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In this activity, students watch short clips of the PBS/A Bill Moyers Special production of Becoming American: The Chinese Experience (2003). The documentary clips and accompanying materials cover the arrival of Chinese in California, their work on the transcontinental railroad, the passage of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, and the Angel Island…

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Item Type: Teaching Activity
Date: 2011

In this game, students are assigned different immigrant identities and advance based on their access to economic opportunity and religious, political, and social liberties at different times in U.S. history.
Many miners wrote letters home to family and friends describing their experiences in California. In this letter, Robert Pitkin describes the tensions between American-born and Chinese immigrant miners.

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1852

Many miners wrote letters home to family and friends describing their experiences in California. In this letter, Robert Pitkin describes the tensions between American-born and Chinese immigrant miners.

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1852

In the late 1880s, when this photograph was taken by Isaiah West Taber, there were over 20,000 Chinese living in California. Many settled in San Francisco's Chinatown, where markets, temples, theaters, and restaurants supplied a thriving commercial community.

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: Circa 1905

This writing prompt serves as an assessment for the activity A Country within a Country: Understanding San Francisco's Chinatown.

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Item Type: Worksheet
Date: 2011

This worksheet helps students analyze evidence from the Country Within a Country activity.

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Item Type: Worksheet
Date: 2008

This worksheet is used by students to gather evidence from a gallery walk in the activity A Country within a Country

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Item Type: Worksheet
Date: 2011

The playing field in the U.S. was not level for all immigrant groups. Chinese immigrants in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries faced a host of laws that restricted their freedom to emigrate, earn a living, and follow their native cultural practices. Individuals and organizations challenged these laws through the court system, with…

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Item Type: Laws/Court Cases
Date: 1858

The Chinese Exclusion Act, passed on May 6, 1882, was the first major restriction placed on immigration in the U.S., and the only immigration law that explicitly barred a specific group from entering the country. The Exclusion Act forbade Chinese "skilled and unskilled laborers" from entering the U.S. for a period of ten years, required Chinese who…