Gresham-Yang Treaty of 1894 Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The Gresham-Yang Treaty did away with the terms of the Scott Act of 1888 and placed exclusion and registration laws passed since 1882 on a proper treaty basis. Proposed renewal of the treaty caused China to call for a boycott of American goods and the U.S. Congress to extend exclusion indefinitely.

The [a]Scott Act of 1888Scott Act of 1888 excluded virtually all Chinese from entering the United States, including those who had traveled from the United States to visit China. It was superseded in 1894 by the Gresham-Yang Treaty, which stipulated total prohibition of immigration of Chinese workers into the United States for the next ten years, with the promise that immigrants who were visiting China could be readmitted. Readmission was allowed only if returning Chinese immigrants had family living in America or property or debts owed to them of at least one thousand dollars. The treaty exempted Chinese officials, students, and merchants.[a]Gresham-Yang Treaty of 1894[Gresham Yang Treaty][a]Gresham-Yang Treaty of 1894[Gresham Yang Treaty][cat]EAST ASIAN IMMIGRANTS;Gresham-Yang Treaty of 1894[02150][cat]INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS;Gresham-Yang Treaty of 1894[02150]

In 1904, China refused to renew the Gresham-Yang Treaty and asked to negotiate a less harsh agreement. Chinese merchants called for a boycott of American goods. Unrest over the mistreatment of Chinese immigrants in America changed the political landscape in China by fueling political participation of the Chinese populace. The administrations of U.S. presidents McKinley, William[p]McKinley, William[MacKinley, William];and China[China]William McKinley and Roosevelt, Theodore[p]Roosevelt, Theodore;and China[China]Theodore Roosevelt showed little concern over China’s repeated protests and warnings. When China denounced the Gresham-Yang Treaty in 1904, the U.S. Congress extended exclusion indefinitely.[a]Gresham-Yang Treaty of 1894[Gresham Yang Treaty]

Further Reading
  • Cassel, Susie Lan, ed. The Chinese in America: A History from Gold Mountain to the New Millennium. Walnut Creek, Calif.: AltaMira Press, 2002.
  • Lee, Erika. At America’s Gates: Immigration During the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.

Alien Contract Labor Law of 1885

Anti-Chinese movement

Burlingame Treaty of 1868

Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

Chinese Exclusion Cases

Chinese immigrants

Contract labor system

Geary Act of 1892

McCreary Amendment of 1893

Taiwanese immigrants

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