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FIGHTING TO WIN ON THE HOME FRONT

Having had a couple of years to think about it, Britain and the U.S. had already agreed to put most of their efforts into beating Germany first. Although you may be inclined to chase the wasp that has just stung you, you're better off to go after the biggest hive first. Plus, little Britain and the almost-overwhelmed Soviets were politely saying, "Hey, can we get some help over here?" Sure, but first the United States had to figure out how to feed and equip all three countries, plus ship its fighting forces and supplies half way around the world in two directions.

The treatment of Japanese Americans

The American mainland home front was not really threatened, with no real danger from enemy bombs or sabotage, but people didn't know that at the time. The attack on Pearl Harbor scared everyone. Out of paranoia and racism, the U.S. government herded over 100,000 Japanese Americans into internment camps to make sure they did not cause trouble. Most of them were

American citizens; none of them were ever proven to be a real danger to the United States. They were politely treated for the most part, but many of them lost the small farms they had managed to buy before the war, where they had grown most of the West Coast's green beans, tomatoes, and strawberries. They appealed their internment to the Supreme Court in the case of Korematsu v. United States (1944), and the Court ruled that the internment was legal.

Despite their harsh treatment, thousands of Japanese Americans volunteered for the army and fought bravely in Europe. After the war, they went back to their normal lives. Thirty years after the War, the United States apologized and paid the Japanese Americans and their families a small compensation.

Example

Question: What was the Supreme Court decision in Korematsu v. United States?

Answer: The Supreme Court held that the internment of Japanese Americans on the West Coast of the United States during World War II was legal.

 
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