Manifest Destiny Introduction According to Carlisle (27), the manifest destiny was a concept of a non-official policy in the 1800s that strongly influenced American policy in the 1800s to rapidly expand America from the Atlantic East to the Pacific It led to Constitutional Act like the Homestead Act that encouraged Westward colonization and territorial acquisition. Therefore, the Californian Gold Rush and building of Transcontinental Railroad from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific West began. This period attracted the significant number of Chinese immigrants who provided cheap labor for the gold mines and recruited to build a portion of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Early Chinese-American/Manifest Destiny
From the image, it shows two races, the Chinese and the American in the nineteen Century. The photo depicts anti-Chinese racial prejudices by the Americans during the years 1820s to the end of the Century when the Chinese immigrants arrived in America. The American is represented by the woman who cuts the Chinese man hair to represent hate, resentment, prejudice of the Chinese Culture during this era. The early Chinese immigrants came from the south China’s Guangdong Province to in 1820 to America to escaping the political and economic instability experienced under the Qing Dynasty government, internal attack from the Taiping Rebels and external pressures from the Opium Wars. Their population increased from 325 men in 1849 (before the Californian Gold Rush) to 25,000 by 1852 and 105,465 by 1880 during the transcontinental railroad (Carlisle 29). They provided cheap labor compared to the Americans during the time. However they were mistreated, highly taxed, worked under harsh conditions during the summer heat and also during cold winter days. Most of them lost their lives but for those who survived, settled in America for what its worth.
In conclusion, although the Chinese were a source of cheap labor they were overworked under very harsh conditions in the mines field, received little pay were highly taxed. They were seen by the Americans as an inferior race of people, with differing language, color and physical appearance (short, plump, the male had kept strange long hair which the Americans represented by the lady in the image cutting it).
Carlisle, Rodney. Manifest destiny and the expansion of America. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-
CLIO, 2007. Print.