Monday, October 22, 2007

Exploratory Essay, Intro and Position #1

The United States’ Dropping of the Atomic Bomb On Japan

The present day debate over weapons of mass destruction, their possession and arms negotiation has risen to a high over the last five years, but there was one generation who saw the terrible destruction of these weapons with their own eyes. Debate over the United States’ decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan during World War II has lasted for more than sixty years; this series of works will explore the pros and cons of that decision. This policy, set in 1945, brought us into a new age of global conflict and nuclear energy capability. I researched the argument for the United States and their decision, the argument against the decision and a compromise view that believes that certain adjustments to the U.S. policy would have made the dropping of the bomb much less likely.

Those who support the dropping of the bomb purport that in 1945 the U.S.A. was at the end of a worldwide struggle that had lasted for six years. The public was “war weary” and a means to end the war as quickly as possible was greatly desired among the American public. When the Commander In Chief and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt died in April of 1945, his Vice President, Harry S Truman, was installed into Roosevelt’s office. President Truman began his war policy by declaring that the only agreement that he would accept from the Japanese government was “unconditional surrender” (McCullough 382). The new President—while very aware of the public war fatigue—was soon informed after taking the office about the Roosevelt Administration’s secret project to develop a bomb that would cause mass destruction, and with information supplied by his Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, decided to drop the bomb in the summer of 1945, according to a declassified memo sent from Stimson to Truman on July 30, 1945 (War 41011). Truman felt compelled to make this decision not only because of the pressure of U.S. citizens, but because he believed the Japanese were determined to lure the U.S. into a ground war on the Japanese mainland that would cost hundreds of thousands, or perhaps, millions of lives on both sides (Giangreco 538-539). However, many of the people who lived on the Japanese mainland held a different view.

No comments:

Post a Comment