The Foreign Miners’ Tax Handout #2

The Foreign Miners' Tax did not just affect "foreigners" in California. The Californios, people of Mexican descent who had lived in the territory for many years, had been granted U.S. citizenship after the war. Yet they were forced to pay the Foreign Miners' Tax if they wanted to mine for gold in California. While this law was repealed after only a year, it produced its desired result: the prohibitive tax left most of the gold to the Americans of Anglo descent.

Based on what you know about the current social and political landscape, do you think that this type of discrimination does or could happen today in the United States? Why? Why not? What is different about today's United States compared to that of 1850? What might be the same?