The Bayard-Zhang Treaty attempted to prohibit all new Chinese immigration for twenty years and limit the right to return of Chinese workers who had temporarily left the United States for home visits in China. However, despite the severity of the treaty’s immigration restrictions, they would prove more moderate than those of some later legislation.
Provisions of the Bayard-Zhang Treaty of 1888 were instituted by the U.S. government despite widespread public protests in rural China and the Qing government’s refusal to agree to the treaty’s restrictive terms. As early as 1868, the United States and China had agreed upon unrestricted Chinese immigration. However, this agreement, formally termed the
Tens of thousands of Chinese laborers, overwhelmingly young adult males, immigrated to the United States during the decades before and after the U.S. Civil War. They
Beginning in 1885, rising anti-Chinese sentiment resulted in widespread violence against Chinese laborers throughout parts of the West. The U.S. economy was depressed, and unemployment was high and rising. Despite the fact that many of the railroads paid all workers according to the same pay scale, many English-speaking miners and
The local affiliate of the
As news of anti-Chinese violence spread to other towns in the West, other Chinese communities were attacked and the Chinese population was threatened with death or expulsion. In March, 1886, mobs attacked the Chinese community in
The year 1888 was an election year in the United States. The race was very tight between Democratic incumbent Grover Cleveland and Republican challenger and eventual winner
Chang, Iris. The Chinese in America: A Narrative History. New York: Viking Press, 2003. Examines U.S.-Chinese immigration relations using many Chinese sources. Lee, Erika. At America’s Gate: Chinese Immigration During the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007. Concentrates on immigration policies and their effects on both Chinese immigrants and American immigration officials charged with enforcing discriminatory laws. McClain, Charles J. In Search of Equality: The Chinese Struggle Against Discrimination in Nineteenth-Century America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994. Overview of Chinese immigrant history and experience. Extensive treatment of the legal history of Chinese immigration. Pfaelzer, Jean. Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008. Uses many nineteenth century sources, including letters and newspaper accounts. Sandmeyer, Elmer. The Anti-Chinese Movement in California. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1991. Covers California labor legislation and its impact on Chinese immigrants.
Asiatic Exclusion League
Burlingame Treaty of 1868
Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
Page Law of 1875