United States National Citizenry

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    Transatlantic Slave Trade

    The slave trade transported 10-12 million enslaved African people from the 16th to the 19th century.
  • Africans

    In 1619, the first group of Africans was brought in captivity to the Jamestown colony in Virginia. They were not citizens, yet caught up in the transatlantic slave trade as a web of international commerce and human suffering.
  • Citizenship by Naturalization

    The earliest citizenship law was reserved for 'free white persons' or white male property owners. The federal government requires two years of residency for naturalization.
  • Native Americans

    The Removal Act forces Native Americans to settle in Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.
  • Trail of Tears

    Estimated 4,000 Cherokee Indians were forced on a thousand-mile march to establish Indian Territory.
  • Ireland's Potato Famine

    A failed potato crop kills one million people in Ireland and prompted more than 500,000 to immigrate to America over the next five years.
  • Chinese Migration

    The promise of gold in California lured dreamers far and wide, 25,000 Chinese immigrants left their homes and moved to California.
  • Dred Scott

    Supreme Court declares blacks are not U.S. citizens; rules 1820 Missouri Compromise's ban on slavery in the territories unconstitutional.
  • The Emancipation Proclamation

    The Emancipation Proclamation abolishes slavery and permits African-American men to join the Union Army.
  • The 15th Amendment

    The 15th Amendment of the Constitution provides African-Americans with citizenship.
  • Italians

    Italy's troubled economy began with the start of four million Italian immigrants arriving in the United States.
  • Path to citizenship

    The federal government began restricting immigration
  • Chinese Exclusion Act

    The Exclusion Act excluded Chinese laborers from the country under the penalty of imprisonment and deportation. They were also made permanent aliens by excluding them from U.S. citizenship.
  • Polish/Russian Migration

    The Russian Empire was a vast country with substantial portions of Europe and Asia. The era was suffering from overpopulation, widespread famines, and political unrest.
  • The Immigration and Nationality Act

    The Immigration and Nationality Act allows individuals of all races to be eligible for naturalization.
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    Cuban & Puerto Rican

    Fidel Castro's Cuban revolution prompts mass exodus and creates an influx of immigrants to Miami over the next two decades.
  • The Immigration Reform and Control Act

    This act legalizes illegal aliens residing in the U.S. unlawfully since 1982.