The Hesperian / (Lincoln, Neb.) 1885-1899, February 01, 1893, Page 4, Image 4

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    THE HESPERIAN
A DARK CHAPTER IN AMERICAN LEGISLATION
G. K. WEI-DEN.
In !May last the press of this country un- coast was alive with settlements made by
nounced that the Chinese exclusion bill had people drawn there by the hope of becoming
passed congress, and had received the sig
nature of the President. The great mass of
our people read the announcement and passed
it by with little thought. They did not re-
rich. The territory of California on account
of the rapid increase of population soon be
came a state.
Far to the west of this new state, across
alize that an act had been passed of so great the Paciiic, lay the empire of China ; an
import ; so far reaching in its effects.
The
United States had violated her treaty with
China. She had passed a law new and
strange to a free government.
There are certain conditions under which
a nation is justified in abrogating a treaty.
empire containing almost half the population
of the globe ; which had existed for fifty cen
turies. While the races of the west had
come and gone leaving scarcely an imprint
to mark their existence ; amidst the wonder
ful changes that had characterized the rest
Self preservation is the first law of nations of the world, the blending of races, of lan-
as well as of individuals. If the coming of guages, the formation of new nations with
Chinese to this country threatened the in- higher types of civilization, the Chinese race
terests of our people ; if Chinese immigra- had existed and had come down the ages
tion was a growing evil which endangered unchanged by auy external influence, with
the safety of our national institutions; if the same government, the same religion,
China, knowing these things had refused to the same customs. The policy of this people
make anew treaty, then Congress was justi- had been one of seclusion and exclusion,
fied in her action. Tf, on the other hand, The resources of their broad empire enabled
these things did not exist, must we not ad- them to live independently of other countries,
mit that the United States stands before the This they desired to do and did. The nii-
world convicted of an injustice toward a
weaker nation ?
The question of foriegn immigration is to
day a vital one. It is a question which ex
cites the grave apprehension of the Amer
ican people. It is a question which demands
and is receiving the attention of our great
est statesmen. While the United States has
always been, and I trust always will be, a
tions of the world imbued with the spirit of
modern civilization brought to bear their
physical and moral forces against this wall
of seclusion. It yielded, and a few port1-,
for ages sealed, were opened to foreign com
merce. Foremost among the nations that sought
intercourse with China was the United State.
. commerce with that country might be de-
refuge for the oppressed of despotic govern- veloped which would prove profitable. On
ments, yet it will never consent to be the the Pacific coast the rewards of mining made
refuge for the paupers, the criminals, the the white man's labor too costly for ordi
anarchists of the Old World. But while our nary purposes, and the people desired tin
government is legislating in regard to im- immigration of Chinese laborers in order
migration and seeking to protect our citizens, that they might do the menial work.
is it not possible that it may go too far in In 18G8 the United States negotiated with
some cases, and discriminate unjustly against China the famous Burlingarae treaty. This
a certain people ? cansed great rejoicing throughout the United
The discovery of gold in California at- States, and was regarded as the greatest
tracted not only the people of the United triumph of modern diplomacy. The treaty
States hut of the world. Soon the Pacific is remarkable in some respects, remarkable
VM