Free Essay: The Chinese Exclusion Act, and the Trajectory of California History

Published: 2023-07-12
Free Essay: The Chinese Exclusion Act, and the Trajectory of California History
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Race United States Immigration Law Asia
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 892 words
8 min read

Different events that occur come with their impacts on people's normal ways of life, but in some instances, such events may have the possibility of changing the history of a given place. For instance, with California being one of the most populous states in the US, there have been various events that have happened and changed how the future of California is to be written. An example of such an event was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which banned Chinese laborers from immigrating to the US. Having been the first immigration law that excluded an entire ethnic group from moving into the US as well as eliminated Chinese nationals from US citizenship eligibility, its impacts have been felt up to date, especially by the way that it changed the people's perception of California. Through the Act, California went in the books of history as a state that has never employed racially motivated laws to ban other races from the US. It also made California one of the states that influenced the marriage laws at Congress (AAPF). Hence, the uniqueness and circumstances within which the Chinese Exclusion Act came to place, as well as its impact on the history of California following the Goldrush, changed the trajectory of California as it happened to be the first place where people of a specific ethnicity were barred from moving into the US.

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With the mass migration of Chinese laborers into the US to participate in road and rail construction, the number of Chinese nationals in California had increased. As competition for Gold and job opportunities increased, American mining laborers adopted Xenophobic protectionist tactics to curb the perceived encroachment from Chinese workers (Wu). Diverting the welcoming historical history of California to a hostile state that had discriminatively barred Chinese nationals from entry changed the trajectory of California's history since it is the Act that marked the state as a once racial. Furthermore, the history of California could not remain unchanged, especially with the adoption of the Chinese Exclusion Act. This is because it is among the acts that sailed through from the political persuasions by the Californian politicians who convinced the American laborers with racist legislation like the Chinese Exclusion Act (AAPF). Hence, the Act can be considered as one that put California on the map as a racists state, especially in such an era when racism was the order of the day.

Additionally, other events that led to the enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act, such as the Page Law of 1875, make the enactment of the exclusion law as the beginning of the Chinese Exclusion era. This is because it is the same period of the passage of the legislation that the immigration of women from China, Japan, and other Asian countries started getting restricted ( The history of California would not be complete without mentioning how the Chinese Exclusion Act brought about racial discussions and how it was thought to supplement the measures of reducing prostitution in California. Besides, the history of California changed extensively since it is within the same period that California came out to legitimize the concerns of anti-Chinese protectionists that branded Chinese families as despotic, deviant, and ones that could not befit the citizenship of a democratic country.

Furthermore, the Chinese Exclusion Act made a great impact on California's history since it is through it paved the way for the regulation of marriage by Congress. It is during the period that women who were American citizens by birth lost their citizenship due to the Chinese Exclusion Act ( Hence, when writing the history of California, it would not be complete if the loss of citizenship by marriage among the majority of women is not captured. It is with the same law that even those Women that were unlike similarly situated white women were barred from naturalizing since the law had rendered them ineligible of citizenship due to their race (Wu). Hence the Californian history trajectory was changed by this event as it was among those events that went on record as causes of racial discrimination in the award of American Citizenship. Besides, the Chinese Exclusion Act made California go on history as one of the states that had to adopt discriminatory laws to counter the adverse effects of immigration and unemployment in the modern US.

Hence, the Chinese Exclusion Act can be marked as one of the most significant events in defining the history of California. This is because not only did the Act come into action to cushion the American workers from the Chinese but also come out as among the racially motivated laws against immigrants in the history of the US. From making California one of the states that have encouraged racial discrimination to one that impacted the marriage act at Congress and one of the laws that were enacted to ban people of a specific race from entering the US, the Chinese Exclusion Act can be said to be among the definers of Californian history. Thus, it can be said to be among the events that make up the most important part of California's history.

Works Cited

AAPF. "Chinese Exclusion Act - AAPF." AAPF, "Chinese Exclusion Act." HISTORY | Watch Full Episodes of Your Favorite Shows, 24 Aug. 2018,

Wu, Yuning. "Chinese Exclusion Act." Encyclopedia Britannica, 2019, Accessed 9 May 2020.

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