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For their work, including those handling explosives, they received a flat salary below that of all white workers.In 1869, when tracks from east and west were joined at Promontory Point, Utah, no Chinese were allowed to attend the ceremony.From that point on, the Central Pacific actively recruited Chinese workers, even printing handbills in Chinese and sending recruiters to China. Within two years, 12,000 Chinese worked for the Central Pacific Railroad, a number accounting for 90 percent of its workforce. Notwithstanding the demand for Chinese labor, they were mistreated.The Chinese could not attain the higher positions offered to whites.Management countered by threatening to hire Chinese worker to prevent the strike, yet hired Chinese workers anyway.Despite initial misgivings over the Chinese being too delicate for the work, the initial crews of Chinese workers proved to be as hard working as whites and accepted less pay.The mistreatment of Asians was also common in Hawaii, a site of major immigration from China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines.Although Hawaii was not an official territory of the United States until the passage of the Hawaii Organic Act in 1900, American sugar companies established large plantations over much of the country around the middle of the 19th Century, turning Hawaii into something of an economic colony of the United States.
The Opium Wars of 1839--60 against Great Britain also inflicted economic devastation. The Qing government of China, having lost to Britain in both conflicts, was forced to pay reparations. The full curriculum guide is available for download here.“GOLD MOUNTAIN” AND THE ROOTS OF ASIAN AMERICAN IMMIGRATION Asian immigration to central North America predates the existence of the United States.Those unlucky enough not to be pulled up before the dynamite exploded, perished.Many Chinese also died from harsh weather conditions.
The tax was not uniformly collected and Chinese miners were frequently forced to pay more than they owed.