California Proposition 1, the "Alien Land Law" Initiative (1920)

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California Proposition 1, also known as the Alien Land Law Act, was on the November 2, 1920 ballot in California as an initiated state statute, where it was approved.[1]

A 2011 story in Capitol Weekly said that Proposition 1 "went after Asian Americans, especially those of Japanese descent, by reducing their rights to own land (mostly farm land)."

Proposition 1 was supported by Hiram Johnson and the California Grange supported it.

In 1952, the California Supreme Court overturned it in its entirety.[1]

Election results

Proposition 1
Approveda Yes 668,483 75.1%

Text of measure

Proposition 1 1920.PNG


The ballot title was:

Alien Land Law. Initiative Act.


The official summary provided to describe Proposition 1 said:

"Permits acquisition and transfer of real property by aliens eligible to citizenship, to same extent as citizens except as otherwise provided by law; permits other aliens, and companies, associations and corporations in which they hold majority interest, to acquire and transfer real property only as prescribed by treaty, but prohibiting appointment thereof as guardians of estates of minors consisting wholly or partially of real property or shares in such corporations; provides for escheats in certain cases; requires reports of property holdings to facilitate enforcement of act; prescribes penalties and repeals conflicting acts."

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