Remembering Chinese Labor

May 10, 2022

“The Chinese helped build the railroad. The railroad helped build America.” Chinese workers had a major role in the building of the transcontinental railroad. The 1869 completion of the railroad connecting the east coast and the west coast had significant ramifications for economic growth. Thirteen years later, despite the role Chinese workers played in completing the railroad, the United Stated passed the Chinese Exclusion Act banning immigration from China. This was the first immigration law that banned people from the United States based on race.