Japanese-American Internment During World War II

1549 Words4 Pages

Japanese-American Internment was the relocation of many Japanese-American and Japanese descendents into camps known as “War Relocation Camps” during World War II (specifically after the attack on Pearl Harbor). In 1942, the United States government relocated and interned approximately 120,000 Japanese-American citizens and people of Japanese descent into relocation camps. This internment lasted for about four years, and was backed by the government as well as the president. The last relocation camp was closed in January 1946, five months after World War II officially ended. The internment and cruel treatment of the Japanese in the U.S. stemmed from a fear of a full-pledged invasion from Japan and also from years of racial prejudice against the Japanese. Like the Chinese, the first Japanese immigrants were originally viewed as a cheap source of labor, but shortly after they became targets of anti-Asian campaigns, specifically called the “yellow peril.” This prejudice began as the Japanese slowly moved from farm laborers to farm owners and owners of small businesses. “As successful farmers, fruit growers, fishermen, and small businessmen, their ability to do well with little and to overcome great odds made them objects of envy by some members of the white community.” White Americans (specifically White Farmers) soon began to build a prejudice against the Japanese and supported the internment.. The Japanese were not the only minorities to be segregated. In the 1930s, America as a whole was a place with little tolerance towards people of different color (Native Americans were to live on reservations, African-Americans, Asians, and other minorities were barred from many jobs due to race). Already segregated by years of racial... ... middle of paper ... ...compensation for property losses as a consequence of the evacuation and internment. It was not until 1988 that the government officially apologized for the Japanese-American Internment and $20,000 was paid out to individuals who had been interned or relocated. The Japanese-American Internment experience lasted from 1942-1946. Approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans were affected. Many lost their property, health, sense of identity, and also patriotism during the experience. The internment brings into question the constitutionality of “military necessity” and also paved the way for the later Civil Rights Movement. Works Cited 1. Bruce Elleman, Japanese-American Civilian Prisoner Exchanges and Detention Camps, 1941-1945 (New York City: Routledge, 2006), 55. 2. http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/ 3. http://caamedia.org/ 4. http://americanhistory.si.edu/

Open Document