Anti-Coolie Act

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In 1862 the California legislature passed An Act to Protect Free White Labor Against Competition with Chinese Coolie Labor, and to Discourage The Immigration of the Chinese into the State of California. The act, which would be referred to as the Anti-Coolie Act of 1862 in short, was passed by the California legislature in an attempt to appease rising anger among white laborers about salary competition created by the influx of Chinese immigrants at the height of the California gold rush. The act sought to protect white laborers by imposing a monthly tax on Chinese immigrants seeking to do business in the state of California. <br/>

Initial Frustration with Chinese Labor

Prior to the California gold rush of the 1850s, the Chinese population in the West, described at the time with the derogatory term “coolie,” was minimal and tolerated by many Americans who migrated to the West to explore the new frontier. However, the California gold rush not only led to a steep increase in the white American population but also in the Chinese through immigration to the West. In 1852, California experienced an influx of 20,026 Chinese immigrants as compared to 2,716 just the year before. The large of influx of immigrants were met with race riots as white miners became frustrated with the increased competition for business.<br/>The intense emotions felt by a dense workforce, however, had more room to heat up, as they were exacerbated when America went through a recession...
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