Chinese immigration during the 1800s was the result of a perceived promise of opportunity in the Western United States coupled with deteriorating conditions in China, such as food shortages, overcrowding and the disastrous Taiping Rebellion. Chinese immigrants were drawn to the U.S. by the California Gold Rush and the need for workers to help build the first transcontinental railroad. By 1852, 25,000 Chinese had arrived, and by 1880, their numbers increased to more than 300,000, a figure that represented about 10 percent of California's population at the time.Know More
American businesses actively courted the Chinese to come to the U.S. to fill the growing need for cheap labor in the expanding American industries. Chinese laborers worked in the gold, silver and coal mines of several western states and were also employed as domestic servants and workers in the wool and metal industries.
In California, businesses used the credit-ticket system to bring Chinese workers to the U.S. This was a form of contract labor in which the employer paid for the worker's transportation to the U.S. in exchange for their future work upon arrival. These contract laborers, who were called "coolies," were often recruited by unscrupulous means, and many were coerced into signing contracts that were clearly not in their best interests.
By the late 1800s, Chinese immigrants were employed mainly in the garment, boot, shoe and cigar industries. Many were laundry workers. These were not the professions that drew them to the U.S., but restrictions placed on Chinese employment during the latter portion of the 19th century prevented many Chinese immigrants from working elsewhere.Learn more about US History
Martin Luther King's greatest legacy was his push for the United States to fulfill its promise of equal rights for all people, regardless of the color of their skin. King's "I Have a Dream" speech became one of the most famous speeches of the 20th century.Full Answer >
Kentucky became a state of the United States in 1792. It was the first state to be added that geographically lies west of the Appalachian Mountains. Kentucky was the 15th state to be added to the country.Full Answer >
The Iranian hostage crisis was a pivotal moment in Iran-United States relations that signified the end of America's influence in the country and the consolidation of an Islamist anti-American movement. It established the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as a powerful leader and significantly weakened the foreign policy of President Jimmy Carter. The incident also served as a flash point for hostility between the two countries that lasted for decades.Full Answer >
President Obama's position on immigration policy is to create pathways to citizenship for men, women and children who currently live in the Untied States illegally. He also supports other reforms that would enhance border security and untangle immigration bureaucracies, according to White House documents.Full Answer >