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The Chinese Exclusion Act

by National Archives and Records Administration

This course material is only available in the iTunes U app on iPhone or iPad.

Course Description

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and subsequent expansions on and revisions of the intent of that law lasted until 1943.  These laws severely curtailed immigration from China to the United States and affected the democratic rights of Americans of Chinese decent. Documents and records of individual case files, and Certificates of Residence housed in the National Archives and Records Administration detail the individual stories resulting from these laws.  This course and companion Multi-Touch book explores those stories through primary source document analysis.  Explore, discover and learn to research in the digital files of the National Archives to further understand the impact of these laws.   

Primary source documents are the building blocks of history and learning to research and analyze the stories that emerge from our documents and records helps give us perspective on our immigration history.

This project was made possible through a collaboration of the National Archives and Records Administration and Cheryl Davis and Mia Morrison, Apple Distinguished Educators. Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) are part of a global community of education leaders recognized for doing amazing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom. The collaboration was supported through the ADEs in Residence Program, which places selected ADEs in some of the world’s leading museums, archives, science centers, and cultural organizations to develop innovative teaching and learning resources.


Materials created by the National Archives and Records Administration are in the public domain.

The Chinese Exclusion Act
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