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Josh Taylor

Mr. Cronin

History 1


Custom Essays on The Japenese Internment

The Japanese Internment

When the United States entered World War II in 141, there were 5,000 Japanese Americans in the U.S. armed forces. In Hawaii, however, a battalion of Nisei volunteers was formed in May 14. There are many sides to the internment camps, those who believe “let’s lock them all up” and others who desire individual proof of guilt. The history and opinions of all Americans are vital aspects to the internment and it’s final results.

On February 1, 14, President Franklin D.Roosevelt signed Executive Order 066, which called for the eviction and internment of all Japanese Americans. After Pearl Harbor, all Japanese were looked upon as being capable of sabotage. The interments began in April 14. The Japanese-Americans were transported on buses and trains to camps in California, Utah, Arizona and other states. They were always under military guard. The Japanese-Americans were housed in livestock stalls in the beginning, or in windowless shacks that were crowded and lacked sufficient ventilation, electricity and sanitation facilities. There was also a shortage of food and medicines.

The internment camps were located in remote, uninhabitable areas. In the desert camps daytime temperatures often reached 100 degrees or more. And sub-zero winters were common in the northern camps. Some of the camp names were; Angel Park, Sharp Park, Tuna Canyon and Manzanar. Barbed wire and guard towers fortified the camps. Armed guards patrolled the perimeters and were instructed to shoot anyone attempting to escape. The barracks consisted of tarpaper over two-by-six wood boards with no insulation. Many families were assigned to one barrack and lived together with no privacy. Meals were served in mess halls and the lines for food were very long. These people lost their homes and businesses. Over 10,000 Japanese-Americans were involved in these relocations. Some had even lost their sons, who had fought for the country that had imprisoned their parents. On December 17, 144 President Roosevelt announced the revocation of Executive Order 066.

The internment was productive in that it detained many Japanese. That fact alone helped to sooth many Americans from fearing another attack from them. These camps brought a sense of security to Americans. They understood that the Japanese were being held and knew the extent of some punishments dished out to them. This realization eased people to believe in the good of internment camps.

Many could not understand the bad aspects of these camps. In many ways, this was due to the unveiling government and/or press. It is now understood just how harsh the punishments were. Many of the held Japanese were abused in multiple ways. They would sweat to death in the summer with temperatures in the hundreds, no ventilation, and many times with out water. They froze to death in the winter because ample clothing was not supplied to them. The Japanese were held captive and often starved to death due to the malnutrition supplied by Americans. If the captives did not die early on, the beatings they sustained while in these camps would of resulted in fatalities. The camps were far more destructive than profitable.

In summary the internment camps were both good and bad. Because of the times we are now living in, with the U.S. on the verge of war with Iraq, I think it would be a good idea to hold all Iraqis or people of foreign descent in environments such as the internment camps, which held so many Japanese. The reason I feel this way is because of the twin towers bombing and other terrorist attacks that many we never saw coming. It is that feeling of uncertainty and ignorance that justifies this attitude towards internment camps. Further more, I dislike the idea of internment camps because I can’t help but see the cruelty that would be handed to most of the innocent captives. Which is why I feel mixed emotions on the past internment camps. It was not understood the extent of punishments that the Japanese received. For this reason many people felt that the camps were justifiable but as they look back with the information of the past internment camps their opinions obviously have changed.

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