HIS377H1 Lecture Notes - Axis Powers, Iron Curtain, Foreign Affairs

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28 Nov 2010

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his 377 Thursday, October 21, 2010
origins of the cold war
us aircraft drop the atomic bomb on hiroshima on 6 aug 1945
-130000 die in hiroshime and 73884 in nagasaki **ATOMIC CAFE MOVIE
-truman plans a third atomic bombing
-but japan surrenders four days later.
-shocks the world/ shocks peace mvmt in us
-truman argued use of atomic bomb was necessary to save lives of 500000 us troops and end the
war quickly
some us officials and nuclear scientist believed use was unnecessary because japan was on the
verge of defeat anyway. use of the bomb would lead to loss of us goodwill and an arms race
-they advocated: peace talks with japan, blockade and conventional bombing of japan, let the
soviet union fight japan, threaten japan with use of a-bomb, demonstrate devastative power of
the bomb to japan at an unpopulated island, and land us troops on a southern japanese island.
these were all dismissed.
why did the US use the bomb?
1. no military advisor told truman not to use the bomb. he did not decide to drop the bomb- he
went along with existing pans to use the bomb
2. revenge: americans did not forgive japan for pearl harbour
3. truman hoped the bomb would help win diplomatic benefit- stronger bargaining position with
the soviets, preempt Moscow's plans to invade japan and limit soviet influence in asia.
us officials also believed that spectacular demonstration of bomb would intimidate the soviets
into offering concessions in eastern european countries liberated from nazis and now under
soviet control
truman informed stalin at potsdam that the americans had a new weapon of unusual destructive
washington and moscow move to fill power vacuum after defeat of the axis powers.
-us has a buoyant economy and the worlds largest military
-soviet economy is shattered but its military has strong presence in east europe
-us leaders are determined to shape the world.
truman and molotov meet to discuss at white house. truman gives molotov strong bashing for not
honoring the yalta accords in poland. moscow maintained a sphere of influence in east euro
-molotov questioned us influence in belgium, france and germany
washington used aid as a diplomatic weapon in east europe: no aid for countries tht opposed us
principles and values. the policy backfired as it drove czechs into soviet arms
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