Coolie refers to unskilled laborers from Asia of the 1800s to early 1900s who were sent to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, North Africa and the West Indies. The term usually referred to Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Korean laborers and was often used in a derogatory way.

Chinese coolies contributed to the building of the Transcontinental Railroad in the United States, but many of the Chinese laborers were not welcome to stay after its completion. The California's Anti-Coolie Act of 1862, Chinese Exclusion Act of 1888 also contributed to the unfriendliness to Chinese laborers in the United States.

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