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California's Chinese Elites in Exclusion Age

The essay "Chinese Elites in Exclusion Era California," which reflects on the Chinese elites in the West, was written by Kenneth Marcus and Yong Chen. The essay is about a particular group of Chinese elites who were removed from the 1882 Exclusion Act and who played a key role in the United States' dialogue between ethical classes. This is one of the important papers discussing the history of the 19th century Chinese people in the US. The key points mentioned in the article would then be discussed in this paper and contrasted with other historical documents on the same subject.
The article focuses on Chinese history in the United States, especially during the exclusion era. At this time, the Chinese elites in the cities of San Fransisco and Los Angels decided to attempt to keep the chinese out both physically and culturally. The Chinatowns in these cities were different, but the experiences of the Chinese people was the same. The article also focuses on the importance of class in understanding race relations. This is through the study of the missionaries and the herbalists who were able to reach people at different levels. A close analysis shows that the not all Chinese are equal. In addition to this, herbalists were resp[ected by the Chinese people while the missionaries risked condemnation due to their failure to observe chinese traditions and values. These two groups, together with the merchants, scholars, and government officials freely interacted with Anglos during the Exclusion Era. Merchants were vital during this period because their organizations in coordinating commercial activities in California.
The authors have done well in analyzing and discussing the experience of the Chinese people during the Exclusion Era. They have used different categories of people to explain how the chinese people lived during this period. The authors picked Los Angels and San Francisco as the cities which they focused on. These towns are in California and they did well in comparing the experience of the individuals in the Chinatowns of these cities. The article uses evidence from the past such as the source by Fong Ngon which appeared in “Overland Monthly” and which discussed the role of the Six Companies in uniting the Chinese and the whites during this time and how these organizations protected the Chinese people. Also, they use names of some missionaries which have been obtained from a primary source. Through such evidence, the article becomes accurate and credible. This is one of the things that I like about the source. However, the authors would have made it stronger by using more evidence and examples obtained from primary sources and which focuses on the lives of Chinese people during the Exclusion Era. While writing the article, the authors targeted history learners as it seeks to provide more and specific information about the history of the Chinese people in the United States.
The article supports the book “Competing Visions: A History of California” by Robert Cherny. This book discusses the impact of different people who played a vital role contributing to the history of the United States, especially California. The common thing about these two sources is that they focus on the history of California. The book discusses various individuals as well as groups which were part of developing California into what it is today. Among them are the Chinese people. According to the author, “The Chinese people lived in Chinatowns.” This means that they were living in specific places whereby they were the majority. Also, “they missionaries and herbalists helped in protecting the Chinese community during the times of Exclusion Era.” Lastly, the book supports the article by stating that “ the Chinese elites were very important in the way they protected the Chinese people.”
In conclusion, the article contributes a lot towards the history of California. It shows the life which the Chinese people led during the Exclusion Era and how various groups of people helped them. For further knowledge over the same, one can read “Connecting California” by George Gastil.

August 09, 2021

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