Public Sentiments Concerning Chinese Immigration Essay

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Public Sentiments Concerning Chinese Immigration In 1852, there were over 20,000 Chinese immigrants living in California (Franks). Americans reacted very negatively to this influx, and their negative sentiments were made apparent in the California Supreme Court’s People v. Hall verdict, which rendered Chinese testimony unreliable. Then, in 1882, President Chester Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, a law that prohibited Chinese laborers from entering the United States (Foner, 651). From the 1850s up to the Exclusion Act of 1882, Americans felt increasingly negative sentiments towards the Chinese. As illustrated through newspaper and magazine depictions along the Pacific Coast, the Americans perceived the Chinese as inferior and…show more content…
The scenery is drawn with many dark shades on the walls and floor, depicting it as an alley or a similarly secluded location. Here, the Chinese man partakes in his devious acts, away from the public eye. This sets a dark, mischievous tone, and in the drawing the little boy is smoking a cigar, presumably as a result of the Chinese man’s negative influence. The little boy is underage and is engaging in immoral behavior. The Chinese man has corrupted him simply through association, and by smoking a cigar at his age he has been corrupted. This depiction shows the underlying perception that the Chinese were an infestation that were negatively influencing and corrupting the population. This perception of the Chinese as a menace is also apparent in the image “Amusing the Child” from The Wasp. This picture depicts the Chinese man as a diabolical creature: He crawls around on four legs like a dog, and has large scaly hands with sharp, thin nails. The Chinese man wears tattered clothing and from behind, a long, red devil’s tale extends from his body. Also, the image has two Americans sitting on chairs: Sitting in the left chair is President Chester Arthur and in the right chair is a baby, which represents the Pacific Coast. The Chinese man’s appearance not only degrades him, but also establishes the view that the Chinese
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