Chinese Immigration and Exclusion

The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first race-based restriction on immigration in American history. Why was the act passed after Chinese immigrants helped build the Transcontinental Railroad? A series of documents, including speeches and images, help learners explore the racist and political reasons behind the act.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use the included documents to structure a discussion and writing assignment to explore the rationale of the Chinese Exclusion Act
Classroom Considerations
  • To use the lesson, teachers should create a free Stanford History Education Group account 
  • Students may consider some language offensive 
Pros
  • Documents are edited and curated to add interest and reliability
  • Images are intriguing and invite discussion
Cons
  • None