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Final Project Final Proposal


On August 6th, 1945, the world was changed forever by the decision of the United States to drop the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, the world was once again shaken as a second bomb was released over the city of Nagasaki. The decision to unleash the destructive forces of the atomic bombs not only affected the timeline of the war with Japan, it also had far-reaching consequences in its aftermath. Although the choice to drop the bomb was made over 50 years ago, many still debate over whether it was truly necessary. In my final project, I propose to evaluate the factual evidence which has been made available over the past half century in an effort to prove that the dropping of the bomb was not necessary as a means of ending the war.


The issue being proposed for discussion is one which has circulated within the circle of intellectuals and historians for decades. It has been studied, argued for, and against on countless occasions. Thus I believe that the information and views which will be presented within the final project paper will be of great interest to those with an intellectual appetite for historical events. However, the main focus of the project is not to challenge the thoughts of historical professors or change the minds of old historians. The aim of this presentation is at the young students of the Pennsylvania State University. The goal is to influence the thought of the students of history, as well as that of future political and military leaders of America. It is my intention to challenge a popular and widely accepted view among American youth by shining new light on an old event. (Why?)


To accomplish my intended task of proving that the dropping of the atomic bomb during the Second World War was unnecessary, a variety of resources will be utilized. In order to establish a historical background leading up to the event, secondary resources such as textbooks and books discussing issues and events of the time will be used. It is important that secondary resources are used in this case because they will provide a much wider perspective on the time period while maintaining a relatively objective point of view. Once the stage is set, detailed accounts leading up to the final decision will be presented in the form of primary sources. The first half of this segment of the project will deal with the domestic pressures and influences which lead up to the bombings. These sources will include documents dealing with the surrender of the Empire of Japan, recorded conversations between the President and his advising staff, and also tactical schematics regarding the pacific theater. The latter half of this segment will deal with the international events which were taking place at the time when the Commander and Chief of the United States was making his decision. This portion will deal with the Soviet involvement in the war against Japan, the impact of the end of European war on the battle in the pacific, and also the internal affairs which were taking place within the Japanese government. Once all the sources are presented to the audience, an analysis of the facts will be given. In this analysis, it will be made clear that the Empire of Japan was on the verge of surrendering to the Allied forces. Its fear of Soviet involvement in the war had driven the country to seek terms of surrender through the Soviet Union before they had entered the fight. Furthermore, it will show that the United States would have completed all possible bombing runs on the islands of Japan a month after the bomb had been dropped. Finally, it will show that had the United States been less stubborn about the terms of surrender, the war would have ended before the decision to transform two cities into firry craters would ever have been made.


What types of argument will comprise the analysis?


At the conclusion of my efforts to prove that the atomic bombs were unnecessary, a counterargument will be provided as well. This argument will take on the popular view that the atomic bombs saved the lives of many people. The counterargument will be used to contrast and compare the facts from different perspectives.


Finally, to conclude the project, the consequences and problems which arose in the wake of the bombings will be reviewed and analyzed. Though this final analysis, it will become apparent that the dropping of the atomic bomb was not only a poor means of ending the war with Japan, but it’s far reaching effects caused much greater problems in the future as well.



"A Study of the Atomic Bomb and World War II." 4 Nov. 2005 <http://www.theenolagay.com/study.html>.


"Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki." Wikipedia.com. 4 Nov. 2005 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki>.


Burr, William, ed. "The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II: A Collection of Primary Sources." 4 Nov. 2005 <http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB162/>.


"The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb." The Truman Presidential Museum and Library. 20 Nov. 2005 <http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/bomb/large/index.php>.

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