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Chinese History

  • Date Submitted: 06/03/2010 06:48 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 67.6 
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Building the Railways- chinese workers

1000 strong, brave and HUGE risk-taking Chinese men left their home town China, got on steam boats and travelled nearly half way around the world to British Columbia where they all played virtual roles in Canada’s History. Pon Git Cheng was known to be one of those men that played virtual roles. Men were hired to build the CPR railway through the BC mountains. Chinese men came hoping to earn huge amount of money, so that they can go back home with savings in they’re pockets. They also came knowing that they would get paid alot more than they would in china. In China they were making 7 big cents. To them that was still good money, and was somewhat useful.

There were many workers involved in the process of building the railway, but not just any old workers. In the year 1878, 3000 Chinese men were employed in the province. The first Chinese men hired had already worked on railways in California, and had great experience. Many men had to come to BC because of the Gold Rush. In 1885 the number of Chinese workers had really increased to about 15,000, and all employed on railway.

Money was very, very, very important to the Chinese. They needed the money to bring home and help support their family. They earned $1.00 per day, only 50 cents less than the amount of money the other workers made. $1.00 was treated like gold to the men. The Navvies were not paid during harsh three winter months. Workers used their money very wisely, and paid for clothes, tools, food, shelter and taxes, but also saved close to $300 for 5 years of hard working. Cooks earned $20-$30/month. With all their money saved, still they could only afford to live in crowded boarding houses.

When the building of the railway was complete, most of the workers couldn’t afford to go back home. Unfortunately for the Chinese, 5,000 workers couldn’t go back home so they had to stay put, and live in Canada. Most Chinese workers drifted west coast, and some...


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