Soon other Asian-origin groups, such as Korean, Vietnamese, Hmong, and South Asian Americans, were added." For example, while many Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino immigrants arrived as unskilled workers in significant numbers 1850–1905 and largely settled in Hawaii and California, many Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Hmong Americans arrived in the United States as refugees following the Vietnam War. in large numbers on the West Coast in the 1850s and 1860s to work in the gold mines and railroads.
These separate histories have often been overlooked in conventional frameworks of Asian American history. They encountered very strong opposition—violent as riots and physical attacks forced them out of the gold mines (citation needed).
, the first Asians to come to the western hemisphere were Chinese Filipinos who settled in Mexico. Later around 1840, to make up for the shortage of slaves from Africa, the British and Spanish brought over slaves or "coolies" from China, India, and the Philippines to islands in the Caribbean, Peru, Ecuador, and other countries in South America. Around that time and as you may remember from your history classes, gold was discovered in America.
Eventually, Filipino sailors were the first to settle in the U. However, the first large-scale immigration of Asians into the U. Lured by tales and dreams of making it rich on "Gold Mountain" (which became the Chinese nickname for California), The Gold Rush was one of the pull factors that led many Chinese to come to the U. to find their fortune and return home rich and wealthy.
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The most important factor was economic hardship due to the growing British dominance over China, after Britain defeated China in the Opium War of 1839-1842.
In addition to prospecting for gold in California, many Chinese also came as contract laborers to Hawai'i to work in sugarcane plantations.