Chinese Immigrants and Rail Road Workers By: Diego Nicolini and Calvin Werth

Chinese immigrants were a major part of the construction of the Transcontinental Rail Road. Almost 2/3 of the workers were from China. They incorperated useful techniques developed in China. They were given about $28 per month due to how dangerous the work was. This translates to about $816 today. In the 1850s, Chinese workers migrated to the United States, first to work in the gold mines, but also to take railroad work.

Rail road workers struggled for the first 23 miles of the railroad because they had to lay track over 7,000 feet high that was supposed to continue for over 100 miles but did not. On the transpacific railroad the workers had to face another problem. Indians land was being taken over and many of the Indians attempted to stop them. This made the job very dangerous and more time consuming.

Most of the Chinese immigrants originate from Canton Province. They came to america looking for jobs. Some of the jobs were agricultural, in factories, but primarily for railroad work. Many dangers were their bodies were not prepared for the americas illnesses so they got sick an many did not survive. Also while build the railroad they did not have good protection from the falling rocks while blasting tunnels.

They organized themselves into gangs of workers by their spiritual beliefs and they were very punctual, willing, and well behaved. Novelist wrote stories of the Chinese immigrants which spread awareness of culture and religion. On June 25, Chinese workers left work from a two mile stretch on the eastern portion of the Sierra slope and went back to their camp. The Chinese Exclusion Act was a United States federal law signed by President Chester A. Arthur on May 6, 1882, prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers.

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