Interning Japanese Americans Essay examples

Interning Japanese Americans Essay examples

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After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. This executive order authorized the Secretary of War to designate parts of the country as “military areas” from which anyone might be excluded and travel restrictions might be imposed. A few weeks later, General John L. Dewitt, the person in charge of the Western Defense Command, considered the entire Pacific coast as a place susceptible to being attacked and designated it as a military area. At first, the military established curfews causing Japanese Americans to be prohibited from leaving this military area. Then the military changed the policy to moving the Japanese Americans between the Pacific Ocean and Mississippi River away from this area. About 200,000 Japanese Americans were forced to comply with these contradictory commands and evacuate to relocation centers in other parts of the country. Now these Japanese Americans were basically imprisoned there by law. The American government gave themselves four reasons to intern the Japanese Americans: the fear of sabotage from Japanese Americans or Japanese national posing as American citizens, the intent of special interests to acquire land and businesses owned by Japanese Americans, the rationalization that Japanese Americans needed to be sent to internment camps for their own protection, and the motivation of racial prejudice. However, none of these arguments were valid for interning the Japanese Americans during WWII.
There was a fear of sabotage from Japanese Americans or Japanese nationals posing as American citizens. Eugene V. Rostow from Harper’s Magazine wrote, “These people were taken into custody as a military measure on the ground that espionage and sabot...


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...erties from the Japanese Americans. The Anglos wanted the Japanese Americans to be interned so they could take the property left behind. This was a sign of greed, not an applicable explanation for interning them. There was no rationalization that Japanese Americans needed to be sent to internment camps for their own protection as well. There were never reports of Japanese Americans being attacked due to the war. Finally, there was the motivation of racial prejudice, which was absolutely ridiculous. Just because they had Japanese ancestry, one could not say that they were spies and fifth columnists. In all races of people, there could be good and bad characteristics. A human could not control their race, but he could make himself trustworthy. As has been indicated, there were no valid reasons for the government to intern the Japanese Americans during World War II.

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