Research Paper Proposal
Question: What was the “Asiatic Exclusion League,” and what impact did it have upon immigration from Asia as well as the experiences of Asian Americans in the U.S.?
During the Late 1800s and the early 1900s, people in the United States began to see Japanese immigrate into the United States in large numbers. There were already other Asian Immigrant groups here such as the Chinese, but the racism and discrimination was very much alive and prominent. The increase in Japanese immigration led to the Asiatic Exclusion League to be established in San Francisco in 1905. The purpose of this organization was to stop Japanese immigration into the United States and also to make the lives of many Japanese American very hard in order to force them to leave their country. Obviously, they did not want to just harass Japanese immigrants but also many other groups of Asian immigrants.
In this research paper I will be look at how the Asiatic Exclusion League was established and by who. Also, we will look at how they attempted to stop Japanese immigration and the methods they deployed to harass immigrants. Many of their efforts to kick immigrants came by creating laws that were unjust to them. Although their efforts were mainly concentrated on Japanese immigrants, they also rejected the immigration of all Asians, including Koreans and Hindus from India. They also opposed Chinese immigration but by the time the organization had been established the immigration of Chinese had already been banned. We also look at the effects of the Asiatic Exclusion league on immigrant groups other than the Japanese.
The Asiatic Exclusion League was a white supremacist organization which at the time had a big following and “Whites” were the majority. In many circumstances they physically attacked and harassed Japanese Immigrants on the streets in which in some cases even included children, elders and women. We will be looking at specific recorded cases in which these attacks occurred. Finally, I will be researching the long-term effects and influences of the Asiatic Exclusion League even after it being disbanded.
COMMENT FROM INSTRUCTOR:
Note that several of the founders of the Asiatic Exclusion League (AEL) were actually immigrants themselves, from Europe. We could ask, what does this suggest regarding the differences between the experiences of European and Asian immigrants in the late 1800s/early 1900s? In this regard, consider Haney Lopez’s discussion on the top of page 61 (both the quote from Yuji Ichioka and Haney Lopez’s comments directly after.) Many of the general histories have analyses of the AEL. Roger Daniels also has a good analysis of the AEL in his book *The Politics of Prejudice*.
Lee, Erika. The Making of Asian America: A History. Simon Et Schuster Paperbacks, 2016.
Ling, Huping. Asian American History and Culture: an Encyclopedia. Sharpe Reference, 2010.
Research Paper Proposal