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Ellis Island of the West - Angel Island



Ellis Island of the West - Angel Island
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.75

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    insanity, undesirable, ally, overrun, finding, citizenship, federal, relationship, criminal, prisoner, prospectors, mass, political, extremely, government, citizen
     content words:    Many Chinese, United States, World War II, Ellis Island, New York, Angel Island, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, Some Chinese


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Ellis Island of the West - Angel Island
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Chinese immigrants thronged to California in 1848. Word of a gold rush brought them. Most of these Chinese were very poor. They were hard workers, but they could get very little work in their native China. Word spread across the Pacific that prospectors were finding nuggets of gold just lying on the ground in California. Many Chinese men left their homes and families in the hope of sharing some of this gold. They became part of the group called "Forty-niners."
 
2     Political leaders in the west saw this mass immigration to their coast and got scared. They were afraid that the land would be overrun with Chinese taking what was theirs. The Chinese were kept out of the gold fields by laws enacted by these politicians. The Chinese needed to make money somehow. They were willing to work for less money than most Americans in the area. The railroad saw this as a blessing.
 
3     Railroads were being built across the entire country to connect the east coast to the west. Laying tracks across the mountains in the western half of the country was extremely hard and extremely dangerous. The Chinese workers gladly took on the job. This angered many American workers who lost their jobs to the Chinese. They insisted that something be done to keep "foreigners" from coming into the country and taking "American" jobs.

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