Evolution of the national citizenry

  • Naturalization Act of 1790,

    This right was only for "free white persons." Only white men who owned property were labeled as citizens. Women, nonwhite persons, and indentured servants were not.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

    Anyone living in the territory annexed to the United States after the Mexican American War are now citizens.
  • 14th Amendment

    While the 13th Amendment did abolish slavery, it didn't give former slaves the full rights of citizenship. The 14th Amendment however, "grants that all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens and are guaranteed “equal protection of the laws.” (Defining Citizenship | National Museum of American History, n.d.)
  • Naturalization Act of 1870

    This extended the Naturalization Act of 1790 and gave rights to former African American slaves who were born outside of the United States. Asian immigrants however are still excluded from citizenship.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

    This banned immigration based on race or nationality but was later repealed in 1943.
  • United States v. Wong Kim Ark

    "Any child born in the United States, regardless of race or parents’ citizenship status, is an American citizen." (Defining Citizenship | National Museum of American History, n.d.)
  • Jones-Shafroth Act

    Granted Peurto Rican residents United States Citizenship.
  • Indian Citizenship Act

    Extends United States Citizenship to all Native Americans
  • Alien Registration Act

    This act required all non-citizen adults to get registered with the government. It also gives the government the power to deport "foreigners suspected of espionage or being a security risk."(Defining Citizenship | National Museum of American History, n.d.)
  • Immigration and Nationality Act

    This act gets rid of race as being a bar to immigration or citizenship.
  • Hart-Celler Act

    This act replaced the national origins quota system with a system that focuses on the skills of immigrants and their relationship with US Citizens or residents.
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

    This act "grants amnesty to millions of individuals living in the United States who entered the country before January 1, 1982."(Defining Citizenship | National Museum of American History, n.d.)
  • USA Patriot Act

    This act amended the Immigration and Nationality Act in order to expand the scope of aliens who are unable for admission or deportation to include terrorist activities.