From 1863 and 1869, roughly 15,000 Chinese workers helped build the transcontinental railroad. They were paid less than American workers and lived in tents, while white workers were given accommodation in train cars.
What did Chinese workers do on the railroad?
This was exhausting work, with Chinese workers shoveling twenty pounds of rock over 400 times a day to make their way through 1,659 feet of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to complete the project. The Transcontinental Railroad shaped America in countless ways by facilitating domestic commerce and international trade.
How did Chinese workers contribute to the construction of the railroads?
Chinese workers made a significant contribution to the construction of the first transcontinental railroad during the 1860s. Historians estimate 12,000 Chinese immigrants worked for the Central Pacific Railroad, blasting tunnels and laying track from Sacramento, through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and into Utah.
What effect did Chinese laborers have on the United States?
Chinese immigrants were particularly instrumental in building railroads in the American west, and as Chinese laborers grew successful in the United States, a number of them became entrepreneurs in their own right.
What were some of the major impacts of the railroad industry?
In the West, railroads helped open new territory to economic exploitation, and then played a large part in the creation of the first national parks. They also pioneered modern forms of hotels, resorts, and restaurants. As the nineteenth century ebbed, every aspect of society and culture was reflected in the railroad.
Why did the Chinese help build the railroad?
He told President Andrew Johnson that the Chinese were indispensable to building the railroad: They were “quiet, peaceable, patient, industrious and economical.” In a stockholder report, Stanford described construction as a “herculean task” and said it had been accomplished thanks to the Chinese, who made up 90% of the …
What impact did the railroad have on the country?
It made commerce possible on a vast scale.
In addition to transporting western food crops and raw materials to East Coast markets and manufactured goods from East Coast cities to the West Coast, the railroad also facilitated international trade.
What did the Chinese do after the railroad was built?
Despite their hard work, the Chinese experienced discrimination for generations after the completion of the railroad. California laws prevented them from being admitted as witnesses in court, voting, and becoming naturalized citizens. Chinese schoolchildren were also subject to segregation.
How were the Chinese workers on the Central Pacific Railroad treated?
“Chinese received 30-50 percent lower wages than whites for the same job and they had to pay for their own food stuffs,” Chang says. “They also had the most difficult and dangerous work, including tunneling and the use of explosives. There is also evidence they faced physical abuse at times from some supervisors.
How did the growth of the railroad help the cattle industry?
How did new railroads benefit western cattle ranchers? They provided a way to transport meat to eastern markets. They allowed cowboys to travel easily between cattle herds and their homes. They made it easier for ranchers to keep track of their herds.
Why did Chinese immigrants face violence on the West Coast?
Chinese immigrants became the targets of abuse almost as soon as they set foot on American soil, beginning in 1850 with the California Gold Rush. White prospectors routinely drove Chinese miners from their claims, while state lawmakers slapped them with an onerous foreign miners’ tax.
What did Chinese immigrants bring to America?
Primarily, the Chinese supplied labor for America’s growing industry. Chinese factory workers were important in California, especially during the Civil War. They worked in wool mills, and cigar, shoe, and garment industries; twenty-five occupations in all.
What problems did the Chinese immigrants face in America?
Even as they struggled to find work, Chinese immigrants were also fighting for their lives. During their first few decades in the United States, they endured an epidemic of violent racist attacks, a campaign of persecution and murder that today seems shocking.