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They also worked as laborers in the mining industry, and suffered racial discrimination at every level of society.While industrial employers were eager to get this new and cheap labor, the ordinary white public was stirred to anger by the presence of this "yellow peril".
This law was then extended by the Geary Act in 1892. These laws not only prevented new immigration but also brought additional suffering as they prevented the reunion of the families of thousands of Chinese men already living in the United States (that is, men who had left China without their wives and children); anti-miscegenation laws in many states prohibited Chinese men from marrying white women.
Only merchants were able to take their wives and children overseas.
The vast majority of Chinese immigrants were peasants, farmers and craftsmen.
From 1818 to 1825, five students stayed at the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut. maritime trade began the history of Chinese Americans.
In 1854 Yung Wing became the first Chinese graduate from an American college, Yale University. At first only a handful of Chinese came, mainly as merchants, former sailors, to America.
Also with regard to the legal situation, the Chinese were by far more badly posed in the United States than most other ethnic minorities. Decrees by the Qing dynasty issued in 17 forbade emigration and overseas trade and were primarily intended to prevent remnant supporters of the Ming dynasty from establishing bases overseas. Large-scale immigration of Chinese laborers began after the First (1839–1842) and Second Opium Wars (1856–1860).