Unmaking Americans: A History of Citizenship Stripping in the United States


ACLS Fellowship Program




“Unmaking Americans” examines the US government’s long history of stripping citizenship from both naturalized and native-born Americans. It explores the following examples: during the Civil War the government revoked the citizenship of leaders of the Confederacy; between 1880 and 1930, Chinese Americans born in the United States were repeatedly denied entry into the country; between 1907 and 1931, women who married noncitizens automatically lost their citizenship; during World War II over 5,000 Japanese-American internees were pressured to renounce their citizenship; and in the McCarthy Era the government denaturalized tens of thousands of suspect citizens. “Unmaking Americans” combines a comprehensive historical review of forced expatriation with a legal and sociological analysis of the phenomenon, and ties the history of the practice to twenty-first-century debates about immigration and American identity.