In Search of Equality: The Chinese Struggle against Discrimination in Nineteenth-Century America / Edition 1

In Search of Equality: The Chinese Struggle against Discrimination in Nineteenth-Century America / Edition 1

by Charles J. McClain
     
 

This illuminating volume probes the efforts of the Chinese community to battle the manifold kinds of discrimination encountered at the hands of government during the nineteenth century. Contrary to the stereotypical image of a passive, uninvolved, and insular group, the population revealed by Charles McClain is politically savvy and familiar with American political… See more details below

Overview

This illuminating volume probes the efforts of the Chinese community to battle the manifold kinds of discrimination encountered at the hands of government during the nineteenth century. Contrary to the stereotypical image of a passive, uninvolved, and insular group, the population revealed by Charles McClain is politically savvy and familiar with American political institutions, resentful of discriminatory treatment and capable of mobilizing to fight it. He draws on English- and Chinese-language documents, court files, and other sources to chronicle the ways the Chinese sought redress and change. McClain focuses on California, the home of the overwhelming majority of Chinese during the nineteenth century and the heart and hub of the anti-Chinese movement, and on the numerous cases the Chinese brought in the state and federal courts to vindicate their claim to equality of treatment under the law. In the 1862 case of Lin Sing v. Washburn, the California Supreme Court nullified a law imposing an onerous tax only on Chinese immigrants and aimed at discouraging Chinese immigration. An 1885 lawsuit by Joseph Tape, a Chinese parent, challenging the exclusion of Chinese children from the public schools, led to an order admitting his child. An 1890 measure attempted to remove San Francisco's Chinese residents from Chinatown and ghettoize them in a less desirable part of the city - the first attempt by an American municipality to segregate its inhabitants on the basis of race. Ten years later, after the discovery of suspected cases of bubonic plague in Chinatown, an attempt was made to force the Chinese to be inoculated with an experimental antiplague vaccine. These measures, too, were challenged by the Chinese and eventually struck down in the courts. In their battles for justice, the Chinese community helped to clarify a panoply of judicial issues, including the parameters of the Fourteenth Amendment and the legal meanings of nondiscrimination and equality. Discussing

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520205147
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
02/13/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
396
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

Meet the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction1
Pt. IThe Beginnings of Discrimination and the First Chinese Responses7
1California's First Anti-Chinese Laws9
2Test Cases in the 1870s43
Pt. IIThe Decade of the 1880s: Seeking the Equal Protection of the Laws77
3The California Constitutional Contention and Its Aftermath79
4The Laundry Litigation of the 1880s98
5The Struggle for Access to the Schools133
Pt. IIIThe Decade of the 1880s: Court Contests with the Federal Government145
6Federal Exclusion Act Litigation: The First Phase147
7Seeking Federal Protection against Mob Violence: The Unusual Case of Baldwin v. Franks173
8Federal Exclusion Act Litigation: The Second Phase191
Pt. IVCentury's End: Last Episodes of Sinophobia221
9Challenging Residential Segregation: The Case of In re Lee Sing223
10Medicine, Race, and the Law: The Bubonic Plague Outbreak of 1900234
Conclusion277
List of Abbreviations285
Notes287
Subject Index365
Index of Cases382

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