In Search of Equality: The Chinese Struggle against Discrimination in Nineteenth-Century America

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University of California Press, 1994 M05 3 - 385 páginas
Charles McClain's illuminating new study probes Chinese efforts to battle manifold discrimination—in housing, employment, and education—in nineteenth-century America. Challenging the stereotypical image of a passive, insular group, McClain reveals a politically savvy population capable of mobilizing to fight mistreatment. He draws on English- and Chinese-language documents and rarely studied sources to chronicle the ways the Chinese sought redress and change in American courts.

McClain focuses on the San Francisco Bay Area, the home of almost one-fifth of the fifty thousand Chinese working in California in 1870. He cites cases in which Chinese laundrymen challenged the city of San Francisco's discriminatory building restrictions, and lawsuits brought by parents to protest the exclusion of Chinese children from public schools. While vindication in the courtroom did not always bring immediate change (Chinese schoolchildren in San Francisco continued to be segregated well into the twentieth century), the Chinese community's efforts were instrumental in establishing several legal landmarks.

In their battles for justice, the Chinese community helped to clarify many judicial issues, including the parameters of the Fourteenth Amendment and the legal meanings of nondiscrimination and equality. Discussing a wide range of court cases and gleaning their larger constitutional significance, In Search of Equality brings to light an important chapter of American cultural and ethnic history. It should attract attention from American and legal historians, ethnic studies scholars, and students of California culture.

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Contenido

Introduction
1
THE BEGINNINGS OF DISCRIMINATION AND THE FIRST CHINESE RESPONSES
7
Californias First AntiChinese Laws
9
Test Cases in the 1870s
43
THE DECADE OF THE 1880s SEEKING THE EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS
77
The California Constitutional Convention and Its Aftermath
79
The Laundry Litigation of the 1880s
98
The Struggle for Access to the Schools
133
Federal Exclusion Act Litigation The Second Phase
191
CENTURYS END LAST EPISODES OF SINOPHOBIA
221
Challenging Residential Segregation The Case of In re Lee Sing
223
Medicine Race and the Law The Bubonic Plague Outbreak of 1900
234
Conclusion
277
List of Abbreviations
285
Notes
287
Subject Index
365

THE DECADE OF THE 1880s COURT CONTESTS WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
145
Federal Exclusion Act Litigation The First Phase
147
Seeking Federal Protection against Mob Violence The Unusual Case of Baldwin v Franks
173
Index of Cases
382
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Página 124 - Though the law itself be fair on its face and impartial in appearance, yet, if it is applied and administered by public authority with an evil eye and an unequal hand, so as practically to make unjust and illegal discriminations between persons in similar circumstances, material to their rights, the denial of equal justice is still within the prohibition of the Constitution.
Página 68 - all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property, as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses and exactions of every kind, and to no other.
Página 215 - That in every case where an alien is excluded from admission into the United States, under any law or...
Página 30 - The United States of America and the Emperor of China cordially recognize the inherent and inalienable right of man to change his home and allegiance, and also the mutual advantage of the free migration and emigration of their citizens and subjects respectively from the one country to the other for purposes of curiosity, of trade, or as permanent residents.
Página 38 - That all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and Territory in the United States to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and none other, any law, statute, ordinance, regulation or...
Página 30 - Chinese subjects visiting or residing in the United States shall enjoy the same privileges, immunities and exemptions in respect to travel or residence as may there be enjoyed by the citizens or subjects of the most favored nation.
Página 111 - And the rule is general with reference to the enactments of all legislative bodies that the courts cannot inquire into the motives of the legislators in passing them, except as they may be disclosed on the face of the acts, or inferable from their operation, considered with reference to the condition of the country and existing legislation.
Página 295 - Foreigners who are, or who may hereafter become bona fide residents of this State, shall enjoy the same rights in respect to the possession, enjoyment, and inheritance of property, as native born citizens.

Acerca del autor (1994)

Charles J. McClain is Vice Chairman of the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program and Lecturer at the Boalt School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.

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