US History Class List

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

September 11 Attacks and Pearl Harbor

How did the September 11 attacks transform Americans' understanding of their security? How did the response compare to that after Peal Harbor?
     The September 11 attacks made Americans and the country feel more vulnerable to chaos around the world and aware of the hate that lived outside our boarders. The hate was brought to our door step, to the Big Apple, a home to many, and it left Americans feeling scared and unprotected. Americans experienced the harsh reality of the unpredictability of terrorist attacks. After the attack, Americans did not feel safe. They were now fully aware that anything can happen because 9/11 happened. September 11 occurred on a regular day, and after it was clear that on any regular day an attack could occur. After 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security was instated as well as the USA PATRIOT Act, which allowed the government to surveillance any citizen in America including wiretapping. The The United States declared war on Afghanistan after the attack to fight against the Taliban, and, similarly, FDR declared war on Japan after Pearl Harbor. The government response to Pearl Harbor was somewhat similar to the response to September 11. Both declared war against the attackers, and made laws and acts to protect the country, although, some infringed upon civil rights. Both attacks caused the government to find the balance between the needs of national security and civil rights of citizens. The attempt to find a balance led to racial tensions because of Japanese internment and Muslims in America. The declarations of war on the Taliban was also very different than the declaration of war on Japan; a world wide organization versus a country.
     The person I discussed with said the response after Pearl Harbor was an overreaction, and Japanese internment was not the right thing to do, partly because America did not intern any Germans or Italians. Compared to the Pearl Harbor response, the September 11 response was muted; furthermore, Muslims in America were not rounded up and separated in camps. Moreover, the USA PATRIOT Act and the creation of Guantanamo Bay as a detention facility could be compared to the internment camps after Pearl Harbor.


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