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Inequality During Wwii Essay, Research Paper

Japanese-Americans, Women, and African-Americans were the most effected social groups of WWII. All three social groups had to deal with great inequality of the time. Japanese-Americans had to endure relocation or internment during WWII. However you look at the relocation it was a dark spot on a shining nation. Many Japanese-Americans lost their homes, farmland, and were split up from their family. Women were asked to join the war by going to work through many propaganda ads that questioned their patriotism. But also lead to opening up opportunities that weren t there for them before the war. African-Americans like women on the other hand were furthering themselves with the war. The first African-American aviators were in WWII, the Tuskegee Airman. African-Americans did have some problems during the war with racial riots but did have some success with discrimination.

The Japanese-Americans experience was totally different from the women and African Americans. Rather than asking them to help their nation, they were punished. On February 19th, 1942, President Roosevelt issued the document known as Executive Order 9066, which ordered the evacuation of 112,000 Japanese-Americans from the west coast. The Japanese American families were told to pack as much as they can carry and were then told to sell the rest of their property for whatever they could get. After the families had packed and sold there personal properties the armed forces moved them from their homes to receiving stations, where they then boarded on buses or trains and were taken to fair grounds or race tracks where families might be housed in horse stalls. Then they were sent to one of the ten relocation camps on the western side of the United States. The camps were in remote areas that were unsuitable for farming, surrounded by fences, and guarded by the army. When they had arrived at the camps they went to wooden barracks that were divided into one-room apartments where an entire family lived.

Some look upon the relocation of Japanese-Americans as just, I am not one of those people. I look at it in the same light as Hitler’s treatment of the Jews (without the killing). The government s fear of a few numbers of spies and traders could never justify the treatment of the 112,000 Japanese-Americans relocated during WWII. The “relocation” of the Japanese-Americans was morally, judgmentally, ethically, and governmentally wrong. That aspect, at least, has to be agreed upon before something like this happens again. After the camps were closed it was the hardest time for the Japanese-Americans, they had to readjust to normal life. They had to find new jobs and sometimes a new place to live. Many of times they tried to move back to where they lived before but found that their original neighborhoods were greatly changed. But no matter how the relocation is looked upon the Japanese-Americans were forever changed through this horrible ordeal.

Trying to hold the home front together while there was a war waging abroad was not an easy task for women during WWII. Women were not only asked to complete the daily chores that were normally expected of them, but also they were asked to go to work. Suddenly their very private lives were turned into a very public and patriotic cause. Traditionally the woman s place was thought to be in the home. She was responsible for cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children, and looking her best. So when war broke out it was clear that America would not be able to win without the help of their women, the traditional housewife and mother turned into wartime worker. When WWII broke out the government teamed up with industry, the media, and women s organizations in an effort to join the labor force because it was a patriotic duty to do so. This feeling of nationalism swooped through America and helped women gain respect in a man’s world.

After the war it was believed that the women would give up their jobs and go back home. But, the development of wartime economy had given women more freedom than they ever had before. Though they did face some discrimination in the workplace, and would face much more in the future, it could be considered minimal compared to what it had been pre-WWII. For the first time, women were able to experience some sort of social and economic mobility. Suddenly women were faced with choices, one s that had not previously been there, and by exercising these choices they were able to explore their own independence and individuality. One thing is for certain; the effects of the war would be felt for years to come. Women had experienced new opportunities, a sense of independence, and were experiencing their own individuality. The war allowed women to make decisions, and it gave them a chance to fight for their rights. And there is no doubt that the consequences of the war (discrimination, job cuts, wage inequalities) led to the development of many of the civil rights movement s of the 1950 s.

African Americans were still fighting for equality (like the Women) during WWII. The army was still organized in segregated units. White officers could use the officer clubs but the black officers still could not because of segregation even though they were officers. The first African American aviators were seen in WWII, the Tuskegee Airman. This was very important to the civil rights movement because African Americans were mainly thought of as slow and stupid. But to become a pilot you have to be very quick and smart, a total opposite of what was believed about them. This gave African Americans a dream to be better than they (White Southerners) say they could be.

Many racial problems accrued during WWII at home. While people migrated to find work, many different types of people would collide in cities. In 1943 at least fifty cities exploded with white and black tensions. Riots accrued in New York’s Harlem and in Detroit. Detroit being the most serious were twenty-five African Americans and nine whites died over a dispute over boundaries between black and white territories. But also in 1941 FDR issued Executive Order 8802, barring racial discrimination in defense contracts. This was a small step toward the civil rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s.

To conclude all of these social groups were greatly effected by WWII in some way, good or bad. After the war women and African Americans fought for civil rights in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Japanese-Americans tried to start new lives after the relocation even though they had lost most of their possessions and split up from their families. Wars have a tricky way of speeding some social processes up, like women going to work and putting African Americans on a one-way track for equality. But also destroying a social groups rights and pursuit of liberty, like the Japanese-Americans.


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