Truman and the Atomic Bomb on Japan
Government 2305 .V66
November 8, 2015
President Truman is one of the most well remembered Presidents that ever led this country. Reason being, he was our president during one of the biggest conflicts in human history known as World War II. Not only did he lead our great country in this war but also made a decision that would change the entire world forever. The atomic bomb, the most devastating and terrible weapon ever known to mankind, would be used to end the war. To this day many people question whether Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb was a good idea or a bad one. In this paper, I have addressed three articles that talk about the arguments in opposition to-and in support of- Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan.
Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan
The art of war is something that most humans on this Earth do not like. Many people detest violence, so when there is war, they also detest the person in charge. Our leaders have the responsibility to take care of the nation and its people. President Harry S. Truman faced a time of crisis, and it was his decision to solve the conflicts with foreign affairs. Truman did so by ordering the bombing of Japanese cities. He was able to end the war, but it sacrificed many lives.
Arguments in opposition to Truman’s decision
We as human have been known to make decisions every day that we wake up. Whether it is a decision that will affect the people around us, or a decision that will affect our personal life. Sadly, there will always be those people that are full of hate and will attempt to put you down and disagree with every decision you make. To this day, there are still people that disagree with President Truman’s decision on dropping the atomic bomb on Japan. Many people disagree with the fact that Truman was just coming into office and was already making a decision that would not only affect the American people but also various nations (Hamby, 1995). We are talking about a world war that would put many lives in danger, and for a President that was expected to make a decision having only than two weeks in office, was a risky move for the United States (Hamby, 1995). If the releasing of the atomic bomb would not have happened, it is possible that many things could have been avoided. Preventing the development of nuclear weapons could have helped nations today that are worried about possible nuclear attacks. Many Americans believe that we should have given Japan a warning. Those cities were not only made up of Japanese soldiers, they were also made up of millions of innocent children and women that would lose their lives on the day of the bombing. The United States should have at least warned Japan about their plan to bomb their country. It is as simple as that, it would not have cost the United States anything to give Japan a chance to surrender without having to destroy their cities.
Arguments in support of Truman’s decision
Decisions have to be made every single day. It is our responsibility to decide what we have to do. In our government, our leaders are expected to make decisions keeping in mind the good of the country and its people. It is also true that we are not perfect therefore we will not always do everything right. It is absurd to expect our political leaders to be perfect and to always do the right thing.
We as people in this country have to keep in mind that we are given certain rights and certain freedoms to make our own decisions. Out of those decisions we are given the freedom to choose who we want to lead our country. The people we choose have the responsibility to take care of the country and to think about all the people that are part of that nation. It seems to be that every time our country is in trouble, we blame our political leaders. Sometimes we are right, but many times we are wrong. We were given the freedom to choose who we wanted, and we chose. Our leaders now have to take care of our nation. The decisions they make will either harm the country or help it.
All of our past leaders have had to make a certain decision that could result in putting our country in danger. President Harry S. Truman is an example of that. President Truman took an oath to office on April 12, 1945 after the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. While President Roosevelt was still in office, Truman served as Vice President of the United States. During Roosevelt’s presidency, a committee was appointed. That committee consisted of Vice President Wallace, General Marshall, Dr. Vannevar Bush, Dr. James B. Conant, and Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson. At the time the committee was appointed, Stimson (1947) said “it was in the fall of 1941 that the question of atomic energy was first brought directly to my attention” (para. 2). The committee was appointed to advise the President about the questions relating to the study of nuclear fission (Stimson, 1947). Before Roosevelt’s death, Stimson met with the President one last time and agreed that they needed to have a public statement to share with the people. The next time Stimson went to the White House was on April 25, 1945, to share the project with a man whose only previous knowledge of their activities was that of a Senator who had loyally accepted their assurance that the matter must be kept a secret from him (Stimson, 1947). Stimson realized that now the final responsibility was that of President Truman because he was now Commander-in-Chief of the United States. Stimson (1947) stated that “President Truman accepted this responsibility with the same fine spirit that Senator Truman had shown before” in accepting their refusal to inform him (para. 7). This showed that President Truman was willing to help his country and his people. It was now his decision to choose what would be done with the atomic weapon that would be created. Should the bomb be used immediately against Japan to end the war or should they have given them a warning about what they would do? No one knows what took place in the minds of all the people that were part of this event, but the decision they made is now supported and questioned by many people today.
Hamby, Alonzo. (1995). Truman and the bomb Web page. Retrieved from
http://ic.galegroup.comLacy, Lee. (2015). The Crucible of World War II: Harry Truman And The Atomic Bomb Web page. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com
Stimson, H. L. (1947). The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb Web page. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com