|In recent years, many people have moved to North America from China,
|but many people do not know that Chinese people
|have a long history in Canada and the United States.
|During the nineteenth century, both Canada and the United States
|were rapidly expanding to the west, toward the Pacific Ocean.
|In those days, there were of course no cars or airplanes to allow people and goods to move across the land.
|Instead, the best method of long-distance transportation was the railroad.
|Railway trains could move quickly across the countryside.
|However, there was one problem:
|before the railway trains could run,
|railroads had to be built across very long distances.
|To build the railroads was a very big job.
|Many men would be needed because the distance was so long and the land was so difficult,
|with many mountains and rivers to be crossed.
|For the men who owned the railroad companies,
|it would have been too expensive to hire Canadian or American men to build the railroads
|because those workers would only work for high wages.
|The railroad owners decided to get workers from overseas.
|Many Chinese men were willing to work for low wages because they were very poor.
|These men would work very hard and send much of the money back to their relatives in China.
|Thousands of Chinese men were brought to North America to work on the railroads.
|They did good work, but their employers treated them badly.
|The work day was very long, and working conditions were very unsafe.
|Many Chinese men died in accidents while constructing the railroads.
|Some Chinese women also came to North America,
|but there were many more men than women.
|After the railroads were completed, by about the year 1900,
|very few Chinese people were allowed to come to North America.
|Most people in Canada and the United States were not familiar with Chinese people
|and did not want strangers to come to their countries.
|Any Chinese person who came to North America had to pay an expensive tax.
|This made it difficult for Chinese men to bring their wives and families to join them in North America.
|Later, the governments of Canada and the United States made Chinese immigration illegal.
|Eventually, the people of Canada and the United States realized that their laws had been unfair.
|They changed the rules so that Chinese people
|could immigrate in the same way that people from other countries could do so.
|In recent decades, many Chinese people have moved to North America,
|and have formed a very lively and successful community.
|Many cities, such as Toronto, Vancouver,
|San Francisco, and New York, have been enriched by Chinese culture.
|Chinese people are now very prominent in North America, just as they were many years ago.