The formation of the Indian middle class around the mid-nineteenth century and of policies of race-based U.S. immigration exclusion in the same time period bears some explanation, since these spatially distinct but temporally overlapping processes merged during the Cold War. The historical development of these eventually entwining, transnational narrative strands forms the substance of this prologue. Concentrating on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the prologue provides the foundational context on which to build a narrative of postwar South Asian immigration to the United States. It provides historical context of the histories of anti-Asian immigration law in the United States and Indian immigration.
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