Japanese Internment

Better Essays
Bryan G. Hancock

U.S. History 1302

Wednesday 1800-2100

15 October 2008

After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, the United States was filled with panic. Along the Pacific coast of the U.S., where residents feared more Japanese attacks on their cities, homes, and businesses, this feeling was especially great. During the time preceding World War II, there were approximately 112,000 persons of Japanese descent living in California, Arizona, and coastal Oregon and Washington. These immigrants traveled to America hoping to be free, acquire jobs, and for some a chance to start a new life. Some immigrants worked in mines, others helped to develop the United States Railroad, many were fishermen, farmers, and some agricultural laborers. Despite all they had contributed to society, they were looked upon with disdain and discriminated against. According to a document on Gale Group’s History Resource Center, “Although their internment was a direct result of animosities raised by the attack on Pearl Harbor, the wartime treatment of Japanese Americans is also symptomatic of the anti-Asian sentiment present in the western United States since the arrival of Chinese as laborers on the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad in the 1860s. When overcrowding in Japan also sent waves of immigrants eastward in search of opportunity, West Coast states and cities passed laws discriminating against foreign-born Japanese and established segregated schools. In 1924 the U.S. government passed the Alien Restriction Act, which prevented recent Asian--but not European--immigrants from owning property and obtaining citizenship.” All Japanese were looked upon as being capable of sabotage. However, they contributed to economic expansion of the United States. Japanese only owned four percent of the farmland in California, but were able to produce more than one-tenth of the total value of agricultural resources. Whites resented the Japanese immigrants, but

Bibliography: www.ourdocuments.gov Executive Order 9066, found on www.ourdocuments.gov http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/89manzanar/89manzanar.htm The War Relocation Centers of World War II: When Fear was Stronger than Justice Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/japanese_internment/background.htm http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/HistRC?locID=txshracd2506 Document number BT2113102619, source citation for article "America At War: The Internment of Japanese Americans (1940s)." American Decades CD-ROM. Gale Research, 1998. Reproduced in History Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale. Document number BT2419100638, source citation for article "Japanese American Internment Camps." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. 5 vols. St. James Press, 2000. Reproduced in History Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale.

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