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Research paper topic: Population Redistributions Based On Ethnicity Have Defused Intense Rivalries In The Recent Past, And Could Be A Solution To T - 1982 words
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.. Population redistributions based on ethnicity have defused intense rivalries in the recent past, and could be a solution to the internal ethnic crises for nations such as the former Yugoslavia. Currently described by the media as ethnic cleansing, Population redistributions have been the focus of much controversy throughout U.S. and world history. To those affected, Population redistributions can be economically and emotionally devastating. It can also lead to enormous tragedies causing thousands of deaths when conducted in a brutal manner.
The results of various population redistributions are examined throughout this paper with the focus on the Japanese Internment camps in the U.S. and the current crises in the former Yugoslavia. There are examples of population transfers that have taken place in the twentieth century. In 1923, Greece and Turkey signed the Treaty of Lausanne. The two rival nations agreed to expel 150,000 Greeks living in Turkey, and 388,000 Turks living in Greece back to their ethnic homelands.
Except in Cyprus where the populations remained mixed. Turkey and Greece have not taken up arms against each other again. After World War II eight million people of German ethnicity were expelled from their native communities in Poland and throughout Eastern Europe, due to agreements made by the Allies at the Potsdam Conference. Hundreds of thousands of Germans died or were killed during the transfer due to the brutal manner in which it was carried out. Due to the lack of diversity and conflicting cultures the long-term results of the population transfer have ended internal ethnic problems in Poland since then. Israel expelled their own settlers from occupied land (which is currently the new Palestinian nation) in order to bring about a lasting peace between the two former rivals.
After bombing Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941, 120,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans living in Oregon, Washington, California, and Arizona were relocated. They were forced from their homes and put in internment camps for their protection from the rage of the American people and for the sake of national security. Japanese-American internment camps like all issues involving race or war, raises the question of whether or not it was legal and ethical to force Japanese-Americans to move homes and livelihoods in early WWII. It is a difficult and controversial problem. When the decision to relocate thousands of Japanese-Americans was made; the actions were considered to be constitutionally legal and seen by many as necessary.
It has been argued as to whether or not it was necessary to put so many innocent people through frustration, suffering, and loss of not only their property but also their freedom. Even before the onset of war, due to the differences in their language, culture, communities, customs, and religion, the Japanese living in America were already alienated from much of society. This made it easier for Americans to justify to themselves the need for a temporary population redistribution of the Japanese-Americans. When the bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred, the American people were afraid of a Japanese attack and of the Japanese living near them on the West Coast. People believed their Japanese-American neighbors were the enemy. Americans were so enraged at Japan that they turned their anger towards Japanese-Americans in the forms of protests, discrimination and violent hatred.
The Government, including President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, were pressured by the restlessness of the people, the threat of a Japanese attack, the threat of violence between Americans and Japanese-Americans and the lack of time to take action. Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt was chosen for the job of defending and protecting the West Coast. He became one of the biggest supporters of relocating the Japanese. The FBI began investigating and arresting people along the coast who were suspected of spying for enemy countries. Japanese-Americans were not the only people suspected of spying.
Italians and Germans were also investigated and imprisoned. DeWitt received reports of acts of disloyalty to the U.S. and sabotage on the part of Japanese-Americans. He was also inundated with reports of unusual radio activity involving contact with Japanese vessels, of farmers burning their fields in the shapes of markers to aid Japanese pilots, and of fisherman monitoring and relaying to Japan the activity of the U.S. navy. None of these reports were substantiated, however they were still considered a potential threat.
Executive Order 9066, signed by President Roosevelt, gave the military permission to label land military areas and to keep out people who were seen as threats to national security. DeWitt named the west coast a military area in Proclamation 1 in March 1942. This gave him the right to remove all those who threatened the safety of the U.S. from the area. DeWitt believed that even 100 Japanese-Americans who were still loyal to Japan could compromise the safety of the U.S., therefore he decided that all people of Japanese ancestry had to be evacuated and placed in temporary relocation camps. He felt as did many others, that there was not enough time to investigate each individual person. In the interest of national security, DeWitt made the tough decision to take away the freedom of 120,000 people.
This was entirely legal. Within the Constitution, the War Power Clause gives congress the right to make any laws required to win a war. The evacuation and internment of the Japanese was seen as a necessity to national security. The Japanese-Americans were a potential threat to the country and the war effort. The relocation of Japanese-Americans may have been legally carried out, but not without consequence. The Japanese-Americans who were forced to leave their homes lost a great deal.
They were often given notice of the relocation only a few days in advance. They could only bring with them what they could carry, and they were forced to abandon, give away or sell their assets at fractions of the actual worth. Before more permanent facilities could be built, the displaced people had to live in make shift detention areas, often nothing more than a converted horse stable. The actual relocation camps were an improvement from the temporary facilities but still far from adequate housing. At the camps they were forced to live in undesirable conditions where they had little or no privacy and only the luxuries that they brought with them.
Their treatment was harsh and unethical, but considered a necessary consequence of war. After years of hardship, the Japanese in the relocation camps were ordered released. The threat of Japanese spies had passed and it was no longer deemed necessary to detain them. The Japanese-Americans had little or nothing to return to. Most had lost everything during their internment.
Years later, in 1976, President Gerald R. Ford made Proclamation 4417, which made Executive Order No. 9066 completely void. The proclamation was also written to admit that the government had been wrong to treat its citizens with such disrespect. It states that the Japanese-Americans were extremely loyal and were unfairly suspected.
In 1983 the government decided to give monetary compensation to the internees and to apologize and make up for their lost possessions and suffering. The Government is given the power to do what is necessary to win in times of war. This right is guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States. 'What is necessary to win a war' includes the relocation of anyone posing a threat to our national security, and the Japanese seen as a threat during the war. The population redistribution of the Japanese-Americans in WWII, was a temporary solution to a potential threat to national security and it was a way to protect the Japanese from fearful and angry American citizens. American history gives an example of mishandled population redistributions.
The atrocities against the American Indians in the 1800's are a brutal example of what can result when population redistributions are poorly executed. The U.S. relocated Indian tribes to reservations throughout the U.S. The Indians were forced to leave not only their homes but also their entire way of life behind. This was the end to years of bloodshed between the cavalry and the Indians. Unfortunately the Indians were killed nearly to extinction before they were relocated to these reservations. Did this preserve the lives of the remaining Indians or was it just one final step in taking the land where the Indians had resided for generations.
Recent precedents exist to endorse the concept of forced Population redistributions to bring about domestic security. Since 1991, the newly created nations, which constitute the former Yugoslavia, have repeatedly turned to violence to solve their territorial disputes. Despite the internal peace that had existed in Yugoslavia during the Cold War, the demise of communism has awakened long-standing ethnic rivalries. Bosnia was the center of the fighting between the Serbs, Muslims, and Croats and Kosovo has been the center of fighting between the Serbs and Ethnic Albanians. Many of these people who were neighbors and lived in the same communities for decades, now find the thought of reestablishing their ethnically diverse communities an impossibility after so much bloodshed.
Once peace has been established and the borders have been confirmed in Kosovo and the various regions of Yugoslavia, can an ethnic population redistribution insure the peace? As it was in the forced relocation of Japanese-Americans in WWII, the biggest obstacle to involuntary Population redistributions is the morality of such a program. To force people from the land and communities of their ancestors in order to procure the possibility of internal stability is an enormous price. The emotional and psychological toll to these people is likely far more costing than that which the Japanese-Americans faced. Simply because this has been their homeland for hundreds of years as opposed to a few generations. Unless such a population transfer is done under the protection of friendly troops or the United Nations, the results could be disastrous.
Thousands in Bosnia and Kosovo have already died due to the ethnic cleansing policies of the rival powers. During World War II millions of Jewish people suffered indescribable torture at the hands of the Germans and millions more lost their lives. At the end of the war, hundreds of thousands of German civilians lost their lives after being inhumanly expelled from their homes without adequate food, clothing, transportation, or protection from vengeful enemies. The forced transfer of the German populations from their inherent regions were achieved, but at an appalling cost. Proper protection, logistical support, and assistance in establishing a livelihood are absolutely essential to a successful population redistribution.
A population transfer could bring internal long-term stability to the regions of the former Yugoslavia, but it is a policy, which must be thoroughly planned and negotiated prior to being implemented. Maintaining the peace may be attained through other means without an ethnic redistribution, and this could be the morally correct decision. The United States has generally been successful with its melting pot society and can be used as an example of different cultures living together peacefully in the same nation. After peace has been established in the former Yugoslavia, a discussion about possible population transfers should be conducted at the United Nations with the rival powers present, so the most humane decision can be made regarding the citizens. It is impossible to decide for a race of people what their fate shall be and to remain confident that the decision is morally correct. Redistribution could prevent war and bloodshed, but it could also wipe out a way of life and in time a race of people.
Are the people still the same people when they have been forced to change their way of life eventually killing the culture which made them who they were? It comes down to the choice of allowing the possible death of thousands to war or the possible death of a culture to forced population redistribution. Population redistribution could be the solution to lasting peace in nations faced with rivaling cultures due to ethnic diversity, but the peace would not come without a price.
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