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As a Chinese American, I associate my roots with China, having traced my origin as a result of Chinese descent. The group of Chinese Americans include several different functions of East Asian Americans as well as overseas Chinese who are associated with Asian origin. I can gladly state that we have our homeland back in Mainland China, Taiwan, Macau as well as Hong Kong who came to America as a result of immigration and several other factors (Zhou, 2009). We are among the largest ethnic group in America according to statistics released in 2006. This is an indication how we are investing in the beautiful nation in the land. One can argue how I attained American Citizenship; however, the law in the United States indicate that all the ethnic Chinese that are born here are referred to as American citizens. This was as a result of the Fourteenth Amendment as well as the 1898 Wong Kim Ark verses United States Supreme court decision. We therefore swear allegiance to the laws of the United States and respect the supremacy of the President of the United States (Morn et al, 2004).
Migration of Chinese Americans
Statistics that can be obtained from the United States government records suggest that we migrated into the United States in 1820. But why did we travel all along to the United States when we had the same opportunities in our country? The main reason why this immigration was triggered was as a result of the California Gold Rush in which my ancestors wanted to participate in with their labour expertise. The groups that were attracted to this initiative were basically the groups that were specializing in mining of gold and performing menial labour. According to Chan (2006), our migration was propelled by the global expansion of capitalism that was seen in the nineteenth century.
On the other hand, Chan (2006) reflects that our migration to the United States was boosted by the presence of Americans in China. Some of the other factors that triggered this migration were the result of civil as well as ethnic unrest, natural disasters and the rapid population growth in China which affected most Chinese families. It is also important to note that we saw migrating from China as a way in which we could accumulate more and be able to sustain our families. The other factor worth mentioning and which uplifted our migration to the United States was the availability of a new steamship route that existed between Hong Kong and San Francisco and which had been established in 1867 by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company (Soennichen, 2011). We were also able to travel to the United States due to the contact that we had established with the merchants as well as American Missionaries who had come to spread the Gospel.
Settlement of the Chinese
Asians are associated as being the first settlers who inhibited Seattle and Washington. The settlements that were recorded here and which involved the Chinese was in 1789 and they integrated the native Indians (Zhou, 2009). However, we never settled in this place but we headed straight to California where there had been some Chinese settlers as a result of John Sutter’s sawmill. Most of the settlers who migrated into the United States came from Fujian and Guandong. San Francisco remains the most settled place that we inhibited as a result of the connection it had with China. Those who were found to have settled in Washington did so as a result of seeking gold in Eastern Washington (Morn et al, 2004). It is also worth mentioning that several Chinese immigrants settled in California States as well as the states that were west side of the Rocky Mountains.
The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
As a result of the migration that was witnessed as a result of the old rush, racism started to exist and there were taxes and laws that were passed with an aim of secluding the Chinese from making progress in their various orientations (Gyory, 1998). The migration increased Anti-Chinese sentiments an indication that racial tensions continued to exist by the day. Some of the miners were jealous that we could have made some fundamental progress by our presence in the United States. Immigration was limited to some Chinese who had hope to migrating to the United States by the Chinese Exclusion Act, which was termed as a black legacy. Initially, the policy was to take a maximum of ten years but was made a permanent law y an act in 1902 (Gyory, 1998). This law made the immigration come to a stop and most of us were not allowed to enter the United States for fear that we could have occupied several positions and created a lot of wealth.
The mistreatment of Chinese begun in earnest with the law being made permanent and we felt as though we were being looked down upon as well as being discriminated against. However, we never complained but remained quiet all along (Soennichen, 2011). The relationship between China and the United States took a whole new dimension as a result of the enmity between the United States and Japan, and the U.S saw China as an important ally if they were to fight off Japan (Soennichen, 2011). The act: The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was both an illustration of decades of discrimination as well as the extent of Chinese exclusion.
The paper has evaluated the Chinese Americans and how we migrated from Mainland China to our current settlement in the United States. We, according to statistics, have a large number of settlers from Chinese descendant living in California as well as parts of Washington where we had gone to work as labourers in the gold mines. There were several challenges that we faced before our close links to the nation and this included being discriminated against in the fear that we could have prospered. This was even made clear with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 but which was later removed.
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