Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > The Chinese in California

[Detail] "Sing Fat Co., Inc.": From San Francisco Chinatown (post-1910)

Chronological Thinking Skills: Immigration Timeline

Creating a timeline provides an opportunity to practice chronological thinking while also testing comprehension of a historical topic. Use the collection's materials to create an illustrated timeline reflecting the development of U.S. immigration policy from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the establishment of the quota system in the 1920s.

Refer to page seven of High Lights on Chinese Exclusion and Expulsion for a brief history of treaties and legislation regarding Chinese immigration. Use images from the collection, such as cartoons and illustrations from The Wasp and Harper's Weekly to reflect contemporary public opinion about the events, treaties, and laws included on your timeline.

  • What events other than the establishment of treaties and laws do you think were significant in the development of U.S. Chinese immigration policy?
  • What do the cartoons suggest about public sentiment towards Chinese immigrants?
  • How would you characterize the cartoon images of the Chinese? What can you infer from the nature of these images?
  • Do the cartoons in the collection show a change in attitudes over time or were feelings towards the Chinese consistent?
  • What might account for the different perspective taken by Harper's Weekly illustrator, Thomas Nast?