By the mid 1930’s it seemed clear that the rule of law was disintegrating and war was on the horizon. In 1931 Japan invaded Manchuria, China. The Japanese than overran the Chinese city of Nanjing where an estimated 300,000 Chinese prisoners of war and civilians were massacred. Adolf Hitler would then embark on a campaign to control the entire continent of Europe. In violation of the Versailles Treaty, Hitler would feverishly militarize the Rhineland, an area previously off limits to German militarization. The Germans would also be targeted for their harsh treatment of German Jews, who where stripped of there property, citizenship, and worse. Germany would then go on to perform a blitzkrieg war, and swiftly occupy Poland and the surrounding areas. Then in December 7, 1941 the United States would officially be drawn into the war with the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in which many US Navy ships and sailors were lost.
World War II would be remembered as the Good War, a a time of national unity in pursuit of indisputably noble goals such as civil rights. Talk of freedom pervaded wartime America, as Americans would seek to distance themselves from the discriminating policies that seemed to pervade Germany. President Roosevelt would take many steps to expand governmental power to achieve these standard. The war effort would remove the majority of the white male population from the labor force, which would expand employment opportunities for African Americans and Latinos. The African Americans would also come to prove themselves in uniform, fighting alongside white soldiers in the war.
The internment of Japanese Americans in response to the events of Pearl Harbor was a dangerous assault on American freedom. This knee-jerk response by the Amercian government to isolate 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry would prove to be a dark spot on American freedom and it’s history.
Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty: An American History. New York: W. W. Norton & Co, 2014. Print.