What is your general belief about who or what is most responsible for causing the conflict?

I believe that the most responsible force for the Chinese Exclusion Act was plain ignorance. The Chinese kept to themselves and didn't mix much with the other immigrants, so the other immigrants spread rumors about how they ate strange foods and practiced strange rituals. The Chinese were all so looked down upon because they would work diligently for very low pay, and the Americans thought they were putting the everyone else out of their jobs.




What is the relevant background information (i.e. who, what, when, where)?

The Chinese immigrated to the USA mainly because of their collapsing economy in China. The US citizens thought that the Chinese were putting everyone else out of a job, so in 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress, and signed by President Chester A. Arthur. This act banned the anyone of Chinese descendant to immigrate to the USA unless they could provide a certification from the Chinese government allowing them to immigrate.





What were 3 factors that helped cause the conflict (politics, economics, geography, history)?

First of all, some Non-American whites (Russians, Scandinavians) suffered from eastern nativism, and thought that if they attacked the Chinese, they would eleveate their own status. Also, one of the reasons the Chinese came to the US in the first place was because their own economy was collapsing and because of the gold rush. Finally, in China many lived in poverty, so they were extra willing to work even for a measely amount of pay, which the other immigrants thought was lowly.




Explain why one factor is more important than the others.

I think the most important factor that caused the Chinese Exclusion Act to be passed and signed was that the Chinese would work for low pay. The The Chinese were stereotyped as "hard-working low-paid people" (Menlo) or "worked cheap and smelled bad" (Menlo). The main reason the other immigrants complained was because they thought the Chines were taking over the jobs, and their immigration for a new life to America was for nothing.




How could the conflict have been avoided?

The conflict could have been avoided if the Chinese were more open to other immigrants lifestyles, for one reason for the racism to Chinese was that they kept to themselves and rumors were spread about them. The immigrants could also not have been as ignorant and not think that the Chinese performed Satanic rituals.




What sources of information have you used?

Lambert, Dale A. and Clark, Dustin W. Washington: A State of Contrasts. East Wenatchee, WA: DMI, 2008.

"The Chinese Exclusion Act: A Black Legacy." Menlo School. 5/20/09. http://sun.menloschool.org/~mbrody/ushistory/angel/exclusion_act/

Crowley, Walt. "Anti-Chinese Activism -- Seattle." History Link. May 2, 1999. The State of Washington. 5/19/09. http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=1057