Eva BozhievaUS History II HMrs. WiemeJanuary 29, 2018WWII DBQ EssayWhen Japan invaded Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, nobody in the United States expected that to happen (Document 1). Prior to that, Japan and America were at peace, however the sudden attack which destroyed military and naval forces lead to tension on the homefront, and people’s reaction quickly led FDR and his administration to declare war. On the homefront, people started to also get concerned with the issue of national security, blaming the Japanese for being spies, placing Japanese-Americans into internment camps. The war in the Pacific theater was fought for about 4 years, and ended with the controversial dropping of two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The choice to use the atomic bomb was justified because it compelled a Japanese surrender, saved countless lives, and showed the Soviet Union and other countries what america was capable of, however the use of the Japanese internment camps was totally unjustified and based mostly on racial prejudice.
After the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, life in the U.S. had changed. Many feared for the security to their homes, as t was the first time in a long time that America was attacked on its homeland.
Due to that fear, Japanese-Americans were forced to be put into internment camps. Those camps were “relocation” programs, where many Japanese-Americans suffered terrible treatment in those camps. Reiko Oshima Komoto was one of those who had to endure living in the camp, said that “… it was not a good experience… All shower and toilet stalls were without doors or curtains.” (Document 3).
The right for liberty and property in those camps was severely violated, Japanese-Americans were moved into these camps was because they were suspected of being spies. They were forced to live there for up to four years and were not able to continue with their own lives as they were before while they were living in these camps. Many also had to come home to destroyed property, houses and garages vandalized with racist anti-Japanese graffiti and broken windows (Document 4). Japanese internment camps were totally unjustified, as “No Japanese American was ever tried for espionage.”, proving that the detainment of them was based less on the protection of social security and more on race (Document 3).
The use of the bomb against Japan was a devastating tragedy of a colossal scale, but could be justified in the cause. An intense weapon such as the nuclear bomb was essential in forcing the Japanese to quickly surrender. In a way, the bomb saved thousands of lives, “.
.. the military estimated that at least a quarter of a million of the invasion forces against Japan and a quarter million Japanese had been spared complete destruction” (Document 7). By the end of the war both sides were worn out and tired of fighting, both trying desperately to protect their homes.
After hearing the news of the atomic bombs being dropped on Japan, most American soldiers fighting on the Pacific front were ecstatic because they “would not be obligated in a few months to rush up the beaches near Tokyo assault-firing while being machine-gunned,” (Document 8). Overall the Bombing and killing the innocent people shouldn’t ever be justified, however, it was a World War and the American government warned the Japanese about the consequences of continuing the fight prior to dropping the two bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. World War Two was a dark and hard time full of fighting, political disagreements, human rights violations, and destruction. Many difficult decisions were also made during that time, such as the internment camps built in the land of the free, and the bombing of two atomic bombs on Japanese civilians by the land of the free.
Internment camps were built to keep the Japanese-Americans from the outside world during time of war, arguing that national security is more important than human rights during time of war, however the fact that during the entire four years of the war no Japanese was found guilty of being a spy, the construction of those camps was unjustified, racist, and cruel,The atomic bombs caused damage that lasted for decades, with radiation being spread all throughout Japan, and the civilians of those cites vaporized off of the face of the Earth, but also saved many American lives and ended the war quicker. Looking back in time, there were numerous ways some of the awful things done could have been prevented, but back then, all of those were decisions that had to be made.