U. S. History 03/24/13 Essay When one looks back in American history to the mid 1940’s it is almost impossible to not mention the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This was a shocking worldwide event that will be passed down through each generation in nation’s history. But what many overlook and forget is all the stress, planning, and pressures our thirty-third president, Harry S. Truman had to go through when making this extremely difficult decision. When President Truman first found out about the huge success of the Manhattan Project he knew a great deal of power had shifted to the United States at this point.
He didn’t exactly Jump the gun on this idea, knowing that thousands of innocent Japanese civilians would be killed if he were to pursue this plan of attack. “The capacity to end the war with Japan was in his hands, but it would involve unleashing the most terrible weapon ever known. (www. ushistory. org)” The atomic bomb test in New Mexico “led Truman to issue the Potsdam Proclamation (which was proposed July 26th 1945), that insisted on unconditional surrender by Japan” without consultation with Joseph Stalin.
It is believed that President Truman offered this peace treaty to Japan days before the bombing, and also shared a faint warning that he United States held a great weapon which pressured on Japan to sign the treaty. But the Emperor of Japan was stubborn and had refused to sign the treaty. He would have rather had bloodshed of millions of soldiers and civilians from both nations continue the war until one had become the victor. So it was at this point in time, president Truman had a very select few of options he could choose to go against Japan and their emperor. President Truman had many options at his disposal.
Truman could have bomb and blockaded Japan, causing millions of Japanese to die of starvation because the Emperor and his ilitary forces were to prideful to give in to the peace treaty. President Truman had the option to directly enter battle with them on “Japanese mainland. ” After winning those bloody battles at Okinawa and Iwo Jima, that put us within reasonable striking distance to attack the Japanese mainland by air support. President Truman was also given the option to hold a “demonstration of the destructive power of the atomic bomb,” which was supposed to be used as a scare tactic for the Japanese.
It sounded like a good idea in theory because a weapon of mass destruction on that scale was unthinkable during that time period. But I think the Emperor of Japan and Japan as a nation were too stubborn and prideful to back down and negotiate with the U. S. Another alternative for President Truman was too sit back and wait for Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union to enter the war on August 1 5th. So looking back on all the different options and alternatives President Truman had in dealing with Japan, to me he chose the best one which was DomDlng Hlrosnlma ana NagasaKl.
Due to tne extremely nlgn tenslon Detween tne two nations especially after the attack of Pearl Harbor, I think Truman was Justified in his action. He laid it all out on the table from the get go when he proposed the postdam proclamation, asking Japan to negotiate and surrender. Unfortunately it wasn’t that easy for President Truman and he had to attack with brute force. But in the long run it was a smart move for President Truman, as we were able to save millions of American lives and end the war quickly. After dropping the infamous Atom bombs on August 6th and August 9th in 1945 on Japan in World War II.
President Truman was being harshly criticized all around the world for his decision on ending the war. Many saw President Truman’s decision as “a barbaric act that rought negative long-term consequences to the United States “and many were saying, “A new age of nuclear terror led to a dangerous arms race. ” Many even believed that the Japan was ready to give in to the negotiation and the bombings were totally unnecessary. Others said that this was a racist attack and “that such a device would never have been used against white civilians. Truman later released a statement that the use of the atomic bombs was “purely military’ and any other alternative would have resulted in an enormous amount of casualties on both sides. So he chose what he thought was the most efficient way of ending the war. At this point in time no other country in the world had used or hinted that they had weapons of mass destruction. So when the United States did this it basically stated our dominance in this era and looking back no other nukes have been dropped since (knocks on wood).
Many also believe that the dropping of the atomic bombs hinted the Soviet Union to tread softly with U. S. , giving a slight nudge into the Cold War. So overall the United States and President Truman did what they thought was right at the time and because of that the United States was basically seen as a bully and criticized for using unnecessary aggression. But when you go back and look at the facts, I believe President Truman’s decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki were purely Justified for our benefit.
Did it save many American lives? Yes, it even probably saved Japanese lives in the long run if we were to continue battle against each other and it ended the war immediately. So I believe President Truman’s initial decision resolved the initial problem of ending the war. The most severe consequence the United States faced was right after ending one war they had entered yet another. The Cold war with Soviet Russia which caused s billions of dollars and millions of people died because of it. The Cold war was almost impossible to avoid.
After World War II, the U. S. and Soviet Unions’ government clearly opposed each other so conflict was inevitable. But after seeing the United States use nuclear forces on Japan, this could have possibly stopped a nuclear war against the Soviet’s which instead causing a “Cold War. ” This in theory saved millions from dying. So in conclusion, after analyzing the thought process and options President Truman had to evaluate and go through. I think he stepped up as the leader of our country and made a decision that nobody else could.