American flag

Evolution of the National Citizenry

  • Naturalization Act of 1790

    Naturalization Act of 1790
    This act defined naturalization and that a foreign born "alien" must be in the U.S. for two years or more before becoming a resident. This only applied to white people who had to have "good moral character."
  • Ban of importation of slaves

    Ban of importation of slaves
    This act made it illegal for Americans to be involved in the slave trade between nations and gave the U.S. to seize slave ships which were caught transporting slaves and seize their cargo. This act did not take effect until 1808.
  • War of 1812

    War of 1812
    The War of 1812 took place from June 18, 1812, until February 18, 1815, and was fought between the U.S. against the United Kingdom and its allies. The U.S. declared war and was ended by the treaty of Ghent. In the end Spain lost West Florida to the United States and the Native American nations were moved from their lands.
  • Immigration begins

    Immigration begins
    After the War of 1812 the Irish started immigrating to the United States along with nearly five million Germans. This immigration took place from 1815 to 1861.
  • Steerage Act of 1819

    Steerage Act of 1819
    This act was passed in order to make traveling conditions better for immigrants coming to the U.S. by ship. The captain also had to keep information on each passenger on board including country of origin due to illness caused by the poor conditions on the ship. This is the first federal records showing ethnicity of each immigrant.
  • California Gold Rush

    California Gold Rush
    The Gold Rush lasted from 1848 to 1855 after gold was found in the Sierra Nevada mountains and Northern California. This caused many people to immigrate to California trying to strike it rich.
  • Treaty of Guadelupe Hildago

    Treaty of Guadelupe Hildago
    The treaty ended the war between Mexico and the United States. As a result Mexico had to cede fifty-five percent of its territory, including what today is the states of California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, most of Arizona and Colorado, and parts of Oklahoma, Kansas and Wyoming.
  • 14th Amendement to the Constitution

    14th Amendement to the Constitution
    Everyone who is born or has been naturalized in the United States is a U.S. citizen.
  • Naturalization Act of 1870

    Naturalization Act of 1870
    This act gave naturalization rights to Africans but did not allow any rights to Asians.
  • The Page Act

    The Page Act
    This act prohibited the entry of immigrants from Asia into the United States to be a laborer. It imposed a fine of up to two thousand dollars and a maximum jail sentence to anyone who tries to bring any Asian person into the U.S.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

    Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
    This act did not allow any immigrants to come from China.
  • Statue of Liberty

    Statue of Liberty
    The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in the New York harbor and designated a national monument in 1924. It was a gift of friendship from the people of France and is the universal symbol of freedom and democracy. In the inscription is "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breath free, the wretched refuse of your teaming shore."
  • Oepning of Ellis Island

    Oepning of Ellis Island
    A new building on Ellis Island started receiving new immigrants on January 1, 1892. Annie Moore, a teenager from Ireland with her two younger brothers were the first immigrants to be processed there.
  • The Geary Act

    The Geary Act
    This act was a law that continued the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 by adding new requirements. It required all Chinese residents of the United States to carry a resident permit. It was to prevent more Chinese persons from coming to the United States.
  • United States v. Wong Kim Ark

    United States v. Wong Kim Ark
    "A child born in the U.S. of parents of Chinese decent who at the time of his birth, are subject of the emperor of China, but have a permanent address and residence in the U.S. and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States, by virtue of the first clause of the Fourteenth Amendment."
  • Naturalization Act of 1906

    Naturalization Act of 1906
    Congress passed this act to establish new rules and requirements for becoming a citizen and created the Federal Naturalization Service. As part of the Bureau of Immigration to watch over all naturalization courts and individual cases.
  • Expatriation Act of 1907

    Expatriation Act of 1907
    This act revoked the citizenship of U.S. born women if they married a non citizen immigrant man.
  • World War I

    World War I
    World War I took place from July 28, 1914, to November 11, 1918. Immigration stopped during World War I.
  • Immigration Act of 1917

    Immigration Act of 1917
    The goal of this act was to restrict immigration by giving literacy tests to immigrants and making new categories of inadmissible people. It also banned immigration from the Asia-Pacific zone.
  • Emergency Quota Act

    Emergency Quota Act
    This act limited the number of immigrants from any country to three percent of those people who already are living in the United States from that country per the census of 1910.
  • Immigration Act of 1924

    Immigration Act of 1924
    This act set permanent number limits of immigration. It started a "national origin quota system."
  • Border patrol created

    Border patrol created
    The border patrol was established by Congress as part of the immigration bureau in the Department of Labor through the Labor Appropriation Act of 1924. It was originally made to secure the borders between inspection stations and its patrol areas were enlarged to include the sea cost of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida.
  • Indian Citizen Act of 1924

    Indian Citizen Act of 1924
    This act gives all Native Americans born in the United States automatic citizenship.
  • The Neutrality Act

    The Neutrality Act
    This Act set a quota for immigrants with skills needed in the U.S.
  • World War II

    World War II
    World War II started September 3, 1939, and ended September 2, 1945. This war was fought over most of the world excluding North America. There was no immigration during World War II.
  • Women citizenship restored

    Women citizenship restored
    Women were now allowed to marry non U.S. citizens without revocation of their citizenship or having to petition the government to try to regain their citizenship.
  • Alien Restriction Act

    Alien Restriction Act
    This act made it illegal for any person living in the United States to teach or advocate the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.
  • Attack on Pearl Harbor

    Attack on Pearl Harbor
    The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese navy and air force on the United States at Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack. As a result the United States officially entered World War II.
  • Executive Order 9066

    Executive Order 9066
    This order was issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to authorize "the forced removal of all persons deemed a threat to national security from the West Coast to "relocation centers" further inland-resulting in the incarceration of Japanese Americans."
  • Korean Conflict

    Korean Conflict
    The Korean Conflict was fought between North Korea and South Korea from June 25, 1950, until it ended with a peace agreement on July 27, 1953.
  • Kwong Hai Chew Act

    Kwong Hai Chew Act
    The Supreme Court ruled and The Bill of Rights as no authority for immigrants that are from different countries who are trying to come into the United States for the first time.
  • 1954 Act

    1954 Act
    A large number of illegal immigrants came into the United States from Mexico.
  • Ellis Island closed

    Ellis Island closed
    Ellis Island was an immigration station for more than sixty years until it closed in 1954 when President Eisenhower was ready to move immigration law enforcement in a new direction.
  • The Civil Rights Act

    The Civil Rights Act
    This act bans discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. All U.S. citizens and non citizens living in the United States are guaranteed to have equal rights in the United States.
  • Bracero program ends

    Bracero program ends
    The Bracero Program had brought more then four million Latinos to work in U.S. agriculture and on railroads. The Braceros returned to their native country after their work permit expired. It ended because many workers had low wages, horrible living and working conditions and suffered discrimination.
  • 1965 Act

    1965 Act
    This act repealed the national origin quotas and started a visa system to reunite families. It also sets a quota for Western Hemisphere Immigration. It also set a twenty kilometer country limit for Eastern Hemisphere Immigration.
  • President Ford repeals Executive Order 9066

    President Ford repeals Executive Order 9066
    President Roosevelt unofficially stopped this executive order in December 1944 and all camps were closed by the end of 1946. The order was not formally terminated until President Ford signed the termination in February 1976.
  • INA Ammendmants Act

    INA Ammendmants Act
    This amendment set a twenty kilometer country limit for Western Hemisphere "aliens."
  • Refugee Act of 1980

    Refugee Act of 1980
    Due to the large number of Cuban and Vietnamese, there were about ten million refugees looking for asylum and are legally admitted to the United States as citizens.
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act

    Immigration Reform and Control Act
    This act allows for the majority of illegal "aliens" who have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 1982, to apply "for legal status" and stops employers, illegals and gives penalties for violations.
  • Immigration Act of 1990

    Immigration Act of 1990
    This act limited immigration to seven hundred thousand people per year.
  • Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act

    Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act
    This act let the United States government to legally "deport aliens who did not have the proper paperwork." This was passed as a result of the World Trade Center bombings by terrorists.
  • 9/11

    The World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. was attacked by terrorist from the Middle East that killed thousands of people. The United States government passed laws to prevent future attacks.
  • Patriot Act

    Patriot Act
    This act was passed to limit the number of illegal immigrants and possible terrorists entering the United States.
  • Minuteman Project

    Minuteman Project
    This organization was founded by a group of private citizens who monitored the United States-Mexico border and the number of illegal immigrants that were crossing there into the U.S.
  • Arizona State Bill 1070

    Arizona State Bill 1070
    This act was passed in Arizona and was a very broad and very strict anti-illegal immigration law. It states that immigrants eighteen and older must have in their possession their alien registration (green card). It also required the police to check immigration status during any "lawful stop."
  • Obama permits young migrants to remain in the U.S.

    Obama permits young migrants to remain in the U.S.
    President Obama's new immigration policy states young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children can stay in the country without being afraid of being deported and can work legally and get drivers licenses. This was an executive action.
  • Supreme Court upholds centerpiece of 2010 Arizona Immigration Law

    Supreme Court upholds centerpiece of 2010 Arizona Immigration Law
    "The Supreme Court upheld SB 1070's notorious "show me your papers" provision, deciding that it is not preempted by federal law." A law such as this asks for racial profiling of Latinos.