What does it mean to be an American? How has the United States defined citizenship over time? To explore these critical questions, GCIR has developed a timeline, “ Who Gets to Be an American ,” which provides in-depth information on the evolution of American citizenship and how the United States has determined who belongs in this country and who does not . Understanding this history and the forces that drive it is critical to understanding how we decide who gets to be American today. This is the first in a series of timelines GCIR will release over the coming year , culminating in the release of a full Im/Migration Timeline tracking the history of movement within, to, and from the United States through a decolonized lens.