Essay on Life in Japanese Internment Camp

4446 Words Jun 11th, 2013 18 Pages
The Unimaginable: The life in Japanese Americans Internment Camps


Thesis: Even though the Japanese Americans were able to adapt to their new environment, the
Japanese American internment camps robbed the evacuees of their basic rights.
I. Japanese Americans adapted to their new environment by forming communities at the camps. A. One of the first actions that evacuees took is establishing school system.
B. The evacuees established self-government among themselves.
C. The evacuees produced own food and other products for themselves.
II. The evacuees adapted to their new environment by creating means of joy and happiness. A. The internees played games and sports. B. The
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population, and they were not a threat to American neighbors by number (20). However, the Japanese Americans’ lives were diminished by the Japanese aircraft attack of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in December 7, 1941 (Grapes 12).
In addition to the already-existing Japanese discrimination, the Pearl Harbor attack and the accusation of “fifth column” activity by Japanese triggered the anti-Asian sentiment (12). The attack of Pearl Harbor made the Japanese Americans the target of Americans; a few hours after the attack, about 3000 suspected spies, mostly Japanese Americans, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) (Yancey 25). By the night of December 7, 1942, hundreds of people were in custody (Fremon 22). Also, on December 8, 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke to Congress for a Declaration of War against Japan (7). Then, on February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which was one of the greatest violations of civil rights in American history (31). This order, recommended by Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson and General John DeWitt, gave the army the right to “relocate all persons of Japanese lineage as well as others who might threaten the security of the country” (Yancey 29). With this order, more than 112,000 Japanese Americans, treated as traitors, were evacuated from the western coast in 1942 (Fremon 8). After the passage of the order, DeWitt issued first proclamation on March 2, 1942 which “called for two

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