Truman, the Atomic Bomb, and the Shaping of the Postwar World Essay

Truman, the Atomic Bomb, and the Shaping of the Postwar World Essay

Length: 6412 words (18.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Truman, the Atomic Bomb, and the Shaping of the Postwar World

Historians have questioned the decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. Evidence shows that President Truman weighed not only military information in his decision to use the bomb, but also considered postwar politics and foreign policy when he considered dropping the atomic bomb on Japan. An analysis of his personal papers offers a different reasoning for using the bomb than what was commonly known at the time. The discrepancy between Truman’s public and private reasoning will be discussed.

Many cultural and racial beliefs about the Japanese played into the decision to drop the atomic bomb.

The private papers of President Truman as well as the diaries of other political and military figures offer helpful insights. Personal accounts of the scientists at the Trinity test site are also used in examining the decision to drop the atomic bomb.

Herein, there is an analysis of post-war US foreign policy from an atomic perspective which allows a person from my generation to understand the policies that were created by and followed from the Cold War.

Assumptions About Dropping the Bomb

1. Many American soldiers would have died in a land invasion of Japan.
Absolutely. Casualty estimates ranged from 250,000 American casualties to more than
5,000,000 Japanese casualties in a land invasion of Japan’s home islands. The real
question is was a land invasion necessary?

2. We had to use the atomic bomb in order to defeat Japan.
False. There were a few options available to the United States at the time. The
USSR was supposed to enter the Japanese war, blockade and (aerial sorties) bombing
was an option ...

... middle of paper ...

"[M]y own opinion was that the time now and the method now to deal with Russia was to keep our mouths shut and let our actions speak for words. The Russians will understand them better than anything else. It is a case where we have got to regain the lead and perhaps do it in a pretty rough and realistic way. They have rather taken it away from us because we have talked too much and have been too lavish with our beneficences to them. …This was a place where we really held all the cards. I called it a royal straight flush and we mustn't be a fool about the way we play it. They can't get along without our help and industries and we have coming into action a weapon which will be unique [the atomic bomb]. Now the thing is not to get into unnecessary quarrels by talking too much and not to indicate any weakness by talking too much; let our actions speak for themselves."

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Atomic Bombs On Hiroshima And Nagasaki Essay

- During August 1945 the United States of America released atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. These historical events remain extremely controversial, with oppositional perspectives relating to President Truman’s decision. The article written by Barton J. Bernstein focuses on the two key reasons that explain Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb. The first was to help America avoid a costly invasion. The other was retaliation for Japan’s conduct during World War I, such as their treatment of the prisoners of war, the Bataan death march on a Philippine island where the Americans surrendered to the Japanese around 1942 and the secret Pearl Harbour attack on the United States....   [tags: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

Powerful Essays
1759 words (5 pages)

President Truman and the First Atomic Bomb Essay

- ... The Japanese government told the Americans that they would never accept their unconditional surrender terms and that they would fight to the death before letting the Americans touch Emperor Hirohito. President Truman and knew that prolonging the war could result in a loss of popularity from the American people, and that an invasion of Japan would be too costly of a fight. President Truman then decided that the first Atomic Bomb should be dropped on Hiroshima in attempt to force the Japanese to accept the unconditional surrender....   [tags: world war II, adolf hitler, japanese warriors]

Powerful Essays
1204 words (3.4 pages)

Harry Truman: The Atomic Bomb Essay examples

- President Harry Truman, 33rd president of the United States, had to face one of the most effective decisions of mankind. The atomic bomb was first served as an idea which was created underneath the United States government. With a nuclear weapon like the atomic bomb, came great responsibility. The idea of how to use and regulate the bomb was not yet implemented. Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb changed the way Americans thought about war because of its traumatic after effects. Under President Franklin D....   [tags: Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Manhattan Project]

Powerful Essays
924 words (2.6 pages)

Essay about The Atomic Bomb Of Hiroshima

- On August 6, 1945, an American bomber dropped the first atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Ninety percent of the city was demolished and 80,000 people were killed immediately. Many more people would die of radiation poisoning soon after. Three days after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a second U.S B-29 dropped the second Atomic bomb on Nagasaki, killing nearly 40,000 people. Japan announced its country’s unconditional surrender in a radio address on August 15, 1945 stating the devastating power of “a new and most cruel bomb.” After World War II was finished, all but one destroyed section of Hiroshima, set aside as a reminder of the devastation, was rebuilt....   [tags: Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki]

Powerful Essays
1516 words (4.3 pages)

Truman's Blunder: The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb Essay examples

- The atomic policy against Japan was closely related to the fear of Soviet expansion in Asia. U.S. leaders were strongly conscious of Russia’s agreement at Yalta to join the war against Japan three months past Germany’s surrender on May 7, 1945 (Fogelman, 124). Among the U.S. invasion of Japan planned for November 1, 1945, U.S. officials were doubtful about the cooperative mission with Russia in which Russia would have power at the peace table. However, the successful detonation at Alamogordo had transformed everything....   [tags: American History, Hiroshima and Nagasaki ]

Powerful Essays
1777 words (5.1 pages)

The Atomic Bomb in World War Two Essay

- The Atomic Bomb in World War Two In 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the armed forces of the United States and her allies had been at war with Japan. The combined land, sea and air forces of the allied forces fought back against Japan, until only the Japanese homeland remained in Japanese control. On July 26,1941 President Truman issued the Potsdam Declaration,which called for Japan’s unconditional surrender and listed peace terms. The Japanese were warned of the consequences of continued resistance by the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, signed by President Truman, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom with concurrence of Chang Kai-Shek, President of the National Government...   [tags: WWII World War 2 Essays]

Powerful Essays
1304 words (3.7 pages)

The Atomic Bomb Of Hiroshima Essay

- September 2, 1945, World War II ended with the surrender of the Axis Powers; however, even though the war was over, Japan and the United States were still at odds with each other. In the Fall of 1953, Geisel began to work on Horton Hears a Who!. Once World War II ended in 1945, Japan and the United States were still at odds with each other. The war with Japan would not lead up and President Harry Truman was left with the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan or not. He feared for Americans to tread on Japanese soil that could lead to hundreds of more causalities, but Japan refused to end the fighting....   [tags: World War II]

Powerful Essays
1266 words (3.6 pages)

Atomic Bombing Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki City Essay

- After WWII, there was a political confrontation called Cold War between socialist led by the former Soviet Union and capitalist countries led by the US. Many surrogate wars between them broke out around the world, and the U.S. and the former Soviet Union had been carried out more than 50 nuclear tests to show their power even after people knew about the cruelty of atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki city. The political satire comedy Dr.Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was produced by Stanley Kubrick in 1963 and released in 1964....   [tags: Cold War, Nuclear weapon, Nuclear warfare]

Powerful Essays
1167 words (3.3 pages)

Harry Truman Essay

- Harry Truman Harry Truman, a president who witnessed and was a part of some of the most memorable events in U.S. and world history, is said to have had a reputation for being an honest and efficient man. Born in the town of Lamar, Missouri on May 8, 1884, Truman was used to living a humble life. Growing up as a Baptist on a farm near Independence, Missouri, Truman was the eldest of three children. His parents were John and Martha Truman. As a youth, Truman had weak eyesight which resulted in keeping him out of the regular army....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
621 words (1.8 pages)

Harry S Truman Essay

- Harry S Truman was short and resembled an owl with his thick round glasses. He spoke in the Midwesterner's flat, nasal tone. But he was definitely real, and established a reputation for speaking the truth. Born in Lamar, MO, on May 8, 1884, Truman was the oldest of three children of John Anderson and Martha Ellen (Young) Truman. His birthplace was just south of the area where his grandparents had moved from Kentucky four decades earlier. The letter "S" in his name was not an abbreviation. It because of the family's lack of the ability to decide which of his grandfathers, Anderson Shipp Truman and Solomon Young, names to use....   [tags: Biography Biographies Bio]

Free Essays
1575 words (4.5 pages)