Anti-Chinese Massacre of 1871

In this lesson, students explore the complexities of race, violence and vigilante justice in early Los Angeles. In 1871, the population of Los Angeles was 6,000 people. This diverse population participated in the lynching of nearly 20 Chinese in Los Angeles. Why did the Chinese Massacre of 1871 happen? And what does that tell us about early American Los Angeles? That is the question students must answer through watching a segment of Lost L.A., then reading and analyzing documents to develop their own answer. This lesson works best when students have background knowledge about two key historical trends: lynching and anti-Chinese sentiment in the West.

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