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Two Faces of ExclusionThe Untold History of Anti-Asian Racism in the United States$
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Lon Kurashige

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469629438

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469629438.001.0001

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Flood Control

Flood Control

Nationalism, Internationalism, and Japanese Exclusion, 1919–1924

(p.111) 5 Flood Control
Two Faces of Exclusion

Lon Kurashige

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter addresses the social forces in the U.S. that came together after World War I to pave the way for Japanese exclusion in 1924. Congress held hearings across the West Coast about Japanese immigration in 1920, which revealed the intensity of the issue as hundreds of persons testified. Many favored Japanese exclusion, but a surprising number opposed it. As it had done earlier with both the Chinese and the Japanese, California lead the way towards exclusion, in this case through approving a ballot measure the strengthened the state’s alien land law. Votes in this measure revealed splits about Japanese exclusion within the state and within various neighborhoods within Los Angeles, the state’s largest city. A cadre of political leaders and private citizens in California, including V.S. McClatchy, James D. Phelan, and Senator Hiram Johnson, led the anti-Japanese campaign. In the end, the federal government’s approval of Japanese exclusion was not a sure thing, and throughout the process its backers were never certain of their success.

Keywords:   Japanese exclusion, V.S. McClatchy, James D. Phelan, Alien Land Law, Hiram Johnson

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