Manual America in the Forties (America in the Twentieth Century)

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Load Previous Page. Load Next Page. Fu Manchu, first appearing in the popular novel, The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu , and further popularized in subsequent novels and movies. Like the Chinese before them, Japanese workers were frequently used as strike breakers across the West. Cries for Japanese exclusion arose almost from the moment the Japanese arrived in America.

The first national push occurred in to include Japan in the renewal of the Chinese Exclusion Act. When the movement failed, western residents acted locally. Two months later, the Japanese and Korean Exclusion League was formed to lobby against Asian immigration and to promote anti-Asian laws.

The President, careful to quiet the rage of Californians rallying around the decision, and to pacify the powerful Japanese government, invited a delegation of state representatives and the mayor of San Francisco to the White House on January 3, After a week of discussions, the school board agreed to relent in return for a promise from the President that Japanese immigration would be curbed. Then, in late and , a series of secret notes were passed between the governments of the United States and Japan.

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Non-laborers were still allowed to enter the United States, and many laborers obtained visas for Canada or Mexico, crossing the border more easily from those countries. The nature of Japanese immigration also changed. As a result, thousands of Japanese women came to the mainland, even outnumbering male Japanese immigrating in the years immediately following the agreement. The Japanese no longer came as sojourners, but with the intention of settling in America.

Anti-Japanese elements in the United States were not pleased by this development. In , California passed the Alien Land Law declaring that aliens who could not become naturalized could not own land in the state. The Law was directed at the Japanese, who more than any other group of Asian immigrants pursued land ownership.

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Some Issei began registering property under the names of their Nisei second generation children who were born in the United States and were American citizens. To prevent this, the California legislature passed a stricter Alien Land Law in that outlawed this practice and barred Japanese from even leasing land.

As a result, Japanese-owned lands shrunk from 74, acres in to 41, acres in , a decline of 44 percent and leased lands from , to 76, acres, a decline of 60 percent. The two California land laws and similar ones in other western states proscribing land ownership clearly defined the benefits to be derived from becoming a naturalized citizen. Although this privilege had been specifically denied to Chinese immigrants through the Chinese Exclusion Act, there was still some question as to whether Japanese immigrants could be naturalized. The issue garnered national attention in with the Supreme Court case Ozawa v.

United States.

Ozawa, a highly assimilated Japanese immigrant appealing his rejected application for citizenship, was lighter skinned than many naturalized Italians and Greeks and therefore appeared clearly eligible. One year later, the Naturalization Act was again challenged by an Asian Indian applying for citizenship in United States v.

Decade-by-Decade Timeline of the 20th Century

Bhagat Singh Thind. Asian Indians, numbering only a few thousand in the United States at the time, were considered technically Caucasian, and some were granted citizenship. Fueled by increasing United States involvement in international politics and the growing immigration from Asia and Eastern Europe, nativism contributed to the passage of the Immigration Act of The Act was the most comprehensive immigration doctrine the United States had enacted.

To inhibit postwar immigration from Eastern Europe, the number of immigrants admitted from each nation would be equal to two percent of the population of United States residents from that nation according to the census of , a year before most Eastern Europeans came to the United States.

This era also witnessed the immigration of Koreans to the United States motivated primarily by political chaos and poverty, and limited at first to Hawaii where approximately 7, emigrated between and seeking better working and living conditions. This, in effect, stopped the entry of Koreans into the United States until years later.

The desires of exclusionists conflicted with the needs of American businessmen. A segment of the Filipino population led by Emilio Aguinaldo declared independence from the United States, precipitating a bloody war.

The United States also actively recruited Filipinos to work for the navy. By , there were about 25, Filipinos working for the United States Navy, mostly as stewards and mess hall attendants. Though they were not citizens of the United States, Filipinos were considered American nationals. Consequently, Filipinos could freely move from the Philippines to Hawaii or to the mainland once they acquired an easily obtainable certificate of residence. Filipino laborers, called Sakadas , came mostly under three-year contracts negotiated in advance.

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The 40s: The Story of a Decade

After the expiration of their contracts, many stayed in Hawaii while others returned home or moved to the mainland. Filipinos began migrating in large numbers to California after the Immigration Act of Many were displaced tenant farmers, so they were able to blend into the agricultural economy of the state.

A number of Filipinos also went to Alaska to work in salmon canneries. Like the Asian immigrants before them, the vast majority of Filipinos were male laborers and worked for less than competing workers, including whites and Japanese. Unlike the Chinese and Japanese, however, Filipinos did not tend to live in dense, segregated communities. This last difference became the source of much agitation.

In the Philippines, Filipinos were taught that they were a part of a friendly father country. The most notable incident was the race riots in Watsonville, California on January 19, The riots began with a nonviolent anti-Filipino demonstration against a Filipino dance hall, but over the course of a few days, groups of demonstrators turned into mobs that targeted Filipinos, beating them, and destroying their property.

The riots ended on January 22, when a Filipino man, Fermin Tobera, was shot through the heart. Fears of intermarriage and miscegenation were not only reflected in the violent actions of mobs, but also in state and federal laws.


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  4. The popularity of books like The Rising Tide of Color reveals the trend of the time to justify racism with science. Although the classification and judgment of races was arbitrary and based on visible rather than actual genetic differences, it was held by many to be an indisputable, scientific fact.

    This pseudo-scientific racism sometimes undermined the aim of exclusionist laws. Since Filipinos were considered as American nationals, the Cable Act did not apply to them. Filipino immigration was resisted in the s, but strong support to exclude Filipinos did not materialize until the s.

    Just as the economic hardship of the s had fueled the Chinese Exclusion Movement, the Great Depression roused sentiment against Filipinos. Philippine independence was the avenue advocated by most exclusionists. If the Philippines were no longer under the ownership of the United States, then they could be included in the Asiatic Barred Zone.

    Under this Act, Filipinos were reclassified as aliens and an immigration quota of fifty Filipinos a year was established. For twelve years Philippine independence was delayed by World War II , Filipinos were in the odd position of owing allegiance to a country in which they were considered aliens. This alien status was especially damaging during the Depression because it rendered them ineligible for government relief programs.

    John D. Rockefeller

    Those arrested were leaders of Japanese American community organizations, ministers of churches, teachers at language and martial arts schools, and editors of Japanese American vernacular newspapers. Despite never having been accused of any crime or acts of treason, and without trial or representation , they were taken away to United States Department of Justice detention centers, many for the duration of the war.

    Their families did not know where they were taken or if they would ever see them again. Executive Order gave broad authority to the military to secure the borders of the United States and to create military zones from which individuals — citizens and aliens alike — could be forced from their homes. Although the executive order was carefully crafted so that no specific groups of people were singled out, its implementation resulted in the wholesale removal and imprisonment of the entire Japanese American population residing on the West Coast of the United States.

    Under the authority of Executive Order , the western portions of California, Washington and Oregon were declared as military zones, and in April , the military imposed a curfew and travel restrictions on Japanese Americans. Singled out by race alone, Japanese Americans became the target of racial policies that deprived them of their rights as American citizens. Soon after the curfew, the military posted notices in all Japanese American communities, ordering all citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry to abruptly leave their homes, schools and businesses and report to assembly areas, bringing with them only what they could carry.

    Under direction of armed police and the military, Japanese immigrants and Americans of Japanese ancestry were herded onto buses and trains for the forced journey to government detention camps. Without regard for due process or basic constitutional guarantees, over , persons of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of whom were American citizens, the Issei — or first generation — were ineligible for citizenship due to discriminatory naturalization laws were imprisoned in ten concentration camps located in remote, desolate areas in California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and Arkansas.

    Approximately 10, people were imprisoned in each camp surrounded by barbed wire and armed military guards. Most of the volunteers came from Hawaii, but there were also those who volunteered from within the concentration camps on the mainland. The volunteers were assigned to a segregated Japanese American unit — the nd Regimental Combat Team.