Sunday, December 10, 2006

Student Questions - National History Day


... I am writing to request an interview with you for my “National History Day Project.” The NHD Project is an annual national history competition for middle school students. Each year there is a specific theme. This year, the theme is Triumph and Tragedy. My topic is the Triumph and Tragedy of Chinese laborers working on the CP Railroad.

Your website has been great in my research, and I hope to have you as an interview and primary source. ...

... some questions ...

1. How did the perception of the Chinese people and their culture change from the beginning of the construction process to the end?

2. How did the wages of Chinese workers differ from that of Irish and non-chinese workers? If there was a major difference, did it change by the end of construction?

3. What, in your opinion, would have happened in the construction of the railroad if Chinese workers were not employed? How would it have effected history in general?

4. How many Chinese laborer died at Cape Horn alone?

5. What percentage of the deaths for workers were Chinese?

6. How did the Chinese' customs and general behavior differ from the white workers at the time?

7. Can you describe, in detail, what the method used by the Chinese to clear out huge rock outcroppings?

8. What long-term effects, if any, did the use of Chinese labor have on the general culture of the United States? California especially.

9. What, in your opinion, were some of the greatest tragedies of this event? also, what were some of the greatest triumphs that resulted from it?