Since Japanese people began migrating to America in the mid-nineteenth century, there has been resentment and tension between Americans and Asian immigrants. In California at the turn of the century laws were passed making it difficult for Japanese to own land in America, become naturalized, or to even migrate to America. By the 1920s California had banned almost all immigration from Japan, and laws made interracial marriage illegal. After World War I and the failed attempts of America to create and join the League of Nations, there were strong national feelings of isolationism and nationalism that only added fuel to this fire.
For an easy-to-use interactive guide to Supreme Court cases challenging discriminatory policies towards Asian citizens, see the interactive feature in the March 2005 issue of History Now.
The 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan exacerbated the tension and animosity between people of Japanese descent and white Americans on the west coast. Many Americans were convinced that Japan was going to invade the U.S. by way of California and that the Japanese there were loyal to Japan and would aid its efforts. On February 19, 1942, Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which gave military leaders the authority to create military areas from which groups of people could be excluded. Eventually over 110,000 people of Japanese descent, half of whom were children and two-thirds of whom were American citizens, were removed from their homes and relocated to internment camps until the camps were closed in January 1945.
- Students will understand the social and racial climate of America from the beginning of the twentieth century up to World War II.
- Students will understand the effects that the bombing of Pearl Harbor had on America and American society.
- Students will understand the Japanese internment camps that were instituted in America during World War II.
- Students will analyze primary source photographs in order to understand the daily life of inmates of the Japanese internment camps
- Students will understand the legal justification for the Japanese internment camps and the legal justification for discontinuing the camps through analysis of primary source materials.
Activity One: Post-Pearl Harbor America
Briefly review and explore racial tensions in America after the Civil War, including Plessy v. Ferguson, up to World War II. Discuss the effects of Pearl Harbor on America in terms of race and national security.
Use the sources below to introduce the the Japanese internment camps. Have students read primary source documents on FDR's Executive Orders 8022 and 9066 and complete questions in small groups. Bring the class back together to discuss the sources as a whole.
Introduction to the topic:
Activity Two: Life in the Japanese Internment Camps
Using images from the website below, have students analyze the photographs and complete the photo analysis sheets. Either print out copies of some of the pictures to use in small groups or display the images by projector and have the students complete the work individually.
- What was life like in the internment camps?
- How do these images make you feel? Why?
- What evidence did you see that confirms the fears and reasoning for removing these people from American society? What evidence did you see that contradicts the fears and reasoning for removing these people from American society?
Activity Three: The Legality of Internment Camps
Review the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment, and research the Japanese American court cases Korematsu v. US and Endo v. US.
A good source for studying these cases is the University of Dayton's page on Japanese Internment.
- Did the internment camps violate the rights of American citizens?
- Do you agree with the national security argument?
- Do the events of and surroudning Japanese internment have relevance in America today?
8 results found, view free essays on page:
- W W Ii Bombing Of Pearl Harbor
2,283 wordsRacism: The Question of Japanese Internment During World War Two During World War Two approximately one hundred and ten thousand Japanese, citizens and aliens, were evacuated, interned and either relocated or imprisoned in desolate camps on the basis of their loyalty to the United States. This was justified as a military necessity because the Japanese were thought to be a threat to the security of the west coast of the United States. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, age-old stereotypes that ha...
Free research essays on topics related to: twentieth century, west coast, bombing of pearl harbor, state of war, w w ii
- World War Ii Military Necessity
2,274 words... is when the Western Defense Command was actually set up. To get an idea of the size of the W. D. C. imagine a line splitting California, Oregon and Washington in half; the western half of those states would be the W. D. C. and would eventually be devoid of anyone of Japanese descent. Southern Arizona was also included in the W. D. C. Now the internment didnt happen all at once. It happened in a series of proclamations, each taking more rights of the Japanese away once it was put in to action...
Free research essays on topics related to: relocation camps, world war ii, japanese americans, military necessity, evil deeds
- Attack In Pearl Harbor
1,179 wordsAttack in Pearl Harbor in December 1941 shocked United States to its core. It signaled not only an utter destruction of an important naval base and the loss of many lives, it in the first place signified the beginning of a great struggle for nations survival. At time when France fails to Germany, and Russia and Great Britain are at the verge of failing, nothing seemed to prevent the Nazi and its powerful allies to conquer the world. And though Attack in Pearl Harbor was shocking, the nightmare o...
Free research essays on topics related to: internment camps, supreme court justices, japanese internment, pearl harbor, japanese americans
- Joy Luck Club Internment Camps
1,917 wordsWith the recent attacks on the United States by terrorists, many Americans have been experiencing feelings of fear, sadness and tremendous anger. With Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban being held responsible, 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 direct...
Free research essays on topics related to: asian americans, japanese americans, racist feelings, internment camps, joy luck club
- World War Ii Internment Camps
1,448 wordsUnited States Internment of Japanese Citizens during World War 2 Introduction What were the reasons behind the decision of the United States government to intern Japanese citizens during World War 2? Were they treated in the same way as citizens of other states with whom America was at war? Was this purely a security measure or were xenophobia and racism factors? During World War II, the U. S. government and many Americans viewed Japanese citizens, Japanese Americans and their children and other...
Free research essays on topics related to: internment camps, japanese descent, pearl harbor, world war ii, japanese internment
- World War Ii U S Government
917 wordsRunning head: DOING WHATS RIGHT? Doing Whats Right? July 27, 2009 Doing Whats Right? Introduction During the World War II more than 100, 000 Japanese Americans were rounded up and sent to internment camps, consisting of very poorly constructed barracks and were surrounded by sentry posts, barbed wire and armed guards. It is a historical fact that most of them were in fact the citizens of the United States. Thesis: Although the U. S. government claimed that the American Japanese Internment Camps ...
Free research essays on topics related to: relocation camps, world war ii, japanese internment, internment camps, u s government
- World War Ii President Franklin D Roosevelt
2,165 wordsJapanese Internment During World War II World War II was one of the most horrific episodes in the history of modern civilization. It changed the lives of millions of people. One of the most profoundly affected groups were the Japanese-Americans, otherwise known as the Nisei and the Issei. Once the United States and Japan declared war on each other, Americans decided that they had to control the Nisei and the Issei (Japanese living in the United States who were not full citizens of the United Sta...
Free research essays on topics related to: executive order 9066, japanese americans, japanese internment, president franklin d roosevelt, world war ii
- W W Ii World War Ii
4,642 wordsRacism: The Question Of Japanese Internment During Racism: The Question Of Japanese Internment During World War Two Britton Calvert Ethnic Am. 2 pm Racism: The Question of Japanese Internment During World War Two During World War Two approximately one hundred and ten thousand Japanese, citizens and aliens, were evacuated, interned and either relocated or imprisoned in desolate camps on the basis of their loyalty to the United States. This was justified as a military necessity because the Japanes...
Free research essays on topics related to: executive order 9066, military necessity, world war ii, bombing of pearl harbor, w w ii
8 results found, view free essays on page: