Japanese American Experience: Constitutional Issues and Connections to Today

Author: RaDon G. Andersen, Northridge High School, Davis School

Suggested Grade Level(s): 12

Suggested Subject Area(s): U.S. Government and Citizenship

Number of Class Periods Required: 4 class periods (90 minutes per period)

Enduring Understanding: Diversity in the United States helps democracy to function.

Essential Questions:

  • Who is the “We” in “We, the People”?
  • Is it more important to have safety or liberty?
  • What is the process of social justice?

Teacher Overview:
This unit considers the constitutional issues surrounding the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans and the redress and reparations granted by the United States government four decades later. Examining the Fourteenth Amendment, Executive Order 9066, Supreme Court cases, and presidential documents encourages students to compare the World War II experiences of Japanese Americans with those of Arab Americans following September 11, 2001.

Download the entire “Japanese American Experience: Constitutional Issues and Connections to Today” unit (4.8 MB)


Resources and References