Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)

“An act to execute certain treaty stipulations relating to Chinese: Whereas, in the opinion of the Government of the United States the coming of Chinese laborers to this country endangers the good order of certain localities within the territory thereof: Therefore, Be it enacted, that from and after the expiration of ninety days next after the passage of this act, and until the expiration of ten years next after the passage of this act, the coming of Chinese laborers to the United States be.. suspended; and during such suspension it shall not be lawful for any Chinese laborer to come, or, having so come after the expiration of said ninety days, to remain within the United States.”

The Halocaust, the Rwandan Genocide, the Bosnian Genocide: these are just a few of the major tragedies of world history that have left a significant adverse impact on mankind. The Chinese Exclusion Act was just like the rest of them, if boiled down to its components. This act prohibited any Chinese immigrant from entering the United States and it wasn’t until 1943 that it was revoked. This act exemplified a huge extent of racial profiling and discrimination, preventing an entire race from entering America. It was detrimental to the principles the United States was built on: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Although the Chinese workers that were already inside America’s borders revolted, their efforts were quickly diminished, as the military put a stop to it immediately. America at the time felt this act was needed because supposedly the Chinese workers endangered “certain localities”, which is honestly difficult to believe.

This act showed the degree of nativism within the country at the time, how certain Americans could feel so threatened by immigrants, that they would have to cause an uproar and have these people’s rights deprived. Although nineteenth century America saw this act as a way of assisting the “American people”, but in reality all they really did was demonstrate how low the country could go, because in the world’s eyes they committed a genocide of not life, but liberty.