However, more important influences of this project can be seen following the detonation of the first bombs. The emergence of the United States as a world superpower following World War II, the tensions derived from the arms race during the Cold War, and current day struggles over the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are all effects derived from the Manhattan Project. According to the US Department of Energy, President Roosevelt provided a government organization and mild funding for uranium research, following the release of information that Germany may have the capabilities of building an atomic weapon. The fear of an atomic weapon falling into the hands of Nazi Germany led to fear of the annihilation of the Western World. The Manhattan Project was escalated following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Roosevelt gave the tentative okay to build an atomic weapon.
Einstein found out the nuclear fission information from a German physicist named Leo Szilard. He then told it to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and urged him to start an investment toward atomic research. 3The research would then help construct an atomic weapon of mass destruction. Roosevelt was not especially concerned about investing in atomic weapon research because he didn't plan on getting involved in the War. When Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, Roosevelt entered the war and sent significant funds to the construction of the atomic weapon.
Truman had to make the fatal decision on whether the bomb was to be dropped on Japan. With the idea of going to war, Truman had to think about the lives of the thousand American soldiers. The American soldiers had begun using the method of island hopping, because the bomb was not available. The idea of dropping a bomb was that the war itself could possibly end in its earliest points. The dropping of the atomic bomb could also justify the money spent on the Manhattan Project (Donohue 1).
http://www.mv.u-net.com/ (16 October 1999). - The Decision to Drop The Bomb. http://www.nhk.or.jp/nuclear/e/text/unit-3a.htm (16 October 1999).
Web. 16 Mar. 2014. hiroshima-and-nagasaki>. Kross, Peter. "The Decision to Drop the Bomb."
Germany was developing new, secret weapons that could very likely be a potential threat to the United States. It had been reported that German scientists were experimenting with splitting the atom, which would release an enormous amount of energy.1 Whoever was successful with this tactic had the power to control the world. After receiving this information, President Harry Truman went into shock. The United States began atomic research shortly after with the help of physicists Leo Szilard and Albert Einstein.2 This effort was code-named the Manhattan Project, which took place in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The project involved more than half a million people working to design and predict the results of an atomic bomb.
Some of the most frightening effects of nuclear war are the long-range effects. Radioactive exposure effects both people and their environment. World War II gave birth to the most destructive weapon known to man, and faith and reason continue to play an important role in its further use. In order to comprehend the significance of the bomb, first one must examine its roots. On December 8, 1938, two German scientists discovered nuclear fission.
In their effort to create a bomb that would assure destruction of enemies, the world super powers of this century have created a legacy that could presumably destroy the entire world as we know it (Schull 6). During the course of the last fifty years, nuclear weapons have continually become an increasingly detrimental threat to our own health and environment. Consequently, laws have been proposed and bills have been signed to end this senseless build-up of arsenal and testing of havoc-causing atomic was instruments. Unfortunately, enforcing such rules worldwide has proven itself to be remarkably difficult and world allies have had to use extreme caution when dealing with any and all emerging threats. In the early days of nuclear weapons production, of course, not all safety hazards were fully appreciated,and possible threats to the environment went completely unrecognized.
Soon after, the United States and Britain would begin organizing research teams in the field of fission and nuclear warfare. The fates of these research projects were constantly in question. The decision by Germany, the United States, and Britain to continue research would be influenced by many factors including the progress of other countries’ research, each country’s confidence in their ability to complete the atomic bomb, and each country’s confidence in the inability of other countries to produce the atomic bomb. The discovery of fission, in December of 19381, would begin the world’s quest to unleash the power of the atom and formulate a way to utilize that power for atomic warfare. This discovery, made in Germany, gave the Germans a head start on the extensive research still to be done in order to produce an atomic bomb.
According to Merriam-Webster, nuclear fission is defined as “the splitting of an atomic nucleus resulting in the release of large amounts of energy” (Nuclear Fission). In the book Remembering the Manhattan Project: Perspectives on the Making of the Atomic Bomb and Its Legacy, Richard Rhodes, an American journalist and historian, states that fission was essentially discovered by accident. On December 21, 1938, German physicists, Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman, were performing an experiment in which they bombarded uranium atoms with neutrons (Rhodes 17). They saw that this procedure created mutated atoms that had strange characteristics. Hahn and Strassman found that the neutrons split the nuclei of the uranium in half producing radioactive barium and krypton (Rhodes 18).