America's Huge Mistake

Essay by abolton2018Junior High, 8th gradeA, November 2014

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America's Huge Mistake

Allison Bolton

Mr. Lynch

February 21, 2014

America's Huge Mistake

Everybody knows the story of the Jews during World War II. Many history classes teach about all of the atrocities that happened to them and other minorities in the German concentration camps. However, what many people do not know is that something similar happened with the Japanese in the United States. Yes, it is hard to believe that a country so focused on equality and democracy would imprison thousands of Japanese people. The reasons the American government stated for sending Japanese Americans into imprisonment camps were selfish, and the conditions of the camps were not suitable for humans to live in for a long time.

Before World War II and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, there was a lot of prejudice directed towards the Japanese living in America. This racism dates back to the 1880's when Japanese people first started immigrating to the United States (Mercier).

At first Americans tolerated them cheap labor, but as they began to open their own farms, the resentment towards them began. Then, in 1913, the passing of the Alien Land Law of 1913 prohibited Issei, first generation Japanese, from purchasing or owning farmland. A few years, the government stopped Japanese immigration altogether with the Immigration Act of 1924 (Stanley 7-8). This did not stop the racism though. Fifteen years later, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the government assumed that Japanese residing in America were acting as spies for Japan. A year later, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which said that military commanders could set aside areas in which the government could confine the Japanese (Bannai). Then between March and June 1942, officials gave all of the Japanese on the West Coast orders to evacuate their homes. They were rounded...