Essay about Usa and Canada: Japanese Internment

Submitted By madelinerumbaugh
Words: 2867
Pages: 12

America and Canada Internment

World War Two was a significant event in our world’s past, to which many nations learned from the events that took place during this difficult time period in history. Among such events was the internment of thousands of Japanese citizens in both Canada and the United States. With the Japanese expansion into China and Hitler’s rise in power within Germany, the world was becoming a very scary place during the 1930’s through the 1940’s. The threat that Hitler and Japan presented to the world led to a shift in concentration of protecting “the US from Britain, or Canada from the United States, to protecting North America as a whole from the threat of Western Europe and Asia”. With the strong alliance that both Canada and the United States built, the bombing of Pearl Harbor invoked a strong fear within Canada. This fear that was erupting from Canada and America, which took a major toll on its Japanese citizens when both countries decided it was necessary to uproot their Japanese citizens and move them into internment camps. It is apparent that the close relations between the United States and Canada, along with the fear of rising powers and withstanding racism, led to the internment and ill-treatment of Japanese citizens, questioning their loyalty along with making one of the biggest mistakes that will forever stain North America’s past for eternity. The Internment of thousands of Canadian and US Japanese citizens all began with a simple relationship, the relationship between Canada and the United States, which in turn truly began with the inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Prior to the inauguration of FDR, no other president took an interest in Canada, by nature Roosevelt became the first president to be “genuinely popular in Canada” due to the fact that “he contrived to make Canadians feel that he was interested in and friendly to their country”. Before Franklin Roosevelt, there was no significant relationship between Canada and United States, which changed greatly during the 1930’s, thanks to Roosevelt’s goal of “worldwide reciprocal tariff cuts” which led to the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act in 1934. The goal of the trade agreement was to reduce tariffs on thousands of American goods and to admit Canadian forest, farm and fish products. The Great Depression was the gateway of the relationship between the United States and Canada due to the fact that before this hard time, no other president tried to build a bridge with the neighbors of the north. The economic struggles of the Great Depression “brought a reciprocity agreement with scarcely a whimper of domestic protest in either country” which was particularly unheard of due to an ongoing dispute of tariffs. This was the start of a very strong relationship, and one that continued to improve throughout the war period. Roosevelt began this relationship due to the fact that he saw Canada as a strong partner during this time of crisis and great need. He reached out to Canada, the only president to do so, in order to bring the United States and Canada closer together economically, which Roosevelt thought could then later lead to a strong alliance. In other words, the struggle of the Great Depression and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s actions, the relationship between Canada and the United states became quite close, along with transforming not only into an economic alliance but later becoming a military alliance as well.
The relationship between the United States and Canada became even closer as the rise of Germany became increasingly stronger and more threatening. “Japan, Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany destroyed the capacity of the international community to control aggression. President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Mackenzie King thus laid the foundation of a formal U.S.-Canadian defense alliance in the late 1930’s”. This demonstrates that the as Nazi ideals spread throughout Europe and Asia, the U.S. and Canada were very concerned