Nationalism and State Sovereignty Activity
Nationalism and State Sovereignty Lesson 3 Chinese Exclusion Act

Time: 5 minutes
Skills: Holistic Thinking
Objective 3
Related Resources:
- Chinese Exclusion Act. (2010, July 30). Youtube. Retrieved from: (2 min 20 sec)

The instructor asks students how views of nationalism shape government policy. As an example, how might late 19th century and early 20th century perspectives on nationalism shape the development of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Nationalism and State Sovereignty Lesson 3 Discussion of Multiple Voices Documents

Time: 30 minutes
Skills: Holistic Thinking
Objective 3
Related Resources:
- American Federation of Labor (1902). Some Reasons for Chinese Exclusion. Washington: Government Printing Office.  Retrieved from: [Pages 26-28, Use sections entitled "Chinese are not Assimilative" "Deter Desirable Immigration" and "Protection for American Labor"]

- Testimony from Joint Special Congressional Committee on Chineese Immigration (1876). Retrieved from: [Use two testimonies, that of Donald McLennan and Herman Heynemann, both can be found with an in-text search]

The instructor uses primary resources for a classroom discussion illustrating late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century nationalism in the United States. Markers and attributes to consider: ethnic homogeneity and unity and attendant notions of inclusiveness and exclusiveness, territorial expansion, imperial rivalry, “great power” status, prosperity, development, and military might, pride in one’s civilization, civilized status.  Questions to ask might include:

    • How does the AFL document (#2) characterize the differences between “the Caucasian and the Mongolian”? Is the primary argument against Chinese labor economic or are other reasons more paramount?
    • How does Document 3 contrast to Document 2? What do you think is the source of such contrasting views of the Chinese? How does the different American national perspective affect each view?
    • Do you think that the AFL perspective would be different if the Chinese workers did not have “strangeness of manners” as suggested in Document 3?
Nationalism and State Sovereignty Lesson 3 Discussion on Nationalism in Persia

Time: 30 minutes
Skills: Holistic Thinking and Cross-Cultural Communications
Objective 3
Related Resources:
-Anonymous (date). Announcement to the Arabs, Sons of Qahtan.  In Haim, S. (Ed.), Arab Nationalism: An Anthology (83-87). Berkeley: University of California Press. Retrieved from:,+Sons+of+Qahtan
& source=bl&ots=vqdq0RWW51&sig=QvA_mcTIPN6LWH5QT9RAkgNvhA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=
[Start with paragraph "o sons of Qahtan" on page 83 to "Every tyrannical government" on page 87]

- Jamal ad-Din, S. (2011, January 1). Teaching and Learning and Answer to Renan. In A.J. Andrea and J.H. Overfield (Eds.), The Human Record: Sources of Global History (328-330). Boston: Cengage Learning  [Use the Letter to Hasan Shirazi  (April 1891) starting "Your Reverence … Hasan Shirazi -may God protect by your means the fold of Islam, and avert the plots of the vile unbelievers!­—" to "Peace be upon thee, and the Mercy of God, and His Blessings."]

The instructor uses primary resources for a classroom discussion of documents 59 & 60, illustrating incipient nationalism in Persia (modern-day Iran) and among Arabic-speaking peoples in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Markers and attributes to consider: regarding the gradual appropriation of western concepts and forms of identity and authority by non-western peoples:  self-identification with western indicators of progress, superiority, and power (national “greatness”); inevitable stirrings, impulses, and more fully articulated desires and demands towards self-sufficiency, self-reliance, self-rule, autonomy, independence, awakening of pride in one’s own self-defined civilization.

Questions to ask might include:

    • What is the main thrust of Sayyid Jamal al-Din’s criticism of the Shah?
    • Is Sayyid Jamal al-Din making a religous or secular argument against the Shah and western imperialism?
    • What are the similarities and differences between al-Din’s Letter to Hasan Shirazi and the Announcement to the Arabs, Sons of Qahtan?
    • What is the Annoucement to the Arabs, Sons of Qahtan’s main stragegy for resisting western imperialism?
    • How does the author of the Announcement define ‘arab’?
Nationalism and State Sovereignty Lesson 3 Persian Nationalism in the 21st Century

Time: 15 minutes
Skills: Holistic Thinking and Cross-Cultural Communications
Objective 3 
Related Resources:
-Rostam: Tales from the Shahnameh (n.d.). Retrieved from

The instructor brings students to the website about the Shahnameh, which is a series of hero tales of ancient Persia. In groups, the students examine the site’s cartoons, books, and images and discuss how the modern rendition of ancient Persian literature depicts the themes of nationalism conveyed in the primary documents.