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.
This paper analyzes some cultural and racial beliefs about the Japanese which 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 postwar 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.
Jonathon Ramey, ’99 Warren, OH
Majors: History, Secondary Education
Sponsor: Richard Thomas