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"Which Color is to be Tabooed Next?" 1882

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This is Thomas Nast’s political cartoon from 1882 about the Chinese Exclusion Act.
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Nast, Thomas, "Which color is to be tabooed next?" Harper's Weekly, 1882


This political cartoon by famed political cartoonist, Thomas Nast, was published in 1882 in response to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. It shows two men of Irish descent wondering about what group might be excluded next.

Transcript of "Which Color is to be Tabooed Next?" Political Cartoon

Source-Dependent Questions

  • The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 stopped all immigration of laborers from China for a 10-year period. What does the caption imply about this law and what might happen?
  • What stereotypes of Irishmen does Thomas Nast use in this cartoon?
  • Why do you think Nast used Irishmen in a political cartoon about immigrants from China?
  • Refer to the advertisements "Wanted - An American or English Girl" and "Coachman Wanted." How does Nast's cartoon reflect the prejudice shown by the employers who placed those advertisements?

Citation Information 

Nast, Thomas, "Which Color is to be Tabooed Next?" Harper's Weekly, 1882. Courtesy of Library of Congress