Jan 9, 2020 in Analysis



Immigration formed a key issue in the past as to the movement of persons from one country or continent to the other. There were so many reasons that each group gave that forced them to move places for their benefit. As such the reasons depended on the economic activity of certain group at the time, the population capacity of the natives in the motherland and also the need to explore new lands across the world. For the purpose of this work, we shall have a look at the Irish and Chinese people history across the globe from the past to the present. Here, we establish the relationship that the two groups had in their specific areas of immigration in the USA basing mainly on Irish in Boston and Chinese in California (CA). Further, a diverse influence the two groups have on the US society will be discussed regarding nature, customs, change, and purpose to the natives. 


Comparison between Chinese and Irish Immigration in the USA

The Chinese people immigration is based on the different perspectives they face in a society like resistance and oppression that was taking place at the time in history. The people wanted to break off from the new dynasties that were emerging and used their influence to control the society for larger and powerful territories. The population was also exiting from the harsh British rules and wars that at the time were affecting them negatively. Another reason for the immigration was the need for the middle class to go out and seek for better working pays to return home and buy some of the lands that the colonialists owned. The first interaction between the Chinese and California was the year 1848 when gold was discovered in the area. This immigration was referred to as the “Gold Dust” era that was taking place outside China. This act was seen a few years later in the landmark case of People V Hall that gave directions to the manner through which the Chinese community can involve itself in making political decisions. Denial to vote was a challenge to them as they lacked the necessary voice to air their views. 

The 1790 Naturalization Act was precise on its regulations as the white natives were given only power to acquire citizenship, unlike the Chinese community. The Chinese Six Chinese district association formed a force that ensured security for the locals. Rules, regulations, and policies developed at the time by different authorities were subject to consultation with the Chinese umbrella of the districts that ensured the rights of every China man is observed from all perspectives. Railway development was a common economic practice that saw over two thousand Chinese immigrants absorbed in the work as from 1865-1867. Further legal changes also picked speed when anti-Chinese violence campaigns were conducted at the time to inform and enforce protective rights of the immigrants who were gathering native status. Some of the court decisions also affected such conducts as was seen in the case of Chan Yong in 1855 when he was denied citizenship. Page laws were introduced in the year 1875 to prevent the entries of a new population for the people of Japanese, Chinese, and “Mongolian” contract laborers, felons and prostitutes origins. As such the law intended to safeguard the population growth of new Chinese community in the area. The Chinese community was forced to settle in villages like the Monterey Chinese fishing village in order to safeguard the security of their women and children.  The late nineteenth century saw great oppression for the Chinese community. An example is seen in the year 1882 when a Chinese Exclusion Law was legislated to suspend the adverse immigration of new Chinese population. The laws saw China traders then would be allowed to go home and marry back at home and come back to continue with their works. The changes in laws also saw harsh conditions set by the Chinese community. Expulsion of Chinese people was witnessed in different areas like Seattle, and American West side. The Geary laws also saw the previous set laws set are cemented to ensure Chinese population controlled at any given time. The changes started in the early twentieth century when a big fire destroyed a major factory in San Francisco, an event referred to as “the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire” that destroyed most of the Chinese immigrants’ documents. As such the US community was forced to recognize the then Chinese community under Fourteen Amendment. The move also created paper sons and daughters for the Chinese community to be considered as American citizens. The situation remained unchanged until the early twentieth century when the US Congress took the steps or repelling all statutes that were oppressing to the Chinese community. This position essentially meant that full and equal rights were granted to them as any other person in the society. 

The Irish Society originated from the Ireland when it broke from the enslavement of Southern US blacks. Daniel O’Connell was the initiator of the movement to end slavery from Britain masters than in the American setup. The Irish community intended to change to American citizenship to enable them counter their black neighbors. The population pressure of the community forced son inheritance of land to be a common practice of the Irish community and as such the sons and daughters moved to other places for better opportunities. The society was forced to engage in textile works as a better economic opportunities. Further, women were forced to work as casual household laborers to secure their position in the society in the mid-nineteenth century to support their men who did not see it as a cultural defect as compared to Jewish and Italian men on their women. The women also worked in the era as most of them were single and household labor paid even more than textile works. The option created a generation of Irish maids in different parts of the regions where they settled. Education and work opportunities also varied among the Irish society. Immigrants worked more in the employment opportunities sectors as compared to the natives. The same was witnessed in education where immigrants were illiterate as compared to the Irish American natives. However, the change in generations saw a change in the two notions as the immigrants had an experience of the resources. Ideologies also changed about the Irish when leaders in the political setup like President Abbott Lawrence Lowell encouraged the abortion of the community and avoided the American society from dominating them. Irish community success to their new destination was witnessed by their education and skin color perception. They were further allowed to settle in other cities apart from Boston like Philadelphia and New York. Another issue surrounding the immigration of the Irish community was the political nature of the then community. They were allowed to engage in the political machinery in their specific areas of settlement. The gesture was seen where the Irish society was related to the Democratic Party then. Forming a large population in such areas gave them the power to negotiate their rights and demands in the society. The “Robin Hoods” format ensured Irish society maintains political influence in their respective areas. The white skin of the Irish community was another factor that worked in their favor as they were accepted as whites. Further, their activism in labor works ensured that they had better-working conditions as other American workers.  

Contrast between Chinese and Irish Communities Immigrants in the USA

The two groups faced difference in the manner through which they moved and settled in the new country at the time. Irish communities had other Irish natives in American cities during their separation from the US black community. Unlike the Irish, the Chinese community did not have any roots in the US making them strangers in the world where the supremacy of society regarding resource and labor right. The acceptance of the two groups also took another step in the communities. The Irish race faced minimal challenges because of their ethical and cultural background. Their white skin gave them an upper hand as compared to their Chinese compatriots who had a different skin complexity. As such, Irish members were granted enough freedom to promote their rights at the time. The Chinese were viewed as outsiders and faced hostile approaches from the natives. Expertise and traditional views created a difference in the two groups. Irish societies allowed women to engage in economic activities, and that ensured most of their women to be absorbed in the different employment sectors by then. Although the immigrants were less literate, their 2nd generation of new members adopted to the new ways of a new territory as compared to Japanese and Chinese women. The tough Chinese culture on women saw mostly men immigrants at the time who had gone out of their way to ensure they acquire enough wealth to buy property for their wives back at home.

The other contrasting factor in the two races in the formation of legal ordinances that controlled how they participated in the area. The natives formed several laws to control the influx of the Chinese community that we see the changes to the same taking place in the mid-twentieth century. A different angle was taken from the Irish communities were laws were made to ensure they enjoy the same rights as natives in the society in various sectors. The Chinese society was also denied rights to participate in political and governorship positions as they were denied citizenship rights. The approach was, however, different from the Irish community. 

Role of Race and Ethnicity

The two factors played a lot of influence in the manner through which a given community was either accepted or rejected in the area they settled. The Chinese community being a conservative society faced a bigger challenge as they differ from the areas they immigrated to at the time. The men were only allowed to work and as such they could not move with their wives to new territories. They had to travel back home and marry their Chinese wives as they to travel to the US by the then imposed laws. This aspect was very different from Irish society where most of the immigration came from women who were either single or were seeking employment. Race differences also affected the settlement and political engagement of both groups. The white color assisted the Irish society to bond with the American natives by then. Absorption of the Irish community was encouraged to benefit from their expertise in various leadership and business opportunities. The aspect ensured a second generation of Irish community that facilitated a foundation of American –Irish society to protect their rights in workplaces. The difference in the race did not benefit the Chinese society like the Irish. They were openly discriminated by the whites then due to their obvious differences. Race conflicts ensured that rules were passed to oppress and suppress the Chinese community.  As such, race differences occupied a lot of significant differences in preferential treatment at the time when the political, social and cultural classes were taking shape in the American society. The opportunity of color similarities protected the Irish and as such involved them in the day to day social, economic, cultural and political changes in the American society. 


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