Executive Order 9066 was a controversial order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, during World War II. The order authorized the forced relocation of over 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were American citizens, from the West Coast to internment camps in remote areas of the United States. This order was a significant violation of civil liberties and has been widely criticized for its racist and unjust treatment of Japanese Americans.
Executive Order 9066
The signing of Executive Order 9066 came shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In the days that followed, the government began to fear that Japanese Americans on the West Coast might be a security threat, despite there being no evidence to support this claim. As a result, President Roosevelt authorized the creation of military zones from which Japanese Americans would be excluded. This order essentially authorized the forced removal of all Japanese Americans living in these zones, who were then placed in internment camps.
The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II has been widely criticized as a clear violation of their constitutional rights. In 1988, the United States Congress passed the Civil Liberties Act, which formally apologized for the internment and provided financial compensation to survivors. However, the harm done to these communities cannot be erased, and the legacy of Executive Order 9066 continues to be felt today.
The decision to sign Executive Order 9066 was not made in a vacuum. A number of factors contributed to the government’s decision to intern Japanese Americans, including racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a lack of leadership from elected officials. Many historians have also pointed to the failure of the media to accurately report on the situation, as well as the absence of any significant opposition from civil rights organizations at the time.
As a direct result of Executive Order 9066, the internment of Japanese Americans has had a lasting impact on American society. It has served as a reminder of the dangers of racism, discrimination, and the erosion of civil liberties during times of crisis. It has also provided an important lesson in the importance of holding our government accountable for its actions, even during times of national emergency. Executive Order 9066 was a dark moment in American history that had lasting consequences for Japanese Americans and the country as a whole. The order represented a clear violation of civil liberties and was motivated by racial prejudice and wartime hysteria. While steps have been taken to address this injustice, it is important that we continue to remember this chapter in our history and work to ensure that such actions are never repeated in the future.
“Executive Order 9066.” National Archives, 22 June 2016, https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/japanese-relocation.
“Japanese American Internment.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 4 Nov. 2019, https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/japanese-american-relocation.
Daniels, Roger. Concentration Camps USA: Japanese Americans and World War II. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1971.
Robinson, Greg. By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans. Harvard University Press, 2001.
Ngai, Mae M. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. Princeton University Press, 2014.

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"Executive Order 9066: What Was It and What Did It Do?" History on the Net
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