Browse Exhibits (5 total)

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Becoming a Chinese Immigrant

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What didn't seem to convince the American eye is how the Chinese lived such different lives, perhaps never being able to be accepted in the norm of society. They had their reasons for immigrating to the Untied States but for working and living for just a fraction of what Americans had was just astonishing to see depictions of in Magazines and other forms of entertainment.

Discrimination in Action

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Americans looked down on the Chinese and avoided any effort to include them in society in treating them equally. They refused to assimilate the Chinese culture into the American culture. The physical appearance, especially the face, of the Chinese was such an amusement for the American people that they enjoyed depicting their "abnormal" features as a way to appeal humor and entertainment. Chinese became especially unwanted in the United States as the discrimination against them grew more and more.

The Working Chinese Man


The common line of work for the Chinese man persisted in the laundromat. The physical appearance of the Chinese man seemed to be the prominent factor in caricature illustrations that were exposed to the public. The stereotype of the Chinese becomes the base of why advertisements, prints, magazines, and postcards were made. 

Under the Political Aspect

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Full exclusion of the Chinese was not achieved until the 1880s, but the idea had built up since the start of their immigration in 1850. For example, taxes were imposed on immigration that increased as it was becoming such an economic problem in major cities. Politics seemed to have a leading role in the deciding factors since this was during a time when political machines controlled a vast majority of what existed in cities and states. The effects of political parties, laws imposed, and the power of the government are examined to illustrate the consequences that the Chinese were left to face.