For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence

By Alexander Tsesis | Go to book overview

13
THE CHANGING FACE OF LABOR

A DISCONCERTING ASPECT OF THE NATIONAL WOMAN SUFFRAGE Association’s recruitment effort was the leaders’ willingness to tolerate prejudice in their ranks. In April 1869, shortly before she became the first president of the organization, Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote in The Revolution that the Chinese and some other foreigners were “lower orders” of men who had no business passing laws affecting the lives of cultured women.1

Anti-Chinese sentiments of en appeared in dailies and congressional debates. An 1870 article in a popular magazine asserted that the only question more pressing to the nation than women’s suffrage was how to deal with the immigration of “heathen” Chinese immigrants to the West Coast. The author claimed that naturalizing them “would work incalculable mischief” on the country’s morals.2

Racialist opposition to Chinese becoming naturalized citizens was tied to their growing presence in the workforce. In 1850, about forty-one thousand Chinese immigrated to the United States, and more than sixtyfour thousand arrived the following decade. In the mid-1860s thousands of Chinese laborers came in response to the Central Pacific Railroad Company’s call for workers to build the western portion of the first transcontinental railroad. Chinese workers received a dollar a day, about half

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For Liberty and Equality: The Life and Times of the Declaration of Independence
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Becoming Independent 6
  • 3 - The Nation’s Infancy 24
  • 4 - Youthful Republic 40
  • 5 - Compromising for the Sake of Expansion 57
  • 6 - Jacksonian Era Democracy 75
  • 7 - Subordination 100
  • 8 - The Unraveling Bonds of Union 129
  • 9 - Sectional Cataclysm 148
  • 10 - Reconstruction 179
  • 11 - Racial Tensions 202
  • 12 - Advancing Women’s Causes 215
  • 13 - The Changing Face of Labor 227
  • 14 - International Impact and Domestic Advance 241
  • 15 - The Declaration in a New Deal State 264
  • 16 - Independence Principles in the Civil Rights Era 283
  • 17 - Epilogue 312
  • Acknowledgments 319
  • Appendix - The Declaration of Independence 321
  • Notes 327
  • Index 377
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