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What were the causes of the Japanese American internment camps?

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ccope1 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:43 PM via web

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What were the causes of the Japanese American internment camps?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 24, 2012 at 4:56 PM (Answer #1)

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The internment of people of Japanese descent in America during WWII was caused by two things.

First, it was caused by a very understandable fear for the security of the country.  Japan had managed to pull off the attack on Pearl Harbor, which no one had thought was possible.  The idea that they might attack the West Coast while the US military was still weak was not absurd.

Second, it was caused by racism.  There was still a strong strand of racism in American society at this time.  For example, Asians were not allowed to become naturalized citizens, which is why the Issei were not citizens.  This racism led Americans to be willing to intern all people of Japanese descent without trying to determine individual guilt or innocence.

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