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"Asian American History" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2020 10:48 p.m. PST

"Asian immigration to central North America predates the existence of the United States. The first settlers from Asia on the American continent were Filipino deserters from Spanish ships known as "Manilamen" in English, and "Tagalas" in Spanish. Escaping the oppressive rule of the Spaniards, the colonial masters of the Philippines, these settlers organized obscure fishing villages near what became New Orleans and Acapulco, Mexico starting around 1763.[1] The village of St. Malo near New Orleans consisted of a number of wooden houses with high "Manila style roofs" supported by wooden piles above a mosquito infested swamp. Though many had families in New Orleans, only men lived in St. Malo. Set well apart from any thoroughfare to the city, these new immigrants were free to live and work without the intrusion of the police or the tax man.[2] It is speculated that some these Filipino immigrants participated in the battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812, but for the most part, they had a purposely quiet and localized impact on American society.

The first Asian immigrants to come to the United States in significant numbers were the Chinese in the middle of the 19th Century. The Chinese, primarily from Guangdong province, were motivated by problems at home as well as opportunities abroad. At that time, China was rocked by a number of violent conflicts including the Red Turban uprisings (1854-64) and the Taiping Rebellion (1850-64) responsible for the death of at least twenty million Chinese. The Opium Wars of 1839-42 and 1856-60 against Great Britain also inflicted economic devastation.[3] The Qing government of China, having lost to Britain in both conflicts, was forced to pay reparations. As a result, the Qing imposed high taxes on farmers, many of whom lost their lands because they could not sustain these payments. When the news of the 1848 discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill reached China, the dream of economic opportunity in California, popularly called Gam Saan or "Gold Mountain," lured these disenfranchised farmers as well as middle class merchants and entrepreneurs.

Nearly all of the Chinese who traveled to Gam Saan were sojourners, travelers to a foreign land with the intention of returning home when they had made enough money. As a result, the first immigrants were almost entirely men, the majority with wives in China, hoping to get rich within a few years and then return to their families. Contrary to popular belief at the time, the Chinese in America were not "coolies," kidnapped men forced into slavery. They came of their own free will, mostly by the credit ticket system in which a Chinese broker lent the emigrant money for the voyage with the promise that the worker would repay the loan with interest from his earnings in America…"
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Der Krieg Geist08 Jul 2020 6:58 p.m. PST

This is a very good write up that seems to be able to address unpleasant historical facts without demonizing anyone in particular.
Sometimes ugly things are done and there is no harm in pointing out that they are ugly and by current standards, flat out wrong.
This is how all societies find the room to grow. We see more clearly the behavior of those in the past and the context in which that behavior occurred, and instead of demonizing them and the decisions they made, which only needlessly clouds the issues, we can clearly see the choices they made don't work with our current society. Now we are better equipped to choose a new path.
This is the intelligent and rational way to avoid repeating any mistakes and missteps from history. We choose to see a mistake as just that, so as to be enabled to make better choices.
No "outrage" no "Grand Standing" and no "Grievances" to wield as weapons to gain current power over society.
Resolve to learn from mistakes of the past is what lights the way to a better future. All of this is growth and takes nurturing and time to mature. It is the path to ennoblement

Thanks Tango,for sharing the above post and link.

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