As you think about this question reflect on how the following might have made it easier to target the Japanese American population:
- Ethnic enclaves
- Melting Pot v. the theories of assimilation
- Settlement Patterns
- Time-Period of Immigration of U.S.
PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS DISCUSSION RESPONSE
Lorenzo T posted Nov 7, 2019 10:28 AM
America were at odds with immigrants in the late 1800s especially with those of Japanese descent, due to the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1942 by Japanese forces which forced the United States into the second World War that began in 1941. In reaction to the bombing president Roosevelt signed into effect Executive Order 9066 in 1942, with the hope of preventing Japanese espionage within American borders. This order was not limited to just Japanese immigrants but those of Japanese ancestry (those who for all intents were “American citizens”) as well, affecting around 117,000 individuals.
In the 1860s-1900s Japanese nationals began a slow migration from Hawaii to California, scattering along the Pacific coast. It was here they began to form small ethnic enclaves within larger cities like Japan town in San Francisco. By the 1920s Japanese immigrants controlled more than 10 percent of California’s crop revenue and more than 450,000 acres of farm land. This fact contributed to the reports that appeared in the American press portraying Japanese immigrants, as enemies of the “American worker” and “Corrupting agents in American Society”. Anti-Japanese exclusion acts quickly became popular among legislators.
It is my belief that the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor was the straw that broke the camel’s back concerning Japanese immigrants. Many “Americans” did not like the influx of other ethnicities and certainly did not appreciation of these ethnicities owning lands that should be there’s. In short the Japanese internment was not only a matter of national security but also as a way to re-appropriate Japanese owned land and assets (which was sold to individuals and institutions for far less than its worth).
It is also my belief that the reason why America didn’t attempt a mass internment of German Americans, is simply because there were so many in America that it would have been nearly impossible. According to the Department of Homeland Security, Yearbook of Immigration Statistics, in the decade of 1880-1889 about 1,400,000 German immigrants obtained permanent legal status, emphasis on legal.