Japanese Internment Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What were the causes of the Japanese American internment camps?

The United States placed Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II because of fear that those with ethnic and cultural ties to Japan would aide Japan's cause in the war. After the surprising attack on Pearl Harbor, the American government (as well as many Americans) worried about Japanese threats and doubted the loyalty of Japanese Americans.

Expert Answers info

Philip Arrington eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write1,351 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which ordered the removal of Americans of full or partial Japanese ancestry from West Coast so-called "military areas" to inland internment camps, on February 19,1942. It was a paranoid reaction to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Many of the people who were incarcerated in camps guarded by armed military personnel and surrounded by barbed wire were American citizens, so Executive Order 9066 completely contradicted the US Constitution's Bill of Rights. Roosevelt's own wife Eleanor attempted unsuccessfully to change his mind on the matter.

The overriding causes of the action were paranoia and racism. On the West Coast, people had long been jealous of the commercial success of Japanese American businessmen and farmers. They demanded that these people should be removed from their homes as long as the war lasted. The first actions were taken just after the Pearl Harbor attack, when the FBI rounded up...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1,167 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,447 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Michael Koren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write2,982 answers

starTop subjects are History, Law and Politics, and Social Sciences

Tim Mbiti eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2014

write1,737 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial