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9-12 > U.S. History

Japanese Americans

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Additional Background Information
On the surface, the issues related to Japanese-American internment in World War II are easily outlined: Did the United States government have the right to imprison an entire group of people because of their racial or ethnic heritage during wartime? Or should the government have respected the rights of the Issei and Nissei, even though doing so may have represented a threat to national security? (Isseiis a Japanese term for those who immigrated to the United States during the late 1800s from Japan. TheNiseiare their children, Japanese-Americans who were born in the United States.

Review the Supreme Courtís decision in that case by visiting the web siteKorematsu v. The United Statesand related resources. (Be sure to bookmark this page for convenience). Both concurring and dissenting opinions are published online. The teachers may want to decide whether students should have access to this Web site since it contains the answers. A number of considerations are at work. The legal jargon may be too overwhelming for lower-level students, so teachers may want to copy and paste only those sections of the text needed to complete the activity. Teachers may also need to develop and review key vocabulary terms relating to the case to ensure student comprehension of the legal content found on the site.

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