How Japan Attacked Pearl Harbor

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Introduction: The opening can present the context of war in general by referring to critical thinking questions: Is war necessary? Is war justified? Is war inevitable? Can we live in a world (one day) with peace? Or you can go right to the point to state whether dropping the bomb an act that was necessary to defeat Japan and the fastest way possible with the least casualties for the USA. — or whether the act of dropping the bombs was an excessive use of force and a show of power.

THESIS: Your thesis can state your position that the atomic bombs were necessary or unnecessary. Your position should be clear. However, you can also do an essay that analyzes the decision to drop the atomic bombs but that does not make a statement either supporting or arguing against the decision.

SECTION ONE:

WRITE about the build-up to the decision. You can include:

How Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and forced our entry into WW2
That Pres. Roosevelt died in office leaving Harry S. Truman to lead the war
The secret project called The Manhattan Project was so top-secret even Truman did not know anything about it when he became president
The decision to build a bomb was urged by Albert Einstein who wrote a letter to Roosevelt because the Germans were trying to develop an atomic weapon

SECTION 2:

WRITE about the background of Japanese
The Japanese were ruthless warriors that goes far back to the Samaurai code and what is called the “Bushido code”. You can easily find information on this; consult instructor if you need help
The culture of japan considered their emperor to be a “god”
All the Japanese were indoctrinated to never surrender
The Japanese military were brutal—they tortured, raped, marauded and were as bad as Nazi Germany’s Hitler
The Japanese mixed civilians with military targets

SECTION 3:

Write about the lead-up to the decision:

Hitler was already defeated, the war in Europe was over
Japan was devastated and losing but they still continued to fight
Japan was given an ultimatum to surrender; they hesitated
Japan wanted to surrender if they could keep their emperor; US refused
Historians disagree about the decision—some say that US bombed to end the war quickly , others say USA wanted to show power and intimidate the Soviets

SECTION 4

OTHER ISSUES to consider:

Should the US have tested the bomb, or shown, or warned the Japanese before bombing?
Should the US have given Japanese more time to surrender since they were already just about defeated?
The bombs had ever-lasting effects with radiation and cancers still to this day
We bombed twice—was that too much?
The Japanese might have continued the war with more casualties for Americans and loss of lives
US forced Japanese- Americans into internment camps
There was a lot of Japanese racism and propaganda

SECTION 5:

THE LASTING EFFECTS OF THE BOMB:
Good and bad

Radiation, cancer, devastation
USSR develops nuclear weapons
The cold war between USA and Soviet Union—many tensions and fear of a nuclear end of the world
The space-race and arms race
New inventions—cell phone technology, lasers, cancer treatments

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