Watershed Years and the Effects of the Second World War in APA Communities
A watershed is the period during which the World War II took place from 1939 to 1945. The war initiated many major changes in the history of the Asian Pacific Americans in all aspects of their lives. The self-esteem and confidence of the Asian Pacific Americans increased and many citizens of America saw an emergence of democracy and liberty. This resulted in a situation where the Asian Pacific Americans as well as other non- Native Americans in the country enjoyed more rights and opportunities than before.
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Thus, the period acted as a bridge in the lives of many Asian Pacific Americans from a state where they experienced racial discrimination, prejudice, and oppression to an era where discrimination and oppression reduced. It was an age when Native Americans worked together with the Asian Pacific Americans and accorded each other fair and just treatment.
The Second World War brought all Americans and Asians together irrespective of their race. Hence, the unity occasioned by the Second World War compelled the state to review the rights accorded to the Asian Pacific Americans. Human rights activists and the state encouraged non-Americans, which included Asians, to take up good and well paying jobs that were previously undertaken by the Native Americans.
The issue of racial and gender discrimination subjected by the Native Americans on the Asian Pacific Americans reduced, and all the members of the Asian Pacific Americans living in the country started receiving equal treatment from employers and other service providers. Human rights activists and other special interest groups campaigned for the rights and equal treatment of non-Americans including the Asian Pacific Americans.
In one of the instances, New York mayor and President Roosevelt’s wife negotiated with business people in Washington so that they would hire many Asians and Africans in well paying jobs. This was a good example of human rights activists’ role in promoting fairness and justice to all the American people regardless of their places of origin or race. Thus, employers who underpaid or overworked the Asian Pacific Americans reduced, and this increased the level of equality and opportunities among the Asian Pacific Americans and women.
The Second World War brought the America and China together. The main objective of their unity was to win the war. This increased the self-confidence and self-esteem of the Asian Pacific Americans because they started receiving some level of respect from the natives. The adoption of capitalism in the United States further increased the social standing and the economy of America a factor that motivated many Asians to visit America.
Professor Ronald Takaki notes that during the period many Asians witnessed economic developments and growth. Thus, the livelihoods of the Asian Pacific Americans improved, their self-confidence increased, and the respect accorded to them by Native-Americans rose. America became an imperial and superpower, its economy grew, and many Asian Pacific Americans who formed the larger portion of visitors to the country started enjoying high wages and salaries.
The United States and China united with the objective of winning the Second World War. During the period, the livelihoods of the Asian Pacific Americans changed. State officials brought about changes to minimize the levels of controls that barred Asian immigrants from visiting or living in America. Additionally, laws governing interactions and intermarriages between Asians and Americans were relaxed as opposed to the previous stringent and straitjackets rules that did not permit intermarriages.
Magnuson Act was very instrumental in bringing discrimination subjected to Asians living in America to an end. However, it was not until after the Second World War that the Native Americans started respecting and appreciating the Asian Pacific Americans, and thus the magnitude of prejudice experienced by Asians in America reduced.
Asian Pacific American Immigration in early 19th century and Post-65
In the early 19th century, many Asians who visited America were successful and wealthy artisans or traders. However, California gold rush initiated mass immigration of Asians in America. The majority of the immigrants were unskilled and either low or middle-income earners. As opposed to the previous wealthy and successful traders who enjoyed good reception from Native Americans, these immigrants went through gender and racial discrimination from Native Americans.
The natives changed their attitudes concerning Asians Pacific Americans, and hence subjected them to cold and unreceptive experiences. Regardless of the challenges that Asians went through, they continued coming to America in high numbers, and even started forming towns and centers, which bore their names like Chinese towns. However, some Asians who could not stand the experiences subjected to them returned back to their countries. Therefore, the number of immigrants and Asian Americans reduced drastically.
In the mid of the19th century, the United States experienced a high level of immigration of Asians because of the gold rush in the state of California. Initially, the United States barred the immigration Asians. The country passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which prevented further immigration of Asians especially Chinese from visiting America.
Chinese Exclusion Act dictated that Asians did not have the permission to own land or even marry Caucasian women. However, the experiences of the Asian Pacific Americans changed in 1965 when the state passed the Immigration Act into law. The law permitted Asians to visit or even stay in America and championed for equal treatment of the Asian Pacific Americans.
In 1965, there was a radical change in the American government. The state amended immigration rules and regulations meant to discourage Asians, Latin Americans, and Africans from visiting the country. Therefore, people from these countries could visit America with ease. Human rights and other civil activists championed for the rights of Asians and other Non-Americans to leaders such as Jeff Kennedy and London Johnson.
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As a result, discrimination on Asians went down, and so they began receiving good and fair treatment from a majority of Native Americans. The civil activists, human rights activists, and the state started enacting laws that encouraged equal treatment of all the citizens living in America regardless of their gender or race. A good example is the Immigration and Nationality Act, which was passed by the state in 1965. The act initiated a turning point for many immigrants to America such as Asians and Latin Americans.
The pressure from activists such and enlightenment of the citizens living in America on the importance of respect and effects of discrimination led to enactment of rules and regulations. These rules ensured that the Asians Pacific Americans received fair and just treatment from all the citizens living in America. In addition, the Magnuson Act further aided Asian the Pacific Americans, as it permitted their immigration to the United States. The state legislations minimized the problems encountered by Asian visiting the country.
The landmark act of immigration in 1965 saw a tremendous increase in the demographics of Asian Americans who were mostly Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, and Philippines. Wars like the first and the second world wars also affected the livelihoods of Asian Americans. The effects occurred because of America’s involvement in the war. The effects include family reunions, and increased understanding between Asians and Americans, respect between individuals living in and out of the United States.
Post-65 Era Immigrant Experiences and how they Have Reshaped APA Communities
Post-65 era was a period characterized by many changes regarding Asian Pacific Americans or Asians in America. One of the most notable changes witnessed in the era was the enactment of the Immigration Act that permitted the Asians to visit the country.
The period also saw a reduction on the discrimination of Asian Pacific Americans. Another factor that increased immigration of Asians to America was the gold rush. Before the gold rush, America usually received a number of Asians who were wealthy, skilled, and successful traders. Their level of participation in the affairs relating to America was minimal. During that period, there were high levels of racial and gender discrimination. The gold rush became a major motivating factor to the Asian Pacific Americans.
The event took place in the state of California and became one of the factors that increased the Asian populations in America. The Second World War was also another factor that brought many individuals together and acted as a uniting factor especially between countries. For instance, during the Second World War, the United States and China became allies. Therefore, the era was a turning point for Asians living or visiting America since many positive changes occurred during the period.
As the Asian Pacific Americans experienced cultural changes as they migrated and stayed in America. The Asian Pacific Americans had to change their cultures from Eastern culture to western culture, which reflect the American culture. They started to establish towns that had the names of their native countries. A good example is the formation of Chinese towns by the Chinese individuals living in America.
During this time, there was a clash of culture, living styles, and other social aspects. Comparatively, Americans were more liberal and less conservative than Asians were because of their level of civilization. The interaction of the eastern and western cultures led to the development of a hybrid culture, which reflects cultural values and norms of both the Asians and Americans.
Therefore, the interactions led to a relaxation of culture, alteration of the ways living, change in norms, and adoption of foreign cultures. Children from that period faced the challenge of either remaining loyal to their culture or adopting the new lifestyles of America. In some instances, the individuals behaved in a manner that demonstrated bicultural lifestyles.
The challenges of cultural identities faced by the Asian Pacific Americans led to inter-generational conflicts. Intergenerational conflicts occur where there is a rapid change in cultural and social lifestyles in a population due to demographic factors. The conflicts cut across many generations of Asians in America.
The first and second generations were likely to stick to the values of their homelands. However, the subsequent generations would not continue to uphold values, norms, and lifestyles. Conversely, they were likely to adopt new lifestyles and cultures. This resulted in some kind of inter-generational conflict.
Since the Asians form one of the largest groups found in America, they are highly susceptible to the effects of culture change. In addition, intermarriages between Asians and Americans have led to the birth of a new generation of individuals who are neither Asians nor Native Americans. Thus, intergenerational conflicts just like any other socio-cultural change would continue. In this view, the culture of the young people among the Asian Pacific Americans is not similar to that of the old people because of the generational changes.