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Japanese-American Internment During World War II (Research Paper Sample)


Japanese-American internment during WWII negatively impacted those interned economically, psychologically, and culturally.


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Japanese American Internment

During times of war, more resources are spent in relation to warfare, lost lives as well as the cities which are razed. Generally, history focuses on mass destruction and death excluding the lives of the common folk. Immigrants from the enemy countries tend to be victims of discrimination in relation to their heritage, ethnicity, and religion. In most cases, maltreatment and discrimination of innocent civilians are worse compared to the actual warfare, destruction of property or loss of variable resources. The Japanese fought with Germany in World War II. This caused the Japanese citizens who suffered local prejudice migrating to the United States. They were termed as spies who worked with the Japanese to fight against the allied forces. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order in 1942, considering the West Coast region a military area. Additionally, the U.S government set up internment camps to hold the Japanese American as captives as a way of stopping them from spying for Japan.

Japanese aircrafts attacked the Pearl Harbor on December 7, in 1941. After the attack, the Japanese-Americans living in the United States experienced harsh treatment to the extent of imprisonment. They have stripped off their belonging, sent to the camps, detained and denied their freedom. The Japanese American internment involved compulsory relocation by the American government with a majority of the Japanese-Americans being detained in camps during World War II. In addition, this led to the termination of the U.S government’s history of discrimination and racist against Asian immigrants and their children that had begun with restraining immigration policies in the late 1800s. Despite a lack of enough evidence, the U.S War Department alleged the Japanese-Americans had acted as saboteurs. Some of the Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast were placed in the detention centers inland. This resulted in the power struggle between the War Department and U.S Department of Justice who opposed the movement of innocent citizens (Dunham). The attack on Pearl Harbor led to the evacuation of innocent Japanese-American civilians who merely had no connection with the Japanese Empire. As a result, they were treated as potential criminals and enemies of the United States. This led to increasing racial prejudice between media and some government officials.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, there was tension between the U.S citizens, especially on the West Coast region. A few months after the attack, an Executive Order 9066 was issued by President Roosevelt, which led to displacing all individuals from Japanese ancestry, both aliens, and citizens outside of the Pacific military zone. Evacuation orders were posted in the Japanese-American communities, giving orders on how to comply with the executive order. Most individuals sold their homes together with their personal property. The goal of the order was to avert surveillance and protect the Japanese from the Americans who had strong anti-Japanese attitudes. While the camps were being constructed, A number of the evacuees were detained in temporary centers such as local race tracks. Most of the interns were the Japanese-Americans born in the United States and Nisei. The Japanese-American Veterans were also forced to leave their homes. Housing consisted of tarpaper barracks in Spartan. Children attended school as the adults worked. Farming was one of the activities that were meant to provide sufficient food in the camps.

During this period, the evacuees elected representatives to forward their grievances to the government officials. Some interns volunteered to fight in the all-Nisei regiments. Life in the camps was not easy, especially during winte...

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