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p. 252. Race and the American republiclocked

  • Madeline Y. Hsu


Asian immigration tested American ideals of equality, forcing the issue of whether all racial groups could be integrated into the United States. “Race and the American Republic” describes the various laws—including the 1790 Nationality Act, which limited the right of citizenship by naturalization to “free white persons”; the 1913 Alien Land Law; and the 1917 Barred Zone Act—that shaped attitudes and institutional practices regarding whether and how Asians could claim rights and belonging. Exclusion at the borders paralleled laws that enacted forms of segregation domestically. The cornerstones of successful integration into American lives—citizenship, property ownership, and mixed-race marriage—were made unavailable to later Asian immigrants.

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