Chinese Americans

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Chinese Americans had a great impact on the American economy and the development of New York City's famous Chinatown in the eighteenth century. Throughout history Chinese immigrants have flocked overseas looking for an opportunity to flourish on their own. From starting their own businesses to laboring hard for less than minimum wage, Chinese immigrants have worked hard to become settled in the US. In New York City especially, the Chinese immigrants of early times help shape modern Chinatown to what it is today.

New York City's Chinatown, is the largest Chinatown in the United States. This is also the location of the largest concentration of Chinese people in the western hemisphere. It is located on the lower east side of Manhattan. The size of this Chinatown is about two miles. Since the population is estimated between 70,000 and 150,000, Chinatown is where most new Chinese immigrants find comfort. More recently the neighborhood has also seen an increase in the number of Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Burmese and others as well.

Chinatown didn't always exist. In the mid eighteenth century, Chinese traders and sailors began trickling into the United States. While this population was largely transient, small numbers stayed in New York and married. Beginning in the mid nineteenth century, during the gold rush of the 1840s and 1850s, Chinese arrived in great numbers, lured to California for the Gold Rush, "Gold Mountain.  Also many Chinese people were brought by labor brokers to build the Central Pacific Railroad. Many had the same dream which would be to earn money working a few years, return to China, build a house and get married.... Continue Reading