US History 1865-Present, Spring 2007, Web Assignment Atomic Bomb


M/W Class:  Assignment Due 4/9

T/Th Class: Assignment Due 4/10


On a separate sheet of paper, answer the following questions.  I would prefer this be typed, but it is ok to hand-write this, but please use complete sentences. 


From Mike Nagle’s Homepage (

·        Scroll down and click on US History 1865-Present

·        Scroll down and click on US History Links

·        Click on Click here for the Decision to use an Atomic Bomb

·        Then click on each of the “hotlinks, ” read the selection and answer the questions below


1.  Scientists against using a nuclear bomb:


For what reasons are these scientists opposed to using a nuclear bomb?


2. Scientists in support of using a nuclear bomb: 


What actions do they recommend the government take before a bomb is used?  Why does this group of scientists support using a nuclear bomb?  Are the opinions of scientists important at all?  Why/why not?


3. President Harry Truman's Diary:


How does he describe the Japanese?  What does Truman believe their target should be?


4. Henry Stimson’s Explanation


Why did the US develop an atomic bomb in the first place?  If the a-bomb had not been used, what US plans were in place to end the war?  Overall, what was Stimson’s chief purpose for using an atomic bomb?


5. Who disagreed with the bombing?


Why were Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, and Paul Nitze opposed to the bombing?  Are the opinions of these leaders important?  Why/why not?


6. The first statement by Truman announcing the bombing:


Describe two reasons offered by Truman as to why he authorized the use of this weapon.


7. First hand account of a survivor:


Read the account by Takeharu Terao from August 1991 and describe it.


8. Information from Lecture (this will not be found on the web site):


(The lecture, "World War Two:  Battle Front," covered the topic of the Atomic Bomb from the government's point of view.)  What was "Island Hopping?"  How did this lead to both US and Japanese casualties on the islands surrounding Japan and on the Japanese mainland?  What were the US Government's estimates of possible US and Japanese casualties if the US were to invade Japan?


9.  Evaluation:  You may want to search other sites for additional information (but this is not required). 


Overall, based on lecture, information for this assignment, and other materials you have read, do you agree with the decision to use a nuclear bomb against Japan?  Why/why not?