The Chinatown in San Francisco is one of the largest Chinatowns in North America and the oldest north of Mexico. Other cities in North America where Chinatowns were founded in the mid-nineteenth century include almost every major settlement along the West Coast from San Diego to Victoria. European Chinatowns, such as those in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, are for the most part smaller and of more recent history than their North American counterparts. In the United States, opportunity was usually the driver of the building of Chinatowns. The initial Chinatowns were built in the west in places such as California, Oregon, Washington state, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. As the transcontinental railroad was built, more Chinatowns started to appear in railroad towns such as St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Butte Montana, and many east coast cities such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Providence, and Baltimore. With the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation, many southern states such as Arkansas, Louisiana, and Georgia began to hire Chinese for work in place of slave labor.