tv 19th Century Chinese Immigration CSPAN April 16, 2017 12:40pm-1:41pm EDT
view our tv schedule, preview upcoming programs, and watch college lectures, museum tours, archival films, and more. american history tv at c-span.org/history. >> on lectures in history, university of mary washington professor kristin moon teaches a class about anti-immigration laws in the 19th century, focusing on chinese immigrants. she describes how an influx of chinese immigrants on the west coast during the 1800s but to local and federal registration attempting to ban immigrants from china. the chinese exclusion act was the first federal law to target a particular population based on nation of origin. her class is about 45 minutes. prof. moon: as i mentioned, chinese immigrants call in relatively small numbers compared to those from europe, but they were symbolically
central to american anxieties related to immigration and who could and who could not become a u.s. citizen. often chinese immigrants, the issues start in california and from that moment in california in the 1850's and 1860's, comes a national phenomenon that will ultimately lead to our first legislation on the federal level that targets a particular nation of origin. in terms of the chinese immigration, there are three major issues that people often focused on. that is racial attitudes in the 19th century. there are notions of inferiority and superiority that affected chinese immigrants. people of european ancestry often saw asians in general as inferior. they were also concerned about practices.
the majority of chinese coming to the united states, although not all, were not christian. they practiced a mixture of it -- buddism and taoism. in california, people were concerned that chinese immigrants were taking jobs from the white working classes. they were also worried that they were taking claims during the gold rush from the same individuals. there was an idea that something needed to be done to stop them from coming into the country. i added this particular cartoon to this slide. this is liberty protecting the hard-working chinese immigrant from the rabble. if you notice, it is very
sympathetic to chinese immigrants. in the background, it looks like an african-american school had been burned, and there is more in the background, as well. the racial politics of the 19th century are pointed out, and how the experiences of african americans and chinese immigrants at the time often overlapped and complemented each other. as i mentioned earlier, chinese immigration and the varieties tied it to chinese immigration started in the 1850's and it started in california. it plays out in three ways. everyday lives and popular culture and local and state laws, and in the courts. in everyday life and popular culture, what we see in the 1850's is a language that emerges that denigrates chinese
immigrants and their day-to-day practices. these often focus on religious traditions and is tied to the types of jobs they had viewed when we talked about chinese immigrants last week, they stepped into what was traditionally women's work, laundry's and restaurants, so people questioned their masculinity. in gold rush california, there were not that many women to do these types of jobs. they were ridiculed because of the way they dressed and their hair. people of european ancestry, men in particular, wore short hair. to where lear longhair at that time was seen as effeminate. also, food. in the 1850's, chinese food was
used as another point of derision among those who wanted to ban chinese immigrants. there is massive violence. this starts run 1852 and served in the digging. we have what are called roundups and drive else pushing chinese immigrants out of the mines. this becomes larger and larger throughout the late 19th century. one of the more famous moments does not happen in the digging but in los angeles in 1871. it is known as the chinese massacre. in the chinese massacre, there were two tongs, if you remember, we talked about those that these community organizations that anyone could join but often
participated in vice. two were fighting over who would control prostitution in the city. two police officers got caught in the fray and were killed. local whites were outraged and decided they needed to clean up los angeles and drive the chinese out. as a result, we had hundreds of people attacked, shot and lynch. 24 died. there will be other incidents like this throughout the west targeting chinese. finally, we have state and local governments. many of the anxieties we are seeing in terms of language, violence, will become codified in california both in terms of the law and the courts. what i have here, these are a couple of examples. this is not the full list.
i could not fit on one slide we don't have all days to do every single law that affected chinese immigrants in the 1850's in the 1860's. i wanted to give you at least the flavor of the types of laws that were being passed and how they were targeting chinese. first is the foreign minors act -- miners act. this was based on an earlier law that targeted spanish and french speakers. basically the law said that if you could not or did not intend to become a u.s. citizen, you had to pay a monthly tax in order to be a miner. if you remember from monday, we talked about there was one group of people who even if they wanted to become a u.s. citizen, could not. those were people of asian ancestry. that is tied to the 1790's naturalization act.
that only allowed free, white persons to become naturalized u.s. citizens. two years later, the california supreme court also deals with this particular issue in terms of chinese immigrants and their role in american society in people versus hall. george w. hall, his first name is george, sometimes i forget and call him john but it is george. he had killed a chinese immigrant. there were four witnesses to the event, three of whom were chinese immigrants and one was white. they all testified against hall and he was found guilty of murder. he appealed to the supreme court california and set a person of chinese ancestry should not be able to testify against a white person. in california as elsewhere during the antebellum period,
african-americans and native americans cannot testify against white people. the california supreme court agrees with hall and says yes, chinese immigrants are also not white, and therefore they too cannot testify against a white person. you see these types of rules all through the american south. here in virginia, for example, free slaves could not testify against a white person even if they committed murder. natalie? student: [indiscernible] prof. moon: because there was at least one white person, that charges would stand, but the testimony from the chinese immigrants would not.
so decapitation act of 1855, it is interesting the california tried to do this. on monday we talked about the passenger laws the supreme court had already ruled on that states could not regulate and manage immigration. immigration is a federal issue, not a state one. in 1855, california decided to pass a tax that said that see captains pay $50 per chinese immigrant brought in to the united states. 1860, we have the california school law. some jurisdictions were already segregating schools, but this was a state law that required all school districts in the state of california to segregate schools. people of african, native american, and asian ancestry could not go to school with white children. we are going to talk about that
a little more later on, the implications of that. the pew ordinance, that is tied to the issue of hair, it is a san francisco city ordinance that allowed the sheriff, if they arrested and jailed a chinese immigrant, to have the right to cut their hair off. for chinese immigrants, this is usually problematic because of course, they are wearing hair in a braid because of mandates under the ch'ing dynasty, and it is also a cultural practice tied to their identity, tied to their chinese citizenship, they cannot become u.s. citizens. with their hair cut, they cannot go back to china. it is fraught with issues for chinese immigrants. finally, anti-miscegenation amendment that altered laws to include people of
"mongolian descent." we see this throughout the united states, but california is first to target people of asian ancestry. i know i have been going fast for some of this material, but do you have any questions? pretty straightforward. you are giving me a yes. this is actually one of the images that emerges related to the politics -- natalie? student: [indiscernible] is it only against white people that they can't testify? prof. moon: yes. this starts really in the u.s.
south with free slaves not being able to testify against white people and it is just an expansion of that practice. this is a political cartoon -- tai. student: is that tied to eugenics? prof. moon: this is before eugenics becomes popular, but that has a long history in the century. this is a political cartoon. this is george gorham, a republican in the state of california who is promoting racial equality. this cartoon is a satire. he is holding the weight of non-white people on his shoulder as he is trying to promote the ballot box, which uncle sam has put his hand over and he is wagging his finger at him. this is more tied to your
eugenics comment, who is this? right, it is charles darwin with an upright monkey. it is ridiculing people who want racial equality, saying that in the future, monkeys will be voting, as well. most of what we have been talking about in terms of the anti-immigrant or anti-chinese immigrant movement has been in california in the 1850's and 1860's. that is going to change and become a national phenomenon around 1870. there are both cultural and economic reasons for why that is happening. first i will talk about the cultural ones. it is tied to a poem.
that is the actual title but most americans knew it by this title. it was basically a poem about two crooked gamblers in the west, one was chinese and one was of european ancestry, who are cheating each other. the chinese immigrant gets caught, and the white gambler calls him a heathen chinese. that is how it ends. for most americans, this poem resonates with the issues and problems tied to chinese immigration. i don't think the intention was to vilify just chinese immigrants, but that is what it became. it became a national success, so
popular that people wrote songs based upon the poem, there were variety acts, it was published in newspapers, and people used it to spin off other caricatures on the national level of chinese immigrants. many of the same language we talked about before in terms of hair and food and clothing, now thanks to this poem, starts to circulate on the national level, and become hugely popular. the bigger components are the economic factors tied to chinese immigration that emerge in the late 1860's and early 1870's. that really starts with the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869. with the completion of the railroad, now both people and goods can travel at rates we have never seen before across the united states.
very quickly by 1870, we see chinese immigrants being recruited out of the west to go and work in factories in the east. also as strike breakers. this creates a lot of animosity with white workers on the east coast. what also compels the issue is that you have goods from the east coast going to san francisco and competing in local markets. a market that was once dominated by cities like san francisco now have competition and you have a mini recession on the western seaboard as a result. all of a sudden, the prices of goods go down because the market is getting flooded, and there are not as many jobs. one additional issue happens in 1873, because of manipulations of the stock market in new york, the united states goes into a
massive depression. it affects everybody in the country. this scenario tied to jobs, goods, this depression, basically becomes fodder for people looking for somebody to blame for the economic problems that the country is facing. instead of looking at the country's elite, often times the white working classes would target the even more marginalized and dispossessed people than they were. chinese immigrants. the person who takes that and brings language to it is a man called dennis kearney. he is an irish and a great -- immigrant, and he arrives in san francisco in 1868.
he has a small carting business that eventually goes belly up. because he has some free time, he goes to the sand lots. this is an image of what the sand lots are. this is san francisco city hall in the background. at the sand lots, you would have massive rallies going on like this one. if you notice the signage, you have signage about the chinese must go sort of thing. dennis kearney starts turning the sand lots and eventually what he starts to do is speaking out at the sand lots and particularly targeting chinese. he is known for the phrase "the chinese must go," which becomes a rallying cry for the white working classes. eventually he becomes the president of the working men's party of california and goes on a national speaking tour throughout the country, visiting various working men, party
members promoting the ban on chinese immigrants. the only way to protect white working classes is to stop chinese immigration. any questions? student: [indiscernible] -- that student: [indiscernible] -- that you can pay them less and less as workers? prof. moon: the issue is twofold, they are taking their jobs well they are on strike and the point of the strike is to hurt the owner, but often times industrialists preferred to hire chinese immigrants because of the racialized pays go, they thought they could pay them less. i'm sure they would love to make more money but they weren't able to. any other questions? all right. it is the ideas we see in popular culture that are being promoted by people like dennis kearney that ultimately lead to
conversations within u.s. congress and the white house for a ban on chinese immigration. starts about the same time that you have people like dennis kearney in the sand lots happening in washington, d.c. it is led surprisingly by members of the california caucus in both the house and senate. but they had some problems. they had major problems. he kept by the 1870's, we have passed the 14th and 15th amendments, which promotes the idea of equal protection under the law. we also have the burlingame treaty of 1868. this was promulgated by a man named anson, i will write his name right here. there you go. anson burlingame, who had been the u.s. minister to china.
the chinese foreign office wanted to renegotiate its treaty with the united states, particularly related to trade relations. burlingame also had received requests from chinese companies to ask them to add special language tied to the experiences of chinese immigrants. you don't need to write this down, but i want to read you the link which that ultimately ends up in the treaty. it says chinese subjects visiting orbital siding -- or residing in the united states shall enjoy the same privileges, immunities and exceptions in respect to travel or residence, as may be enjoyed by the citizens or subjects of the most favored nation. so basically, this statement in the burlingame treaty made it very clear that chinese immigrants need to be treated equitably in the united states. the idea of pursuing federal law to ban chinese immigration could
potentially be a diplomatic nightmare for the united states. nevertheless, the california caucus very quickly starts to pursue federal legislation come and it starts with a man named horace page. horace page was a republican member of the house of representatives from the state of california. in 1875, he felt the time was right to submit a whole series of pieces of legislation, hoping one of them might be acceptable to his colleagues and eventually passed.
and would somehow curtail chinese immigration. he chose this moment in part because of ulysses s. grant, he has been making, to the last few years that were clearly directed toward possibly a ban toward chinese immigrants. he was making comments about the problems typed chinese immigration. also what is lesser known about ulysses s. grant, he was a member of the know nothing party and often held some anti-immigrant views in the past. so he was very hopeful he might be able to get something through. unfortunately for him, only one day. we call it the page law after him, in 1875. it is racially and nationally neutral, it bans the immigration of prostitutes and criminals. the issue was, and for the chinese, that immigration inspectors basically presumed with the passage of this law that every chinese immigrant woman was by default it prostitute and would be treated
as such until they proved to the contrary. chinese immigrant women started to be targeted. nevertheless, despite passage of that law, it would take another four years for the california delegation to try to put forth another piece of legislation, and that next one is the 15 passenger bill in 1879. this basically limited the number of chinese could be on any ship to 15 persons. the hope was that this law would be enough of a regulation to curb chinese immigration, but also preserve the 14th and 15th amendment and the early game treaty. unfortunately for the california caucus and then president of the united states, rutherford b. hayes refused to sign it.
he said you have to change the burlingame treaty before i will touch any sort of limitation on chinese immigration. so that is what they did. in 1880, the then president sent james angel, hence the angel treaty, james angel, to china to revise the burlingame treaty. and in particular, to change the language about equal protection in terms of u.s. law. natalie? student: [indiscernible] prof. moon: that is completely different. so james angel is not able to get the chinese to agree to an
outright ban, but they do agree to a temporary suspension of chinese immigration. and so that is immediately what the california members of congress pursue. it first starts with the u.s. senate, with a senator named john miller. john miller. who wants to set up a temporary ban that would stop chinese immigration for 20 years. what is interesting is that during the debates, senator -- a republican senator from massachusetts, and i will write his name for you. he was very vocal against any such ban and noted that it was a clear infringement on the 14th and 15th amendments.
he was a radical republican and had been fully invested in these ideas of racial equality, and that the federal government's role in promoting those ideas and value. needless to say, president chester arthur vetoes miller's idea saying basically, this one is too close to a complete ban and we need to be available -- need to reevaluate and think of a different way of handling it. in steps horace page, and he created an alternative law imaging chinese immigrants for a 10 year period as opposed to 20, and creating a category for exemptions. those exemptions would include teachers, missionaries, merchants, students, some family
members, so your children, and pretty much that is it. everybody was willing to sign this into law in 1982, we have the first piece of legislation that targets a particular population based on nation of origin. the chinese exclusion act. 10 years later, in 1892, it was revisited. it was not only reaffirmed but it was expanded to include certificates of identity,
certificates of identity. these are documents that chinese immigrants were required to have on their person at all times and any official could ask them to produce. they could be arrested and possibly deported. ok? as you might imagine, it was a bit controversial. 10 years after that, the passage of the scott act which renewed the chinese exclusion act and expanded it geographically. we had the spanish-american war in 19and the philippines and hawaii , which had large chinese populations, they cannot accept chinese. in 1904, as a result of a decision by congress -- it is
silly for us to keep renewing this, we are not worried about the diplomatic issues,populations, they decided to make the chinese exclusion act permanent. it's permanent for almost 40 years and finally repealed in 1943. what is going on in 1943 in the united states? louder. >> world war ii. >> who is our ally? >> china. >> right. the chinese exclusion act becomes a bit of a political problem for us and our ally. and the theme of the war which is this war for democracy and freedom overseas. as the chinese rayleigh point out, look at how you treat chinese immigrants. the madison act repeals the chinese exclusion act, allows them to be naturalized uteruses
-- u.s. citizens but creates a quota. only 100 chinese in the united states per year. it is not much of a real at all. that will not change until the 1960's. this is actually from 1882. the chinese exclusion act. uncle sam has a bucket of mortar and you have other what immigrants with building blocks to build a wall keep out chinese immigrants. there is one african-american that is assisting as well. today, i would like to and -- talk about the courts and how chinese immigrants, despite all of these laws experiences,
violence that they had deal with in the 19th and early a 20th century, they embrace the u.s. court system as a way to fight for their rights in the united. they did it again and again and again. some places, they were very successful and others they were not. for our purposes today, i will not do the cases, hundreds of them involving chinese anger -- immigrants, demanding legal entry, citizenship. trying to marry someone. we have numerous cases but i will focus on these three issues. segregated schools, equal production, people being traded equitably under the law and naturalization. i want to talk about the safe family. mary and joseph, i am running out of space.
hopefully -- mary and joseph were chinese immigrants. she had been adopted by missionaries converted to christianity. they met in san francisco and had two children. like most parents, they wanted the children to go to a neighborhood school. however, in san francisco, chinese immigrants and their children -- they are american citizens -- they were not allowed to go to school.
they had to go to a segregated school. it would be known as oriental school number one. the tapes refused, they demanded the children be allowed to attend the school closest to their home. this case was heard by the california supreme ordered. the california summary or and ruled in their favor. children bethey were right. their children should be able to for -- go to the school closest to their home, regardless of their parents and century. unfortunately for the tapes, the school board told them the school is full and there is no room to them. and they went to a segregated
school and what was amazing, this was a legal precedent in 1954. a lot of people don't even know about them and their story. for chinese immigrants and their children, the u.s. supreme court would weigh in on the issue. it should be 1927. a chinese government living in mississippi. if you remember, we talked earlier, last week, but how there was a small subset of chinese immigrants in the deep south and the delta region. his daughter -- i will squeeze martha here. martha wanted to go to high school. she showed up for the first day
of school, attended classes in the morning and the principal called her into the office and said you cannot be here. of course, she asked why / y. you are on chinese ancestry. it went to the u.s. supreme court. unfortunately for her and other americans, they stated the separate but equal clause which emerges also applies to public schools and therefore states like mississippi can force chinese american children to go to a segregated school. any questions about those cases? let's move to the issue of equal protection. this happened in the california supreme court so just remember
that. some of this will be u.s. courts and some are state courts but the equal protection is from california supreme word. court. this was extraordinary for numerous reasons. forcing him to pay a tax and wanting to be a minor in california. it is over other populations. the california supreme court ruled and states, yes, this california legislators should not be passing laws that targeted bridgette to their group. what is amazing is it is an aching to these you. in 1862. we see a change in the system related to this issue.
when you start to see major change would be after the civil war and after the passage of the for team amendment. we have the case. it involved two city ordinances. 500 cubic feet of living space. and her home did not. he was then fined for the size of the some and refused to pay that fine, $10. he was arrested and put in jail. remember that. the cqueue ordinance. the sheriff cut his hair because he was in jail.
the california supreme court focused on the ordinance and the city of san francisco. it unfairly targeted chinese immigrants -- some part of the punishment in terms of not paying the fine. we then have 1880, another california supreme court ruling. i ran out of space on the side -- 1852, the state of california passed a law that forbade for or taxed chinese fisherman. he demanded that under the 14th and 15th amendment that he
should be treated actively like other fisherman in california. and he won. again, what is fascinating -- sequel protections seems to be resonating with the california supreme court. the last case in terms of equal protection and want to talk about is 1886. this is one of the most famous that have come out of california at this time. a laundry owner and there was another case and there were multiple laundry owners. he had basically been targeted by the local sheriff and find
over a local city ordinance and sent to scope that required laundries been building up rick or stone. in san francisco at that time, 320 laundries. 240 were owned by chinese immigrants. the only one that seemed to be targeted where the ones owned by chinese immigrants. it was argued that even though the itself was not necessarily racially or nationally civic, implementation was. the court sided with them as well that this was a violation of the 14th amendment. what is interesting is this would have overturned the courts plessy versus morrison.
the last thing i want to talk about is the issue of naturalization. i will talk about it out of order because i want to end on a high note so we will talk about it and talk about the photo you can see who he is. there are many cases in this 1870's of chinese immigrants trying to become u.s. citizens and try a to be denied because of the 1790 naturalization act. it is the last major one of these cases in the federal court. we don't know much about it. other that he was living in california and tried to become a naturalized u.s. citizen.
the local courts opposed it. because he was not of european interest the or african, he could not become a citizen. by this timeby this time, we have asked the naturalization act of 1870 which also included african-americans. that was tied to codes in the east and wanting to protect the enfranchisement of african-american men. it becomes complicated. night, night has a long story but tonight is a mixed interest rate. his father was an englishman. his mother was chinese and japanese interest rate. they had met and married in shanghai.
in 1882, he has a job at the u.s. navy and he works on ships in the pacific. in 1892, he finally ended up in the united dates. he wanted to become a u.s. big because of the u.s. and century, they decided to address the issue. they decided against him. this is what we call blood quantum. it is pertinent to american nationalization policy. let's talk about the u.s..
that is a high note amongst all of the serious court cases we have been talking about and a high note in terms of the screen to his of chinese immigrants in the 19th and early 20th century. 1873, san francisco, in san francisco. in 1894, he decided to go to southern china to visit with family and friends and in 1895, he returned back to san francisco thinking he was coming home. the immigration inspector said now because you are not a u.s. citizen. he sued. said no, i am a u.s. citizen based upon british common law. we have talked about this. right?
the law, the sun. if you are born on u.s. soil, no matter what, your parents nation of origin, racial background, you are automatically entitled to u.s. citizenship. this ends up in the u.s. supreme court and he wins. this becomes the law of the land. it was revisited in 2010 by the u.s. supreme court related to undocumented immigrants. thiswhat, you are a u.s.this idea, if you were born in the united states, and a lot of citizen which gives hope to chinese-americans that they can have some sort of political voice in the united states and
substantial change. on that note, i will end today's lecture. do not forget to do the reading for friday. i will finish up the other stuff too. all right. visit our website, c-span.org/history. you can watch college lectures, museum tours, archival films and more. american history tv at c-span.org/history. >> check out our c-span classroom website. free teaching resources for free classroom members. the improved layout gives teachers access to -- including short current events videos. constitution clips that bring the constitution to life. .ocial study lesson plans
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>> we are here in the second bank of the united states, a historic building part of independence national park here in philadelphia. the second bank was literally the fort knox of its day. the building has been restored on the exterior. you can see how it looked when it was brand-new. inside what we have is a fine to tell the story of what it looks -- what it was like to live in 18th century america, the world that those people knew and the world revolution built. this was a woman who lived in philadelphia from the colonial period into the early 19th century. this was a private commission. painthite morris paid to this picture of her in the early
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