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Internment of AmericanJapanese

What is it?

The internment of the Japanese-Americans was the response of the US government’s fear of Japanese-Americans, who lived on the west coast, planning secret attacks on the US in order to help Japan. The government had relocated the Japanese-Americans living on the west coast, and placed them in internment camps. The camps were places where the people were imprisoned or restricted without trial.


What led to it?

On December 7th, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, which lead to harsh reactions against the Japanese people living on the west coast of America. This concerned US agencies. As the war continued to progress, Americans became fearful of the true intentions that Japanese people living on the west coast may have had. Americans wanted to remove the Japanese people. While many neighbors felt bad for their Japanese-American neighbors, they knew the safest route would be to believe in the anti-Japanese propaganda. This propaganda had exposed Japanese people as spies and threats in America. This issue fell into the hands of President Roosevelt.



What did the President do about this problem? On February 19th, 1942 enforced the Executive Order 9066. This order allowed the government to relocate the first generation of Japanese immigrants in the US, and the children of the first generation Japanese immigrants. While some people viewed this enforcement has a benefit to America, many others saw it as an act of racism.

What were some of the motives behind this act?  

A great reason that several people wanted to create the Executive Order 9066 was to keep America safe. Furthermore, America, especially General de Witt, saw the Japanese race as an enemy. Additionally, there was an economic benefit. Japanese people produced about forty percent of all the produce of the state. When they would be relocated to the internment camps, they would lose many of their belongings. This would eliminate many of the farmers’ competition.  

What Were the Internment Camps? In the spring of 1942, more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans were moved to relocation camps. Once they were identified, they were relocated to internment camps. Some of them ranged from extremely high temperatures in the summer, to extremely low temperatures in the winter. The Japanese-Americans showed strong patriotism, for they had raised the American flag every morning.



What were the reactions to the Internment of the Japanese-Americans? Some people believed that the act was racist, and it caused discrimination against Chinese people since they looked similar to Japanese people. Also, people stole from Japanese people, and tried to hurt the Japanese people’s lives. Additionally, people were skeptical about the Executive Order 6099 because they thought it wasn’t fair. In December of 1944, people started to go against the policy, and the Japanese-Americans started to return to California. Later in 1988, the congress gave its final apology with a 20,000-dollar compensation for each surviving Japanese-American.

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