Japanese Internment In The Early 1900's

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In the early 1900s, due to Imperial Japan’s struggling transition from the feudal era to the modern era, Japanese immigrants were flooding into the West coast of America. Fearful of the rising number of Japanese immigrants, Americans would proceed to try and eradicate the “yellow peril”, leading to prejudiced exchanges and racist encounters with the Japanese-Americans. These encounters would drastically affect the Japanese-American community and ultimately lead to their internment during WWII.

Because of Imperial Japan’s struggle to come into the modern age, its economy was increasingly worsened. The first Japanese-Americans, or Issei, came to America in the early 1880s, looking for work and adventure. Many Issei were laborers, coming to America to snatch up all the jobs the Chinese had left open in the wake of the Chinese Expulsion Act of 1882. Though many were laborers, some were students, merchants, or professionals.

Racism was a massive problem for the Japanese-Americans. Native born Americans resented the Japanese presence in the Pacific Northwest as they believed that the Japanese were taking jobs that belonged to the Americans. Americans also disliked the Japanese because, after Imperial Japan’s win over Russia in 1905, Japan was considered a geopolitical rival. The increased awareness of
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Founded in 1916 by Miller Freeman, a Washington state legislator and Director of the local U.S. Navy Training Facility, the league protested for Japanese-Americans to be restricted on a state and federal level due to their race. Members usually comprised of members of the American League, veterans of foreign wars, Washington State’s Veteran’s Welfare Commission (VFW). While also involved with the league, Freeman was appointed head of the VFW by Governor Louis Folwell Hart. The league’s strong military presence aggravated the Japanese which, in return, aggravated the
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