Asian American - History

History

In 1763, Filipinos established the small settlement of Saint Malo, Louisiana, after fleeing mistreatment aboard Spanish ships. Since there were no Filipino women with them, the Manilamen, as they were known, married Cajun and Native American women.

Chinese sailors first came to Hawaii in 1778, the same year that Captain James Cook came upon the island. Many settled and married Hawaiian women. Some Island-born Chinese can claim to be 7th generation. Most Chinese, Korean and Japanese immigrants in Hawaii arrived in the 19th century as laborers to work on sugar plantations. Later, Filipinos also came to work as laborers, attracted by the job opportunities, although they were limited.

Numerous Chinese and Japanese began immigrating to the U.S. in the mid-19th century for work, because of poor economic conditions in their home nations. Many of the immigrants worked as laborers on the transcontinental railroad. Although the absolute numbers of Asian immigrants in the late 19th century were small compared to that of immigrants from other regions, much of it was concentrated in the West, and the increase caused some Americans to fear the change represented by the growing number of Asians. This fear was referred to as the "yellow peril". The United States passed laws such as Asian Exclusion Act and Chinese Exclusion Act to sharply restrict Asian immigration.

Read more about this topic:  Asian American

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