Japanese Internment

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Japanese Relocation The relocation and internment of the Japanese in America is often seen as one of our nation's greatest mistakes. For many, the quest is to now understand why we committed such an atrocious act. The most common explanations include racist attitudes, military ‘necessity’, and economic reasons. Japanese relocation was a disgracefully racist act that the Government of the U.S committed, an act that was virtually unnecessary and unjustified. For many farms in America, Japanese Americans could be seen working. For white farmers, this meant less work. Therefore, the relocation of the Japanese in America would only provide them with more jobs. As seen in documents 7 and 12, Japanese farmers on the west coast would not…show more content…
America’s racist ideals were seeded way before the bombing of pearl harbor. Acts like the Naturalization Act of 1870, Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and the Immigration Act of 1924 grew racism towards Asians. (Notes). This would lead to the sentiment that Japanese people did not belong in America. In document 9, this is supported with the statement “The Chinese and Japanese are not bona fide citizens.” This was stated by the San Francisco mayor James Phelan in 1900, showing that this racism began long before the war began. Also, in document 11 with “The Japanese race is an enemy race…”. Quotes like these exemplified the racism that occurred toward Asians in the WWII era. In Ronald Takaki’s essay he uses a quote from the Los Angeles Times that compares the Japanese people to a viper and states that they cannot be American. All of these sources exemplify the fact that Americans did not have the capacity to not be racist towards the Japanese. In addition, President Roosevelt himself even had built up resentment towards the Japanese. (Takaki). The extreme racism towards the Japanese people was most likely the most important cause of mass interment, due to the fact that so many people already had their decision negatively made up about their Japanese neighbors, so the mass relocation gave them a reason to send them…show more content…
The economy of the West Coast would only be improved with the relocation of the Japanese, as many American farmers were missing out on work due to immigrant success. Pushy military persons used their positions to persuade the government to introduce mass relocation, when in reality, the necessity was only due to wartime hysteria. The biggest factor that led to the mass relocation of the Japanese people was racism. It grew out of the many acts that established the belief that Japanese people were not American citizens. Overall, the relocation of Japanese people in America was neither justified nor necessary. It was born out of wartime hysteria, not factual evidence. Instead of mass relocation, the American government should have dealt with the situation with selective internment. This means that only the Japanese people who showed a threat would be relocated. It would have resulted in a much more effective and fair way of relocation and internment. The oppressiveness that the government expressed during World War 2 can be synthesized to the oppressiveness of World War 1. During WWI, the American government issued the Espionage and Sedition Acts in 1917. These limited the power of the people and were very controversial. Similarly, the Executive Order 9066 that Roosevelt issued in 1942 proclaimed military zones that took away rights. In contrast, the

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