Literature Study GuidesThe Chinese Exclusion Act Of 1882

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 | Study Guide

United States Congress

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Course Hero. "The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 Study Guide." July 19, 2019. Accessed September 25, 2023.


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United States Congress

Year Enacted



Primary Source


History, Law

At a Glance

  • In May 1882 the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Chester Arthur (1829–86).
  • The act marked the first time the United States had prohibited a specific group of people, based on race, from immigrating to the country.
  • The act banned Chinese laborers, both skilled and unskilled, from entering the country.
  • The legislation was a reaction to anti-Chinese sentiment throughout the United States in the late 19th century. This sentiment was strongest in the West.
  • The ban was put into place for 10 years. In 1892 it was extended for another 10 years.
  • Merchants, teachers, diplomats, and a few other categories of Chinese immigrants were still allowed to enter the country.
  • All Chinese immigrants other than government officials had to acquire certificates proving that their immigration was lawful.


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