Despite their hard work, the Chinese experienced discrimination for generations after the completion of the railroad. California laws prevented them from being admitted as witnesses in court, voting, and becoming naturalized citizens. Chinese schoolchildren were also subject to segregation.
How did the railroad affect immigrants?
For immigrants to the United States, the Transcontinental Railroad presented an opportunity to seek their fortunes in the West. There, they found more opportunity than the port cities of the East Coast, where discrimination kept immigrants living in urban squalor.
What happened to Chinese Americans in the decades after completion of the transcontinental railroad?
Nearly two decades after the railroad’s completion, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 banned Chinese laborers from entering the U.S. Chinese immigrants already in America were kept from becoming citizens. … Both federal employees, Hsiao and Yu are also descendants of transcontinental railroad workers.
Why did Chinese immigrants leave their homeland?
The mass emigration, which occurred from the 19th century to 1949, was mainly caused by corruption, starvation, and war in mainland China, and economic opportunities abroad such as the California gold rush in 1849.
What difficulties did Chinese immigrants face?
Even as they struggled to find work, Chinese immigrants were also fighting for their lives. During their first few decades in the United States, they endured an epidemic of violent racist attacks, a campaign of persecution and murder that today seems shocking.
Why do Chinese move to USA?
Most came from Southern China looking for a better life; escaping a high rate of poverty left after the Taiping Rebellion. This immigration may have been as high as 90% male as most immigrated with the thought of returning home to start a new life.