Chinese Exclusion Act And Gentleman`s Agreement

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first major law to restrict immigration to the United States. Many West Coast Americans have been at the root of falling wages and economic dysfunction for Chinese workers. Although the Chinese make up only 0.002 percent of the country`s population, Congress passed the Exclusion Act in an attempt to appease workers` demands and dispel prevailing fears about maintaining white „racial purity.“ Despite these laws and court decisions, the Japanese-American population continued to grow and Japanese immigrants continued to receive property. U.S. statutes declared that all children born on U.S. soil, regardless of their parents` affiliation, automatically became U.S. citizens. The Japanese who want to own land simply put the title in the name of their American-born children. Singles without children were sent to Japan to make „picture wives“ and raise children who could be landowners.

Outraged by this so-called „doublespeak,“ California nativists created a new Japanese exclusion league and committed support in the eastern United States. In March 1924, a three-person exclusionist delegation went to Washington to testify and advocate for anti-Japanese legislation. Its leader, Valentine S. McClatchy, was seconded by former Senator Phelan and California Attorney General Ulysses S. Webb. McClatchy apologized for California`s anti-Yellowpean stance in a lengthy presentation to the Senate Immigration Committee. He denounced the Japanese for „violations“ of the „gentlemen`s agreement“ and sewn as examples the „wives of images“ and their successors, as well as the allegedly astronomical Japanese birth rate. As a danger to california`s Anglo-Saxon civilization, he cited the increase in land ownership of the Issei and their clan, claiming that all Japanese are loyal to Japan only. He cited their language schools and the fact that many Japanese sent their children to Japan to be taught, as proof of his claim. Despite his denials, the essence of McClatchy`s position, since the core of California`s anti-Japanese position had been all the time, was racism, based on racist stereotypes and fears of the „yellow danger“ of an unknown, foreign, sinister Asian culture that has considerable influence on the ideals of Western civilization and thus undermines and destroys. . .

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