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The Displacement of Japanese-Americans

In: English and Literature

Submitted By swim4488
Words 1459
Pages 6
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, a wave of panic spread across the whole country, but struck specifically hard on the West Coast. A fear almost resembling paranoia became evident in the following months. Any descendant of Japanese ancestry had to suffer the effects of this fear.
In 1941 there were approximately 110,000 Japanese-Americans living in the United States, most of whom were concentrated on the West Coast. Even though 71,484 were Nisei, or American born citizens, they were subject to hostile and adverse treatment (Ropp).
Opposition was openly directed at the Japanese by the press. California’s Governor Olsen and Attorney General Earl Warren fixed their attention on removing Japanese-Americans from all civil service posts, and revoking their state issued licenses from practicing medicine and law. In accordance with this, insurance companies canceled policies and markets and restaurants refused their services and displayed malicious signs such as: “We poison rate and Japs! Japs Shaved; not responsible for accidents. (Miller 311)”
Extreme pressure began to grow for major evacuation. This pressure came from many different factions. Politicians, business and economic interests, and anti-Oriental organizations such as the American Legion were outspokenly in favor or resettlement. All were convinced that every Japanese-American, whether U. S. citizen or not, had the ability and/or desire to participate in espionage and sabotage for the “Empire” in case of invasion (McWilliams).
In view of this public opinion, the proposal for mass evacuation was sent to President Franklin Roosevelt. President Roosevelt, being thoroughly engrossed in more important and strategic events in Europe, passed it on to Secretary of War Stemsin who relayed it to his assistant McCloy. McCloy zealously formulated length proposals specifying that “Relocation was essential to the...

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