Japanese Americans Interned In American Prison Camps During World War Two

Japanese Americans Interned In American Prison Camps During World War Two

Length: 1627 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Japanese Americans Interned in American Prison Camps during World War Two
Anyone who has taken any sort of history course is most likely to have learned about World War Two and how the basic cause of this war was the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, which was a United States Water Naval Base on an island in Hawaii. "This day is a day which will live infamy" (Taylor 50), is the famous quote formally stated by President Roosevelt, while giving a public speech subsequent to the attack. For the United States of America the attack was a horrible and devastating event, many lives were lost that day. From this unpleasant incident the United States felt threatened and betrayed by which was once supposed to be a peaceful ally, Japan. Therefore soon after this act of hostility the United States declared war against Japan, which led to World War Two. Now before this had even begun, a significant number of Japanese immigrants had been migrating to America for years, and started to built there our own society and families. "A census the day before Pearl Harbor showed that about 125,000 persons were of Japanese birth or ancestry in the U.S, while another 150,000 lived in the territory of Hawaii."(Nishimoto 24) During this time Japanese Americans started what would become a successful adaptation to the American life. Japanese towns were not only residential areas, but commercial centers as well. These commercial centers were not only utilized by Japanese Americans, but fellow American citizens who lived around them. They began to live normal lives and their children were nurtured by American institutions. But soon after America engaged in the war, these Japanese Americans became American citizens with enemy faces. The thought of them having a background in which was related to the enemy at the time shattered the Japanese Americans status, economically, politically, and socially. The U.S simply destroyed any sort of success the Japanese Americans had made in the summer of 1942, by sweeping up the entire ethnic population of California, Western Washington, and Oregon. They were then transported to the first assembly centers of War Relocation Authority. Which from here this ethnic population was brought to concentration camps around the west coast. Our government had taken American citizens with Japanese descent and positioned them into concentration camps, so there was no chance of a major threat. Regardless from the fact that the act against Pearl Harbor was made by the government of Japan, a country in which these citizens left to come and gain freedom in the United States of America, freedom in which they are promised by our constitution.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Japanese Americans Interned In American Prison Camps During World War Two." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Jul 2018
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=157166>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on World War II Prison Camps for Japanese-Americans

- ... "I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us" (President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1942, Address to Congress Requesting a Declaration of War). Congress made their decision less than an hour after Roosevelt delivered his address. The Senate concluded with a completely unanimous vote of 82 members in favor of war. The House concluded shortly after their counterpart, and had 388 members vote in favor and only one against....   [tags: enemies, traitors, rights, respect]

Research Papers
1802 words (5.1 pages)

Japanese Americans Interned In American Prison Camps During World War Two

- Japanese Americans Interned in American Prison Camps during World War Two Anyone who has taken any sort of history course is most likely to have learned about World War Two and how the basic cause of this war was the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, which was a United States Water Naval Base on an island in Hawaii. "This day is a day which will live infamy" (Taylor 50), is the famous quote formally stated by President Roosevelt, while giving a public speech subsequent to the attack. For the United States of America the attack was a horrible and devastating event, many lives were lost that day....   [tags: American History]

Free Essays
1627 words (4.6 pages)

A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution Essay

- A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution Introduction Located on the third floor of the National Museum of American History, "A More Perfect Union" documents the forced relocation of thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II. The exhibit focuses on the violation of constitutional rights that occurred during this process. The purposes of this review are as follows: describe the scope, purpose, and message of the exhibit, analyze how that message is organized and communicated, evaluate the effectiveness of the exhibit, and interpret the exhibit as a cultural artifact....   [tags: Japanese Americans World War II]

Research Papers
2301 words (6.6 pages)

Essay on Japanese American Internment Camps

- Was the internment of Japanese Americans a compulsory act of justice or was it an unwarranted, redundant act of tyranny which breached upon the rights of Japanese Americans. During World War II thousands of Japanese Americans were told by government officials that they had twenty-four hours to pack their things, get rid of any belongings of theirs, and to sell their businesses away for less than retail value. Although many people thought the Japanese American internment was needed to ensure U.S....   [tags: japanese american rights]

Research Papers
1051 words (3 pages)

Japanese Internment Camps Essays

- World War II was a time of deliberate hate among groups of innocent people who were used as scapegoats. Japanese-Americans were persecuted due to the fact that they looked like citizens of Japan, who had attacked the United States on December 7th, 1941 at the naval base, Pearl Harbor. This hatred toward the group was due to newspapers creating a scare for the American people, as well as the government restricting the rights of Japanese-Americans. The Japanese-Americans were mistreated during World War II for no other reason than being different....   [tags: Japanese-Americans in WWII]

Research Papers
878 words (2.5 pages)

The Japanese Internment Camps Essay

- On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii. They destroyed seven American battleships, and 121 aircraft, and killed 2,400 people. After the attack on Pearl Harbor President Roosevelt sent out a telegram letting everyone know what was happening and it stated “Washington, Dec. 7 (AP)-President Roosevelt said in a statement today that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, from the air. The Attack of the Japanese also made on all naval and military “activities” on the island of Oahu.” The President’s brief statement was read to reporters by Stephen Early, presidential secretary....   [tags: World War II, concentration camps in the US]

Research Papers
805 words (2.3 pages)

Japanese Internement Camps Essay

- How would you feel as a child, having to be taken away to an internment camp. The Pearl Harbor bombing in 1941 was devastating. It brought pain to friends and families who lost loved ones. Not only them but the Japanese Americans who were placed in internment camps. They were considered “unfit” and dangerous to live in American communities. Due to the Pearl Harbor bombing, Executive order 9066 sent over 120,000 Japanese Americans to relocation centers, driving them through devastating afflictions just because of their Japanese ancestry....   [tags: World War 2, Japanese in US soil]

Research Papers
910 words (2.6 pages)

Japanese Internment Camps Essay

- ... For example, initially the Jewish community had a curfew for when they had to be inside, and many were laid off from jobs. As the War progressed, the concentration camps revealed a more devastating reality. They had to remove their clothes and put on meager work clothing. They slept in tight quarters. They had no rights and were treated like animals. In America, the order came more immediately following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. On February 19, 1942, after Pearl Harbor when the U.S. got involved in World War II, the U.S....   [tags: jewish people, potencial spies, war]

Research Papers
830 words (2.4 pages)

Discrimination and Stereotyping of Japanese-Americans Essay examples

- With the attacks on the United States by terrorists, many Americans have been experiencing feelings of fear, sadness and tremendous anger. Many of Middle-Eastern descent have been experiencing great prejudice and discrimination and are being stereotyped as terrorists. These types of feelings are very prevalent in American society today. Similarly, though not widely as discussed, Japanese-Americans have felt these feelings directed toward them for several generations. Going from the extreme of being herded to internment camps after the surprise attack of Pearl Harbor, to the more commonplace, being stereotyped in the entertainment industry and internet sites, prejudice, discrimination and s...   [tags: Racial Prejudice Japanese-Americans]

Research Papers
1970 words (5.6 pages)

Essay on Photos of Japanese American Children in Internment Camps, 1942-1945

- Photos of Japanese American Children in Internment Camps, 1942-1945 Amid a growing anti-Japanese sentiment during World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, which called for the evacuation of all persons of Japanese descent from the West Coast. Many individuals and families evacuated to assembly centers and eventually internment camps in ten inland locations across the country. Among the more than 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry interned, many of those were children, and most of these children were American citizens....   [tags: Photos Japanese American Children Essays]

Research Papers
2104 words (6 pages)

How is this logically and ethically the best answer in a situation such as this one?
Many American citizens formed a hostile attitude towards others of Japanese origin, especially right after Pearl Harbor. This hostility resulted in a relocation program that was even more repressive than those in charge had originally intended it to be. President Roosevelt triggered the basic decision to relocate the West Coast Japanese Americans on February 11, 1942. "In a brief telephone conversation with his Secretary of War, Henry M. Stimson, the commander in chief gave carte blanches to Stimson and his deputy, John J. McCloy, to do whatever they thought necessary. His only junction to Stimson was to be as reasonable as you can." (Taylor 112) A few days after the president said this, he signed an Executive Order giving the war department authority to relocate Japanese Americans, which is truly the day that should live in infamy as far as the Constitution is concerned. Congress, by trying to gain a comprehensive view of this situation, tried to generally reflect the American public's opinion more accurately than the other parts of the federal establishment. The congress in 1942-1943 was composed of highly political people who had strong opinions about a program as significant as the one designed to remove these Japanese Americans from the West Coast to "less sensitive areas."(Taylor 88) It is shown that there was a great deal of pressure on Congress to do something about the Japanese in the West Coast, and this pressure certainly would become a factor in the promulgation of the Executive Order. Through out this time many political figures brought to attention many different points as to why this relocation might turn into a consequential decision. One point made was by the WRA director, Dillon S. Myer, who pointed out that "If they did not handle this predicament in a way to get these people absorbed as best we can while the war is going on, we might have something similar to Indian reservations after the war, which will remain a problem for many years to come."(Taylor 89) He also felt as if a racial issue might occur and that's the last thing our country needed in a time of war. Myer also tried to warn the government by saying that the Japanese government had been trying to prove for some time that this is a racial war, Orientals versus whites. And this relocation program would just contribute to their theory. During this time period it was actually very rare for a person to encompass enough courage to speak up against the injustice, which is more often than not the reason why the relocation of the Japanese Americans continued to occur.

Life in these concentration camps was supposed to be labeled as "homogeneity", which means it should be the same as it would be if these Japanese citizens were living their normal lives in America. Well American citizens certainly did not have to dress uniformly in clothing given to them by the army which reflected army surplus, and/or live in housing that consisted of row after row of tar, paper barracks, so how were these two ways of living even close to being similar? In these concentration camps no person was at a higher level of authority than any other Japanese American, in fact they all seized powerless positions in society. They were forced to live in a closed classless system with few alternatives. However if there was one good thing about the situation at hand, it was that at these camps Japanese Americans received a good education, provided by the government, which inevitably would be a starting point to help their culture to succeed once again in the far future. The flaw of this arrangement was that in America we are given the right of freedom, which is why back then many other non-American citizens were coming to America. They were all looking for a better life, and place to build a life and family. Which is exactly what the ancestors of these Japanese Americans tried to accomplish and instead of granting these American citizen's their rights to freedom, they were held in camps that regulated their lifestyles. Another type of concentration camp was in Germany, when Hitler was in power in which he forced all the citizens of Jewish descend to be held incarceration However it is always perceived that what Hitler did was horrendous and unacceptable. The only difference between Hitler and the American government in this situation, is that Hitler tortured and kill many of the civilians he held, our government did no such thing. But some would view being held against your will, having your own lifestyle regulated, and being held to the conditions in which these American citizens were apprehended to, as some sort of torture instead of independence.
At around 1976, the redress of the Japanese Americans started to occur. President Henry Ford finally rescinded the Executive Order. This gave all Japanese Americans their freedom back, so eventually the government reevaluated the decision and realized the mistake that was bad during the war. "In 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed legislation to create the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians." (Daniels 83) CWRIC was appointed to conduct an official study of the Executive Order, related to wartime orders and their impact on Japanese Americans in the West Coast. In 1983, the CWRIC concluded that the incarceration of these citizens had not been justified by military necessity. "The report determined that the decision of relocation was based on race prejudice, war hysteria, and failure of a political leadership." (Executive Order 9066) The commission after concluding these findings then recommended remedies that consisted of and official government apology, redress payments of 20,000 dollars to each of the survivors, and a public education fund to help ensure that this would not happen again. So in the end the Japanese Americans received what they deserved for being incarcerated for reasons that were not ethical.
There are many different opinions that differ concerning the relocation of Japanese Americans following Pearl Harbor. In a way you can understand why most of the public felt hostility towards the Japanese, yet the ones punished in our country were still American citizens, just with a Japanese ancestry. Today, in society there is nothing we can do about the events that took place in 1942-1973; however we can learn from our mistakes and make sure they don't repeat themselves. An example such as this is September 11th, after this tragic event our government did not reprimand the American citizens with the same descend as the attackers. So in the long run, the mistakes in the history of our country helped out our society in the long run.

Works Cited

Daniel, Rodger. American Concentration Camps. Library of Congress Cataloging in
Publication Data, 1989

Executive Order 9066.Wikipedia.28 Feb 2007.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_9066

Nishimoto, Richard S. Inside an American Concentration Camp. Poston, Arizona: The
University of Arizona Press, 1995

Taylor, Sandra C. and Harry H. L. Kitano. Japanese Americans From Relocation to Redress. University of Washington Press, 1991
Return to 123HelpMe.com