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chinese immigrants - Brandon Dieterle AGB 401 Chinese...

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Brandon Dieterle AGB 401 Chinese Culture Immigration is one of the most conversely issue in the United States today. The US is a country formed from immigrants. There have been hundreds of different cultures that have travel to the US over the last couple centuries. Each of these cultures has added their own unique cultural aspects that have created the foundation of what this country is today. The history of the Chinese immigrants that migrated to California from the mid 1800’s to the early 1900’s is by far the most diverse group of immigrants that came to the United States today. To clearly understand how diverse and extraordinary this migrant group was we need to first be aware of exactly what diversity is. Diversity is something made up of distinct characteristics, qualities, or elements. During the Gold Rush was when the first group of Chinese immigrants showed up in California. As the Chinese immigrants made their way to California in hope of “strike-it-rich” with the Gold Rush they often faced racism upon arrival to California. New England merchants and shippers that had previously done business with the Chinese had already label Chinese traders as crafty, scheming, dishonest, and cowardly. The Chinese immigrants were forced to stick together as a group to insure their protection from racism. Quickly the “strike-it-rich” stories were found to be not as promising as they were made to sound. The Chinese began to search for work in other industries. The Central Pacific Railroad was on the search for laborers to insure the railroad was built in a timely fashion. The only problem was top foremen assigned to higher Chinese immigrants weren’t too pleased in hiring laborers in which they thought were not fit for the job. James Strobridge, who was a “tough-minded Irish work boss of the Central Pacific, was ordered to hire Chinese men he exploded with rage and said ‘I will not boss Chinese. I will not be
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Brandon Dieterle AGB 401 responsible for work done on the road by Chinese labor. From what I've seen of them, they're not fit laborers anyway. I don't think they can build a railroad.’"(Stan Steiner, p128-140) His contempt was common in fact Leland Stanford the governor of California and one of the owners of the Central Pacific Railroad said, “Chinese emigrants as a "degraded" people who were the "dregs of Asia." They were unfit for honest labor.”(Stan Steiner, p128-140) This made it quite difficult for the Chinese to actual obtain a job even at the railroad. Finally Strobridge decided to hire fifty Chinese laborers and gave them mindless task such as filling dump carts; getting tools and doing task that were light duty. After weeks of Strobridge observing the Chinese workers work ethics he decided to allow them to put a crew together to work at grading the roadbed for the tracks. Strobridge was willing to risk them possible messing up to see how well they could handle the task of heavy duty labor.
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