The Push of Prejudice: Chinese Migration to New York
Suggested Teaching Instructions
This question is based on the accompanying documents. It has been created in order to test your ability to work with historical documents. Some of these documents have been edited for the purposes of this question. As you analyze the documents, try to understand the source of the document and any point of view that is presented in the document.
Historical context: In 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in Sacramento, California. Great numbers of Chinese immigrants entered the western U.S. in the gold rush that followed. When the gold rush ended, Chinese laborers worked on the transcontinental railroad, and thousands more were encouraged to immigrate as laborers. After the railroad was completed, tension increased as Chinese immigrant laborers competed for jobs with white labor. White labor retaliated with discrimination and mob violence, driving many Chinese eastward to New York. The completion of the railroad system also made it easier for immigrants on the West coast of the United States to travel eastward as they looked for work and tried to escape prejudice. By 1880, a growing Chinatown was flourishing in New York City, and a smaller number of Chinese had begun settling in other New York State cities, including Albany.
Task: Using information from the following documents and your own knowledge of history, answer the questions that follow each document in Part A. Your answers to the questions will help you to accomplish the writing assignment given in Part B.
Part A Short-Answer Questions
Directions: Read and analyze the documents and answer the short-answer questions in the space provided. Prepare for the reading of the document(s) by studying vocabulary definitions that are given before each document.
Using information from at least six of the documents in Part A to support your thinking, and your own knowledge of history, write an essay describing the experience of Chinese immigrants to the United States. Explain the type of work Chinese laborers did, the response of American labor to Chinese immigrants, and the migration pattern that resulted from anti-Chinese prejudice in the western United States. Your essay should be well-organized and include an introduction, at least three paragraphs, and a conclusion.