In Search of Equality: The Chinese Struggle against by Charles J. McClain

By Charles J. McClain

Charles McClain's illuminating new learn probes chinese language efforts to conflict manifold discrimination—in housing, employment, and education—in nineteenth-century the US. tough the stereotypical picture of a passive, insular workforce, McClain unearths a politically savvy inhabitants in a position to mobilizing to struggle mistreatment. He attracts on English- and Chinese-language files and barely studied assets to chronicle the methods the chinese language sought redress and alter in American courts.

McClain specializes in the San Francisco Bay zone, the house of just about one-fifth of the fifty thousand chinese language operating in California in 1870. He cites situations within which chinese language laundrymen challenged the town of San Francisco's discriminatory construction regulations, and proceedings introduced by means of mom and dad to protest the exclusion of chinese language young ones from public colleges. whereas vindication within the court didn't continually deliver quick switch (Chinese schoolchildren in San Francisco endured to be segregated good into the 20 th century), the chinese language community's efforts have been instrumental in setting up numerous felony landmarks.

In their battles for justice, the chinese language group helped to elucidate many judicial concerns, together with the parameters of the Fourteenth modification and the felony meanings of nondiscrimination and equality. Discussing quite a lot of lawsuits and gleaning their greater constitutional importance, In seek of Equality brings to mild a tremendous bankruptcy of yankee cultural and ethnic heritage. it may allure cognizance from American and criminal historians, ethnic reviews students, and scholars of California culture.

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Downer60 came before the California Supreme Court, it took the justices less than half a page of the reports to void the measure as an impermissible interference with the national government's exclusive power to regulate foreign commerce. The Downer decision did not prevent the legislature from taking up the very next year a bill to flatly prohibit the immigration of any more Chinese into the state through any of its ports. The Committee on Federal Relations, to which the measure was referred for consideration, reported back that it saw nothing standing in the way of enactment.

The Struggle for Access to the Schools 133 Part III The Decade of the 1880s: Court Contests with the Federal Government 145 6. Federal Exclusion Act Litigation: The First Phase 147 7. Seeking Federal Protection against Mob Violence: The Unusual Case of Baldwin v. Franks 173 8. Federal Exclusion Act Litigation: The Second Phase 191 Part IV Century's End: Last Episodes of Sinophobia 221 9. Challenging Residential Segregation: The Case of In re Lee Sing 223 Page viii 10. Medicine, Race, and the Law: The Bubonic Plague Outbreak of 1900 234 Conclusion 277 List of Abbreviations 285 Notes 287 Subject Index 365 Index of Cases 382 Page ix ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I have been at work on this project, off and on, for a good number of years and have incurred a good number of debts along the way.

There I found an extraordinary series of letters, indicating that the leaders of the Chinese community had in 1860 asked a churchman to help them find a lobbyist to speak on their behalf against anti-Chinese legislation then being considered by the state legislature. ) Yick Wo, in fine, was but the small tip of a very large iceberg. The thesis of this book is that the conventional wisdom concerning the Chinese and their supposed political backwardness needs to be stood on its head. The nineteenth-century Chinese-American community may, because of language, have been more isolated from mainstream society than other immigrant groups in certain respects, but lack of political consciousness was not one of its distinguishing characteristics.

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