Asian American History - Essay Example

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An author of the essay "Asian American History" reports that the paper explores about Southeast Asian migration to the US in the wake o the Southeast Asian crisis and their subsequent experiences in the alien land and how they coped up in a given situation…
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Asian American History
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"Asian American History"

Download file to see previous pages The paper explores Southeast Asian migration to the US in the wake of the Southeast Asian crisis and their subsequent experiences in the alien land and how they coped up in a given situation. Early Migrations Takaki dates Asian migration back to 1835 when a sugar mill owner began his sugar business in Hawaii. Local workers were not efficient enough to carry on his sugar mill operations. When he replaced them with Chinese workers, he found them more efficient. Perhaps, that was the first time when Chinese or Asian workers got its due recognition so much so that during laying of transcontinental railroads in 1834, it was decided to employ Chinese workers. By 1867, there were more than twelve thousand Chinese workers employed at the Central Pacific Railroad Soon stories of Hawaii were reaching to other shores. Between 1903 and 1920, in their bid to escape from the clutches of Japanese, more than eight thousand Koreans migrated to the US. The migration to the U.S. from other Asian countries such as Korea, Philippines, and India continued unabated (Takaki 21, 53). The Global Cold War and Hot Wars of Southeast Asia The end of World War II marked a new beginning of Asian migrations in the US. The global cold war between the Soviet Union and the US intensified after the end of World War II and Asia became a battleground in a process to leave an imprint on many underdeveloped and poor Asian countries by the two diametrically opposite economic and political ideologies – namely the USSR and the US. Cambodia which was a French colony until 1953 had a major political upheaval thereafter. Chandler mentions the radical thinking of Pol Pot: “We all carry vestiges of our old class character, deep-rooted for generations” (44). He believed in destroying these things in order to achieve socialism. The fight between Lon Nol's Khmer Republic supported by the U.S. and the Khmer Rouge supported by communists from North Vietnam brought an extraordinary turmoil within the country. Communism was exported to Cambodia via Vietnam during the time when both were under French rule. The Civil war in 1970-75 took the toll of more than 500,000 people and displaced more than three million people from its place. Khmer Rouge's ideology had several facets. As Chan puts it, "Fearing pollution or contamination, they savagely went about eradicating all those whom they deemed impure" ("Cambodia’s Darkest Hour" 14). Khmer Rouge believed more in the concept of race overthrowing the concept of class. It was neither a peasant revolution nor a revolution meant for working class. That is why Khmer Rouge began evacuating Phnom Penh on the same day after capturing it. In a most pathetic incident, the patients from the largest civilian hospital from the Phnom Penh were evacuated first. In a few days, the city's entire population was asked to move on the plea that Americans might bomb. In a bizarre and well-thought out move, approximately 2.5 million people were asked to leave their houses and places. Some of the Khmer leaders, such as Hou Yuon who opposed the evacuation, were removed from the scene. The citizens were completely baffled and wandering without shelter and food. Thousands of them died of illness, thirst, and starvation. The former military officers and government officials who were called to take specific instructions never returned. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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