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Denver's Halloween riot( Colorado History the centennial state ) - Essay Example

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It was an anti-Chinese riot during the Halloween of 1880. Being one of the crucial events that shaped the Colorado history, Denver’s Halloween Riot is a topic worth looking at. The event points out at…
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Denvers Halloween riot( Colorado History the centennial state )
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Denvers Halloween Riot Denver’s Halloween Riot is an important event in the history of Colorado. It was an anti-Chinese riot during the Halloween of 1880. Being one of the crucial events that shaped the Colorado history, Denver’s Halloween Riot is a topic worth looking at. The event points out at the unfolding events in America and particularly in Colorado 100 years after United States independence. This paper will discuss this event and how it is important in the history of Colorado.
The Rocky Mountain News reported on October 23, 1880 that the Pest of the pacific Coast, referring to the Chinese, had invaded the state of Colorado. The Chinese first settled in Colorado during the 1860s; they were drawn there by the completion of the transcontinental railroad and demand for cheap labor (Hall 77). They existed amidst poverty, wretched living conditions, and persecution, and they mostly worked in mines, laundries, and as house servants. By 1880, hostilities between other immigrants and the Chinese had intensified as competition between them for jobs increased and opium dens habited by the Chinese getting negative publicity from the local press (Brown 178). The Chinese were accused of invading the state and therefore forcing women into prostitution and men into starvation. There were accusations that California had already been ruined by Chinese labor and that Colorado was then threatened with similar disaster (Historical Findings 18).
One week after the Rocky Mountain News reported about the looming disaster in Colorado due to Chinese invasion, Halloween riot erupted in Denver. The riot began when a group of four drunken white men attacked Chinese men who were playing pool along Wazee Street at John Asmussen’s salon (Brown 179). Soon after, a crowd of about three thousand started throwing bricks and breaking into the homes and stores of the Chinese. Attempts by the police to calm the riot were futile as they were vastly outnumbered by the crowd and were not able to stop the growing violence. As a result of the riot, Chinese homes and business in the area were gutted (Hall 85). Denver’s Halloween riot is important in history of Colorado; even though the riot did not immediately end the struggles with underlying issues of racism, it helped to address the challenge of racial prejudice in the long run (Brown 180). Since then Colorado has grew to be among the top states for business. In 2010, it was ranked as the third top state for business falling behind Texas and Virginia. The state has been able to overcome the challenge of racial prejudice, and its economy is among the most diversified.
In conclusion, it is clear that Denver’s Halloween Riot is an important event in the history of Colorado. As can be noted, the background of this event was economic; there was intensified competition between other migrants and Chinese for economic opportunities particularly jobs. While this event did not immediately end the struggles against racial prejudice in Colorado, it enabled Colorado people to overcome the challenge of racism. Consequently, Colorado people came to appreciate diverse ethnicity and different abilities. This has helped Colorado’s economy to be among the most diversified.
Works Cited
Brown, Joshua. Beyond the Lines: Pictorial Reporting, Everyday Life, and the Crisis of Gilded
Age America. Berkeley: University of California press, 2002. Print.
Hall, Frank. History of the State of Colorado, Volume 2. Lighting Source Incorporated, 2009.
Historical Findings. Colorado-Anti-Chinese riot in Denver, October 31st 1880. Library of
Congress, Washington, D.C, 1999. Print. Read More
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