Why did many Mexican-Americans join the war effort during WWll?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main reason why many Mexican-Americans joined the war effort can be found in the second word in the name you have used to describe this group.  The second word in this name is “Americans.”  Mexican-Americans were (and are) American.  Because they were American, they participated in the war effort just like other kinds of Americans did.

After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Americans were outraged.  They wanted revenge on Japan for the “sneak” attack.  They wanted to defend their country against the danger that Japan posed.  Because of this, huge numbers of Americans rushed to enlist in the military.  Mexican-Americans were part of this rush because they were Americans. 

Not all Mexican-Americans who entered the military did so voluntarily.  The US government set up a draft to get more men into the military.  Many Mexican-Americans (like many of all other kinds of Americans) served in the military because they were drafted.

On the home front, Mexican-Americans helped the war effort through their work.  As with other Americans who did not go to war, they were motivated by a mix of economics and patriotism.  They took jobs in war-related industries because there were many such jobs available and they could make money doing those jobs.  They also took such jobs because they wanted to do their part to help win the war.

We really should not have to ask why Mexican-Americans participated in this war effort.  They participated in the war effort for the same reasons that others did—because they were Americans and they wanted to defend their country.