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In Pursuit of GoldChinese American Miners and Merchants in the American West$
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Sue Fawn Chung

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036286

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036286.001.0001

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The Coming and Early Challenges

The Coming and Early Challenges

(p.1) 1 The Coming and Early Challenges
In Pursuit of Gold

Sue Fawn Chung

University of Illinois Press

This chapter traces some of the important developments in China and provides a background to the advent of Chinese miners and merchants and the challenges they faced. Economic, social, and political dislocations, combined with natural disasters, characterized southeastern China in the mid-nineteenth century. During economic declines, the Chinese in Guangdong and neighboring Guangxi and Fujian provinces had a long tradition of seeking new opportunities overseas. Thus the Chinese came to the United States hoping to become rich and escape the problems in China. After arriving in the American West, they adapted some of their traditional methods of operation and established organizations that assisted them. They encountered discriminatory laws, practices, and actions, but despite all of the negativism, they continued to seek that elusive gold.

Keywords:   China, Chinese immigrants, economic decline, natural disasters, political struggles, socioeconomic troubles, Chinese history, Chinese migration, gold, Chinese miners, Chinese merchants

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