Evolution of Natural Citizenry

  • Naturalization Act of 1790

    This act was implemented with the First United States Congress. It was for "free white persons of good character''. In order to qualify for citizenship, you also had to have lived in the nation for two years. This excluded Black Native Americans and later Asians.
  • Naturalization Act of 1795

    This repealed the Naturalization Act of 1790. This changed the minimum period of living in the nation from two to five years. It also added that children born outside the United States to US Citizens could be granted citizenship. It still excluded Black, Native Americans and other people of color from being granted citizenship.
  • Naturalization Act of 1798

    This increased the period of time that alien must live in the US from 5 to 14 years before being able to apply for citizenship. Many were critical thinking that it would discourage citizenship.
  • Naturalization Law of 1802

    This repealed the previous act and reduced the period of aliens to become naturalized citizens from 14 to 5. However the exclusions for people of color still remained in place.
  • Naturalization Act of 1804

    This added to the other provisions in that it added that those Aliens who applied for citizenship and were qualified, if they died, their widow and children were to be considered naturalized citizens.
  • Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek

    With the terms of this treaty, Choctaw Indians were permitted to become US citizens if they decided to stay in Mississippi. Many were removed to the other lands due to the Trail Of Tears. Those of the Choctaw were heavily discriminated against.
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford

    The Supreme Court ruled that Black People were not intended to be included as citizens when the Constitution was written and they could not claim any rights that were given to citizens.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1866

    This act declared that all people born in the United States who are not subject to any foreign power are entitled to be citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude.
  • Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

    The Citizenship Clause was established which stated that all persons born in the United States should be granted the same rights and considered citizens. However, it excluded Native Americans who were still loyal to their tribes. It also excluded children that were born in the United States to foreign parents and who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers.
  • Naturalization Act of 1870

    This added that aliens living in the nation of African descent and African nativity could apply for citizenship. However this notably excluded those that were Chinese and of other descents.
  • Page Act of 1875

    This prohibited the entry of Chinese women.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act

    This act restricted all immigration from Chinese laborers.
  • Immigration Act of 1882

    This act restricted certain classes of people immigrating to America such as the disabled and criminals.
  • Scott Act of 1888

    This prohibited Chinese workers who left the country from returning.
  • Immigration Act Of 1891

    This added more exclusions such as persons suffering from certain contagious disease, felons, persons convicted of other crimes or misdemeanors, polygamists, aliens assisted by others by payment of passage. It also made it where anyone entering the country had to have a medical exam which is how facilities such as Ellis Island in New York City became established.
  • Geary Act

    This was an extension of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. This added that all Chinese residents in the United States had to carry a resident permit. Failure to have this on time resulted in deportation or a year of hard labor.
  • United States v. Wong Kim Ark

    A decision was made by the Supreme Court that children born in the United States to Chinese parents that are subject to the Emperor of China but have a permanent home not employed as a diplomat were automatically US citizens at birth.
  • Naturalization Act of 1906

    Added to previous acts that those who apply for citizenship must speak English.
  • Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907

    An agreement between the United States and the empire of Japan that the United States would not impose restrictions on Japanese immigrants and that Japan would not allow further emigration into the United States.
  • Immigration Act of 1917

    Added literacy test for immigrants and restricted immigration from the Asia-Pacific Zone.
  • Ozawa v. United States

    Takao Ozawa applied for citizenship under the Naturalization Act of 1906. He argued that he should be eligible for citizenship as he was a free white person. The courts stated that Japanese people were not considered free white persons within the law.
  • United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind

    The Supreme Court determined that people of Indian descent were not eligible for citizenship.
  • Immigration Act of 1924

    This further banned immigration from Asia and set a quota on how many citizens could emigrate from the Eastern Hemisphere.
  • Indian Citizenship Act

    This act granted citizenship to Native Americans. All non Native American US citizens born in US territory were now considered to be US citizen.
  • Nationality Act of 1940

    This expanded the status of individuals and their children born or residing in the continental U.S., its territories such as Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Philippines, Panama and the Canal Zone, or abroad who could be granted citizenship.
  • Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952

    This allowed all people to be eligible for citizenship. It was no longer based on race.
  • Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965

    Expanded on Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and added ''No person shall receive any preference or priority or be discriminated against in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person's race, sex, nationality, place of birth, or place of residence.''