Linking a Continent and a Nation

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Category: US History

Date Submitted: 11/15/2012 11:15 AM

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In this essay, "Linking a Continent and a Nation"author Jack Chen deeply illustrates

the huge impact the Chinese had on the major developement of America in the 1860's, through

all of it's agonies and ecstasies. Chen draws to a conclusion that despite the immediate

help that the Chinese provided America during desperate times when workers were scarce,they

most definitely did not take jobs away from white workers but instead compensated for the

jobs white workers did not want. Furthermore, the Chinese created more managerial

positions for the white man as result of all of the workers that needed facilitating and

ordinance.Due to the portrayal of the Chinese being less appreciated by those in favor of

such anti-chinese agitation however, Chen gives a full acount through his Chinese-American


Robert E. Wynne states,"The lack of white laborers was too evident to cause even the

most ardent anti-Chinese to resent their employment on such work." This quote sums up the

frantic state that America was in with the detachment of the North and South with

possibility of civil war in the air yet no real way to unite the modern Eastern states to

avoid a greater political division. At this point in time, it was quicker and less costly to

voyage from China to California then from the East coast to California, therefore in 1862

Congress approved the construction of the railroad in hopes of outwitting the South by

affiliating them after uniting the East and West coast as well. C.P Huntington, Mark Hopkins,

Charles Crocker and Leland Stanford were once Sacramento merchants but soon established the

"Big Four" and took on the roles of executing the plans for the new railroad amongst them.

Yet due to the meager population and other competing lines of work, the advancements made on

the project were minimal as time and money were both going to waste. Up to this point only

white labor was being used, yet with the initial expectancy of 5,000 men as...