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9-12 > U.S. History

Japanese Americans

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World War II Scenario
You are living in the United States during World War II. The United States government feels that your ethnic group is a threat to national security. The president issues an order that states, “If you are of Japanese ancestry, you must report to a ‘relocation camp’ with only the belongings you can carry.” You can no longer report to your job, attend school, or worship at your usual place of worship. You are given a place to sleep in a barracks with hundreds of others now interned with you. You must eat and sleep at scheduled times, and you are restricted to the perimeter of the camp, which is guarded by armed military personnel.

In what ways does the executive order violate this amendment? How does the fifth amendment support the order?

This scenario was reality for Japanese-Americans during World War II. As a class, discuss Roosevelt’s reasons for issuing Executive Order 9066. Did the situation justify the president’s actions. Could he have achieved the same effect without conflicting with the Constitution?

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