FDR Was Responsible For The Incarceration Of Japanese Americans
The incarceration was an egregious act against the Constitution
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is referred to as FDR, his initials. He was the 32nd President of the United States. He served from 1933 until he died in office in 1945. He was a member of the Democratic Party and won in four presidential elections. The Great Depression occurred while he was President. During his third and fourth terms, he was consumed with World War II. The war ended shortly after his death.
FDR was born on January 30, 1882, at Hyde Park, New York. He was an only child and lived in luxury with his parents. They had a family estate in New York and spent time at European resorts. He was educated at home until the age of fourteen. Then he entered a preparatory school in Massachusetts. He was involved with public service and helping those less fortunate.
Roosevelt attended Harvard College and had an active social life. He married Eleanor Roosevelt, who was his fifth cousin. She was the niece of President Theodore Roosevelt. They married in 1905. Eleanor was active in charitable work for the poor. FDR learned from Eleanor about the state of the poor in the slums of New York.
After attending Columbia University Law School, FDR passed the New York bar exam. He worked as a clerk for a Wall Street firm.
His cousin Theodore urged young men of privilege to enter public service. FDR was interested in a career in politics. Democratic Party leaders came to him to ask him to seek a seat in the state senate. Although his family were Republicans, he decided to do it and run as a Democrat. He won the election when he was twenty-eight years old.
Roosevelt suffered an illness in 1921 believed to be polio. His legs became permanently paralyzed. He returned to public office and was elected Governor of New York in 1928. In the 1932 presidential election, he defeated Republican President Herbert Hoover. He took office during the Great Depression.
After winning reelection by a landslide in 1936, Roosevelt tried to get bills passed which were blocked by the conservatives. Programs that survived were the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Labor Relations Act, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Social Security, and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, the United States entered World War II. FDR signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. This gave the military commander in certain areas the authority to remove any persons. The order was used against American citizens and immigrants of Japanese heritage living on the West Coast of the United States. They were forcibly removed from their homes and incarcerated in hastily constructed camps in remote and desolate areas of the country. People living in Hawaii and the inland states were not directly affected.
There were 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry who suffered from the order. Most spent the entire war years incarcerated in the camps. There were never any cases of espionage proven against them. The majority were American citizens who were completely loyal to the United States. It was one of the most egregious acts ever against the Constitution.
Most of the younger generation recovered from the ordeal of being held as prisoners, but it was something they could never forget. The unfortunate experience took its toll on their future lives. The racism which caused the incarceration was allowed because of FDR’s executive order.
The reasons for the incarceration were later determined to be racism, war hysteria, and a lack of competent government leadership at that time. Although he was a Democrat, FDR signed the order that caused the unjust incarceration of tens of thousands of innocent people.
[Sources: Wikipedia, The Japanese American Story As Told Through A Collection Of Speeches And Articles, www.thejapaneseamericanstory.com]