Japanese American Internment Camps

Powerful Essays
After the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, life in the U.S. had changed. It was the first time in a long time that America was attacked on its homeland. This national security threat was a big shock to the people. The Japanese had to suffer the consequences of their attack. Just as the Germans developed concentration camps for the Jewish during World War II, the Americans set up "relocation" programs better known as internment camps to keep all the Japanese. The reason the Japanese were moved into these camps was because they were suspected of being spies. They were forced to live there for up to four years and were not able to continue with their own lives as they were before while they were living in these camps. Many Japanese families came into this country in hope of a new and worthwhile life. They worked very hard to start their own businesses and establish themselves. Some families opened up their own shops to which they dedicated their whole lives and savings. When the internment programs began, store owners were pressured to get rid of all their merchandise. The pressure pushed them to sell their products for much less and resulted in a great loss of profit. If the shop owners were being difficult, the white vendors would threaten the shop owners’ families, knowing that no one would be able to stop them. This economic loss devastated all Japanese people. What would they do with such little money? There was no other choice, however, as they couldn’t take their merchandise with them (63 O’Brien). Based on necessity, the War Department took responsibility for the removal for Japanese ancestry from the west coast. General DeWitt proclaimed two military areas after the passage of Executive Order 9066. Area 1 included we... ... middle of paper ... was fighting in a war where entire populations of Jews were being prosecuted due to their religion. The containing of the Japanese completely undermined the cause which America fought for against the Axis in WWII. All the controversy following the interment, such as people encouraging the internments because of their ignorance versus other people being against the crimes, caused changes for the future. For example, after 9-11, a direct homeland attack, there were no organized camps or hate campaigns. America learned from its past mistakes and realized that if it were to target all Middle Eastern decedents, it would cause controversy once again. It is so important to learn about the issues in history and truly understand what really happened, not the confused versions we are sometimes told, so we can use this knowledge in our decisions for the issues of the future.
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