive is very dangerous and a lot of the workers were killed from this. The employers only cared about getting the railroad done and did not value the workers lives.

This treatment was unfair considering they were only looking for a new life. These Chinese workers were not treated as if they other humans and were counted on to die while working. They were definitely not welcomed and their lives were less important than the expansion of the U.S.

Picture Collage

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How the Chinese Built America: Hell On Wheels

Works Cited

N.d “Chinese Central Pacific Construction Crews Along the Humboldt Plains.”

<>. March 18 2016

N.d “Chinese Immigrants Working on the Transcontinental Railroad.”

<>. March 18 2016

1890 “Chinese Man Carrying Buckets.”

<>. March 18 2016

1898 “Chinese Men Working On the North Pacific Coast Railroad.”

<>. March 18 2016

N.d “Pacific Crews Building Grade and Track Through Nebraska.”

<>. March 18 2016

N.d “Pacific Construction Crews Guarding the Rail Line.”

<>. March 18 2016

N.d “Route of the First Continental Railroad.” <>. March 18 2016.

AMC. “How the Chinese Built America: Hell on Wheels.” Online Video Clip. Youtube. Google. July 14, 2015. Web. March 18 2016.