2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Social Science

The Surprises of Exclusion: Looking at the Pros, Cons, and Unexpected Outcomes of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
Cathy A. Clark
Dr. Steven Reschly, Faculty Mentor

Many Chinese immigrated to America in the mid-1800’s seeking new opportunities, particularly in California. The Chinese aided in the construction of the transcontinental railroad. Discrimination quickly grew against the Chinese as their numbers in the United States increased. This resulted in the Federal Chinese Exclusion Act being passed in 1882, which stopped the immigration of Chinese laborers to America. In my research, I examined the arguments made for and against the Chinese Exclusion Act and then showed the results and unexpected outcomes of the act. The main outcomes influenced Chinese family structure, gender imbalance in the United States, and also affected the United States court system. Political cartoons are especially valuable in assessing cultural attitudes in regard to Chinese immigration.

Keywords: Chinese, immigration, Exclusion Act, discrimination, political cartoon

Topic(s):History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 57-4
Location: VH 1232
Time: 3:30

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