1848– The discovery of gold in Sutter’s Mill in California results in an influx of Chinese immigration into the US (China Insight). 1864- Central Pacific Railroad Company attracts Chinese men to immigrate to take part in the construction of the first transcontinental railroad (China Insight).
History of Chinese Immigration
Chinese immigrants came, and presently still come, to America for a new beginning in life. Today many Chinese Americans either settle where other family members settled or for the familiar cultural settings of Chinatown (Chinsen). The economic hardships of rural China served as push factors for many Chinese to leave their homeland and seek new opportunity in America. Many Chinese immigrants came to the US because of the abundance work opportunities mentioned by family ties who had previously immigrated. The initial pull factors that were present in the US that appealed to the Chinese were occupation-related with the building of the first transcontinental railroad and the discovery of gold deposits throughout the nation. Specifically in the greater Boston area, the initial Chinese laborer immigrants arrived as strikebreakers of the Sampson Shoe Factory. However, several first generation Chinese immigrants arrived in Boston with no family ties, and started working in the factories or anywhere they could obtain a job. As more and more immigrants arrived, they settled in enclaves which later became an established cultural community in Boston, notoriously known as Chinatown today. Though many settled in America for job opportunities, some arrived seeking refuge from the Chinese government but had fears that the strict American government would begin to represent the one they were leaving behind. To this day, Chinese immigrants still come to America with familial ties being a main pull factor.
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