California Alien Land Law


CALIFORNIA ALIEN LAND LAW. Responding to the strong anti-Asian sentiments among voters, the California legislature passed the Alien Land Law of 1913. The act was amended and extended by popular initiative in 1920 and by the legislature in 1923 and 1927. Aimed at the largely rural Japanese population, the law, with a few exceptions, banned individual aliens who were not eligible for citizenship (under the Naturalization Act of 1870 this included all persons of Asian descent born out-side of the United States), as well as corporations controlled by such aliens, from owning real property. Similar laws were passed in other western states. The law was repealed in 1956 by popular vote.


Daniels, Roger. The Politics of Prejudice: The Anti-Japanese Movement in California and the Struggle for Japanese Exclusion. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1962.

Ichioka, Yuji. "Japanese Immigrant Response to the 1920 Alien Land Law." Agricultural History 58 (1984): 157–78.

Thomas J.Mertz

P. OrmanRay

See alsoAsian Americans ; Japanese Americans ; "Yellow Peril."

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