Historical Archaeology

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 29–36 | Cite as

The Response of California’s Chinese Populations to the Anti-Chinese Movement

  • R. Scott Baxter


In the latter half of the 19th century, a strong anti-Chinese sentiment influenced U.S politics and newspapers. Driven by a number of factors, the anti-Chinese movement expressed itself against Chinese immigrants through legislation, organized boycotts, hostile news stories, violence, and general harassment. In many modern accounts, these Chinese immigrants are portrayed as passive victims who did not respond to the actions carried out against them. Contrary to this view, archaeological data has prompted a reassessment of contemporary historical accounts. Together, these sources indicate an aggressive campaign by Chinese immigrants to counter these activities. Through organized and individual efforts, Chinese immigrants fought back in the legislature, the courts, their homes, places of business, and on the streets.


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Copyright information

© Society for Historical Archaeology 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Scott Baxter
    • 1
  1. 1.Past Forward, Inc.PlymouthUSA

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