Constitutional Issues

The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II can only be understood in the context of treatment of Japanese immigrants going back sixty to seventy years before the war. Concerns over the "yellow peril" and the potential for Asian immigrants taking both property and jobs from white Americans resulted in legal restrictions on Japanese immigrants owning property, becoming citizens, and ultimately, to detention during the war. The documents and activity below are related to the legal and constitutional issues that grew out of these discriminatory laws in cases brought by Japanese Americans going back to 1922.

To Start You Thinking -

  • Carefully read the selection assigned to your group. Analyze how the law or court decision involved relates to the concept of “U.S. citizenship.” Discuss your analysis with the others who have read the same selection and ask questions to clarify new ideas and vocabulary. Agree on a common explanation of how your reading is related to the idea of citizenship. Be prepared to:

    • Give a synopsis of your reading

    • Explain the connection to U.S. citizenship

    As each of the readings is discussed use the Concept Map to take notes about how the laws and court decisions were related to the issue of citizenship for Japanese Americans.


Last modified in July, 2008 by Rick Thomas