Opium Smoking, Anti-Chinese Attitudes, and the American Medical Community, 1850- 1890
During the 1870s and early 1880s, members of the American medical community sought to exclude the Chinese from immigrating to the United States because these physicians believed that the Chinese opium smoking habit threatened the moral system of the country. Doctors were especially concerned about the supposed effects of opium smoking on sexual behavior, arguing that it both heightened male and female desire and endangered the nation's reproductive capacity. They also feared that opium smoking and Chinese prostitution would encourage miscegenation, and that use of the drug could ultimately harm America's socio-economic progress. The conclusions of these physicians fed into the anti-Chinese campaign that resulted in the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882.
Ahmad, D. L. (2000). Opium Smoking, Anti-Chinese Attitudes, and the American Medical Community, 1850- 1890. American Nineteenth Century History.
History and Political Science
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