The Influences on the Signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Powerful Essays
Previous to the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7th 1941, tensions had been forming between the USA and Japan in the pacific. The US had cut of most supplies to Japan with the fear of Japanese expansion. The conflict that had been escalating between Japan and China since 1937 had the US treating Japan with great cautiousness. They had been monitoring Japanese Americans in anticipation of a surprise attack. However the attack on Pearl Harbour still shocked and outraged the American nation and affected the American psyche. After being assured that “a Japanese attack on Hawaii is regarded as the most unlikely thing in the world”(1), the sudden mass destruction of the U.S Navy’s Pacific fleet and deaths of roughly 2400 U.S soldiers and civilians as a result of such an attack undoubtedly lead to confusion and racial hatred amongst many US citizens. The assumption on the War Department’s behalf that Japan’s Navy were incapable of launching a full scale assault on the US Navy’s chief Pacific base was more than inaccurate. As a result, the US Naval base was unprepared and was quickly taken out. A hidden bias would soon become evident in both average civilians and higher positioned government officials. This bias against Japan aided in the formation of the Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) on February 19th 1942. Once Executive Order 9066 was signed, with no proof that sabotage or espionage had been committed by Japanese Americans, it allowed for the relocation and summary removal of “enemy aliens” from their homes to incarceration under guard in designated areas / camps. With just one pen and piece of paper, FDR suddenly made it possible for citizens of Japanese descent to be ... ... middle of paper ... essentially contradicted the Bill of Rights. Eleanor Roosevelt, a strong supporter of civil right, as noted in her memoirs, recalled being gob smacked by her husband’s decision in regards to EO9066. Supposedly, any attempt that Eleanor made to change her husband’s mind was knocked aback and she was told not to mention it again. Throughout the war, two cases came up in the US Supreme Court which challenged the constitutionality of EO9066, upholding it both times. Eventually, on February 19th, 1976, 34 years since the signing of EO9066, Gerald Ford signed an order “prohibiting the executive branch from reinstituting the notorious and tragic World War II order”. Following this, in 1988, President Ronald Reagan issued a public apology on behalf of the government and related associations for the mistreatment of former Japanese internees and their descendants.
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