Analysis of Migrations in US History - Chinese and American Indian Essay

Submitted By tmsjostrom
Words: 1017
Pages: 5

HIS 102
October 5, 2014

Summary and Analysis Paper of Historical Documents
Readings from “Reading the American Past” - Chapter 17:
Documents 17.1 - The Pun Chi’s Appeal to Congress, and 17.4 - Chief Joseph’s Speech

The historical documents from chapter 17 of the reader describe the views and wishes of the leaders and chosen representatives of thousands of those who were considered “not American and not White” at a time the United States was claiming its territory and establishing its governments in the late nineteenth century. The two selections I have chosen to analyze describe the opinions of two specific groups of these outsiders, the Chinese and the American Native Indian known as the Nez Perce’. The most important thing I learned from these readings about the history of this country and how it became what it is today is that there was a consistent vein of bloodshed and racism against anyone who was not “white” and a representative of the United States, regardless of their human status and country of origin. I learned that the general rule was to take what you want and conquer or kill anyone who tries to stop it, regardless of their claim to the land, their rights or beliefs, their nationality, or their state of freedom. In the reading from each representative, it is clear that the beliefs of their people in peace and fairness to all were shattered by the treatment they received from the white man, and that the white man’s law was just as unfair and brutal to those that were not a part of the US government. In the article from Pun Chi to appeal to Congress on behalf of his people from China, Pun Chi describes the promises and opportunity promised to the Chinese if they were to take the chance and venture to the new territory in California acquired by the United States government. The white men had visited China and offered open invitations to the Chinese to come to California to search for gold and to open new trade exchange. Upon arrival in California, however, the Chinese were treated as dogs instead of humans. They were humiliated, beaten, robed, and tortured, with no remorse or ability to defend themselves personally or legally. The harsh and cruel treatment of the Chinese was common among all whites, even as they spread further into the other states for work on the railroads. The appeal to Congress by representative Pun Chi discusses the beliefs of his people as a whole and their relationship with a greater power from above all men. He speaks of the desire of all men on earth to be equal and to help one another and be fair and good to each other, as we are all brothers to the one power. He discusses that the Chinese do not understand how the white man can be such liars and have such needless greed and hate of others. He especially does not understand why this behavior is occurring to those that were specifically invited to come to California from China. The Chief of the Nez Perce’, Chief Joseph, and his father and former Chief Inmuttooyahlatlat, offer similar words of disbelief and lack of understanding of the greed and needs of the white man to take, to own and to conquer that which should not be owned by anyone, but is simply “the land.” The article from the Chiefs further goes into clear disagreement and disbelief of the white man’s laws and rules that state they must “own” the land and “own” other people. The Nez Perce’ do not believe that there is any need to own the land, they instead believe that all men should use only what they need to live off of, and in addition should share the land and its resources, food, and shelter with others. The beliefs of the Nez Perce’ is that no