1882 Chinese Exclusion Act

A whole class of people, forbidden from ever becoming citizens . . . forbidden from even entering the country-their rights torn up and trampled on, left with no political redress. This was the United States of America from 1882 through 1943―if you had the misfortune to be Chinese.

The United States Congress banned all Chinese from becoming U.S. citizens from 1882 through 1943, and stopped most Chinese from even entering the country starting in 1882. ["Forbidden Citizens"](http://www.thecapitol.net/Publications/ForbiddenCitizens.html), a book by Martin Gold, recounts this long and shameful legislative history. Congress passed restrictive legislation between 1879 and 1904. The most notorious was the [Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Exclusion_Act), described as "one of the most vulgar forms of barbarism," by Rep. John Kasson (R-IA) in 1882.;xNLx;;xNLx;These laws targeted not only immigration, they banned citizenship, even for legal immigrants who had arrived before the gate was closed in 1882. Barred from becoming voters, the Chinese had no political recourse against repeated discrimination.;xNLx;;xNLx;Because their appearance and lifestyle were so different, it was easy to tyrannize the Chinese. Insisting that the Chinese could not assimilate into American culture, lawmakers actively blocked them from doing so. Democrats and Republicans alike found the Chinese easy prey.;xNLx;;xNLx;Martin Gold assembles the complete legislative history of Congress's Chinese exclusion laws into his book. By reviewing the old so that we can learn about the new, this timeline visualization is based an outline of his book and related documents to compose these small stories from the background to the present.;xNLx;There is also a version of [this timeline in Chinese](https://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/80102/-/).

1783-01-01 00:00:00

Old China Trade

Early commerce between China under the Qing Dynasty and the United States under the Canton System.

1785-12-01 00:00:00

Reported Arrival of Chinese in US

The Pallas, a China trade vessel from Canton, dropped anchor in Baltimore in 1785. Three Chinese in her crew were reported to be the first recorded Chinese arrivals on US soil.

1790-03-26 00:00:00

1790 Naturalization Act

allowed only “free white person[s]” to become American citizens.

1839-03-18 00:00:00

First Opium War

between the United Kingdom and China

1848-01-24 12:40:43

California Gold Rush

Gold was found in California in 1848.

1850-12-01 00:00:00

Taiping Rebellion

A widespread civil war in China.

1860-01-01 00:00:00

First Count of Chinese in US

First U.S. Census counting the number of Chinese as "Asiatic" in the state of California in 1860.

1861-04-12 00:00:00

American Civil War

Slavery was abolished after the war

1863-01-24 12:40:43

First Transcontinental Railroad

Also known as the Pacific Railroad or Overland Route

1868-07-09 00:00:00

14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

It was ratified on July 9, 1868, and granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” which included former slaves recently freed.

1882 Chinese Exclusion Act

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