Atlas of Asian-American History (Facts on File Library of by Monique Avakian

By Monique Avakian

This atlas deals an in-depth examine the political and social background of this various ethnic team. that includes distinct maps, it tells the tale of now not one staff of individuals yet many. for instance, it covers the Asian history, the chinese language in 19th-century the United States and jap and Koreans in Hawaii.

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Extra resources for Atlas of Asian-American History (Facts on File Library of American History)

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As discussed in chapter 1, thousands of migrants were driven from China both by international and civil wars, and by hunger, poverty, and the high taxes levied by the government as a result of these wars. For many poor Chinese, life at home held little hope for a better future. It was in this climate of economic hardship that news of great wealth—real and exaggerated—to be earned in California began spreading in China’s coastal cities and villages. The source of this wealth was gold—gold so abundant that the Chinese would begin calling California by a new name: Gam Saan, or Gold Mountain.

The Chinese Population of the Western United States 36 ATLAS OF ASIAN-AMERICAN HISTORY San Francisco’s Chinatown, ca. 1880 T H E B I RT H O F S A N F R A N C I S C O ’ S C H I N AT O W N During the 1850s a number of early immigrants opened shops, restaurants, and other establishments in and around San Francisco’s Portsmouth Square. These first businesses catered to the needs of miners, but even before the end of the peak years of the gold rush, San Francisco’s Chinatown had become a vibrant, self-sufficient community.

The majority of Chinese laborers, though, secured their ocean passage through the credit-ticket system. Under this arrangement, employers paid for the trip and promised a salary (always lower than that of white American workers) in exchange for a labor contract detailing a certain number of hours to be worked per day in the United States over a period of three to seven years. When this contract expired, Chinese workers were free to seek other opportunities, though many would argue that their opportunities were limited because of the subsistence-level existence they had suffered in the United States for so long.

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