• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

American Response to the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Extracts from this document...


American Response to the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki On August 6, 1945, the Enola Gay flew over Hiroshima and dropped the first ever atomic bomb to be used in war, and the second bomb came three days later in the Bock's Car, destroying Nagasaki. The bombings of Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused varied reactions in America. Initially, the public was surprised at what had happened, and mixed emotions plagued their minds. Through details issued by the U.S. Government, including public statements and propaganda, most were convinced that the bombings were necessary, despite their worry about the future and sympathy for those who lost their homes, families, and lives in Japan. In the US, the initial responses were mixed. Many felt joy that the war was over, joy that loved ones fighting the war could come home, and joy that we had won. There was also a fear of the results of our actions, which at this point were unpredictable. Many couldn't overcome their concern for the massive amount of destruction we caused, resulting in nearly 140,000 deaths (PBS), and many Americans were sympathetic towards the Japanese, despite hostility toward their government and nation. ...read more.


We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan's power to make war. Only a Japanese surrender will stop us (Long, Hiroshima: Harry Truman's Diary and Papers)." Truman also published an article claiming that he dropped the bomb to prevent an invasion of Japan that would have cost one million American lives. This was the biggest turning point for any doubt Americans had on the use of the bombs, since many Americans believed this reasoning to be true. They felt comforted by the statements that we had actually saved lives by taking lives. This can be best presented with the results of a survey taken by the American public shortly after the war. The results showed that 53-55% of Americans agreed with the dropping of both bombs, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In fact, many individuals felt we should have been more aggressive, and 22.7% of those surveyed believed that we should have used more than two bombs. A very small percentage, only 4.5% of survey takers felt that we should not have dropped either of the bombs (Harris 36). ...read more.


Also, General Douglas MacArthur joined the ranks of those who disapproved. Norman Cousins, a consultant to MacArthur during occupation of Japan wrote about discussions with MacArthur, stating "MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed... When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor." The bombs were a very sad time for the world and evoked many different emotions amongst Americans. Despite the opinions of some that the bombs were not needed, the US government was able to convince most of the people of their necessity. At this point, the world had not yet seen anything so capable of destruction as the atomic bomb. Nobody knew where this technology would head, and caused a great mix of emotions for all Americans. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. What were the intentions of President Harry S. Truman and General Douglas MacArthur regarding ...

    Korean War to understand its consequences, namely, the intentions of President Harry S. Truman and General Douglas MacArthur. There is ongoing debate regarding the intentions of Truman and MacArthur during the Korean War. The veterans of the Korean War in South Korea, General MacArthur, General Ridgway and other historians argue

  2. Did Truman really save 500,000 American live through dropping the Hiroshima atomic bomb?

    country.1 Operation Downfall: Operation Downfall is the allied plan for the invasion of Japan; however it was canceled when the Japan surrendered on August 15th. It consisted of two amphibious assaults-operation Olympic and Coronet, set for November 1st 1945, and April of 1946 respectively18.

  1. Relacion Peal Harbor - Hiroshima

    un punto cr�tico y objetivo, sin posibilidad de preferencia hacia un pa�s, si no analizar los sucesos y las consecuencias de una manera centrada. 2.- Resumen de la informaci�n. Todo comienza el 7 de diciembre de 1941 cuando la flota a�rea japonesa, realiz� un ataque sorpresa a Pearl Harbor en

  2. Why we Dropped the Bomb

    could avoid loosing troops and equipment. Japan was ready to fight to the last man. "In his memoirs, President Truman wrote that an invasion of the Japanese home islands would have entailed the loss of 500,000 American lives. In their own respective memoirs, Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Secretary of State James Byrnes proposed the

  1. History IA: What were American peoples responses to the Vietnam War in 1965 1971?

    Industrial workers Public opinion polls showed that working people, including union members, were already divided in their opinions on the Vietnam war by the mid-1960s, and, by mid-1969, workers in ?manual? or ?blue collar? occupations favored withdrawing troops more strongly than those in ?professional or business? categories (that was from a July 1969 Gallop Poll)[9].

  2. The History and Development of the American Dream

    Authors? talent and art of word together with readers? vivid imagination definitely bare fruit. The world is aware of the main tendency of anxiety and discontent now inseparable from the notion of the American Dream. However, more intimate knowledge of the national literature lets us conclude that people?s minds are

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work