Affecting American Life Essay

Submitted By RenB
Words: 661
Pages: 3

L Bakker
HIS&137, Thomason
Affecting American Life “World War II affected American life more than the Great Depression had” (American Stories, 691). With America fighting in war with Germany as well as Japan, life was rather crazy for America, in general. The country was going through food, clothing, and material rations—causing stress already for the average American family. When Roosevelt and his men found that “Japan was working towards a worldwide totalitarian threat,” (American Stories, 684), they originally ignored it, believing that Germany was more dangerous, and leaving us vulnerable and unassuming. When December 7, 1941 hit, Japanese fighter planes released a bomb on Pearl Harbor—One of the only times America has been attacked on their own land. This traumatic event sent American citizens and leaders into a frenzy. Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans began disappearing as if being pulled back out of thin air. From a political point of view, this goes hand in hand with the views of the public: once the government had found out that Japan had set up a “world wide totalitarian threat,” the only citizens that were taken at the start were those who still had close connections to Japan, and could be considered as spies. Soon, law orders came that any sort of American citizen with Japanese ancestry were to be sent away to “internment camps”: “…At least one hundred others had been taken from our community…” (Nisei Daughter, 150). Much of this came from racial hatred of those who blamed Japanese Americans for Japan’s actions towards America. An example of this could be found on page 157 of Nisei Daughter, “A Californian sounded the alarm: ‘Everyone of Japanese ancestry should be taken into custody… The Japanese are dangerous and must leave. Remember the destruction and the sabotage perpetrated at Pearl Harbor. Notice how they have infiltrated into the harbor town and have taken our best land.’” Although there were no events including physical resistance of being moved to camps within our readings of Nisei Daughter, there were still a few examples of subtle resistance. Closer to the beginning of the reading, when select Japanese men were being taken by the FBI, families were being warned to remove and abolish the majority of any oriental possessions they may have because FBI had been taking them away as “evidence” (Nisei Daughter, 156). This was a simple step to quietly and respecting the government and its agents. When