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POL208: Lecture 1
3 crucial events in world history:
1. Decision to drop the atomic bomb
2. Fall of the Berlin wall
3. 9/11
Atomic Bomb:
x August 6th and 9th: Hiroshima and Nagasaki: 200 000 civilian deaths
x Led to the end of WWII
x Why was the decision unanimous?
o Simply b/c America was at war with Japan
o Battle with Japan led to high American casualties
o Pentagon forecasted nearly 250 000 American deaths
o Full invasion of Japan would be extremely costly
o Using the atomic would end up saving lives (not only American bust also
Japanese)
x The nuclear attack was part of a massive bombardment campaign; Tokyo was already
being bombed: 60 000 casualties
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o **the dropping of the bomb was meant to show the Soviets that America was the
strongest and most powerful nation --- balance of power (still only a theory)
x President Truman was inexperienced with foreign affairs; he was unaware of the
Manhattan Project
o Faced pressure from all guards of the government
o Did not have the same authority as FDR
x Why was the bomb not dropped on less populated area?
o Scientists were not sure if the bomb would actually work: therefore a failed
demonstration was too risky
o The US at the time only had 3 operational bombs: they did not wish to waste any
o Americans were unsure if this would be enough to push Japan to surrender
x Capacity of punishment became incredibly high; there was no shield
x The Brits and the Canadians were in agreement with the US
Fall of the Berlin Wall
x November 1989
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x Came as a surprise to all; including the Germans
x Gorbachev Factor:
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Document Summary

3 crucial events in world history: decision to drop the atomic bomb, fall of the berlin wall, 9/11. N august 6th and 9th: hiroshima and nagasaki: 200 000 civilian deaths. N the nuclear attack was part of a massive bombardment campaign; tokyo was already being bombed: 60 000 casualties. N $4. ,3/0: **the dropping of the bomb was meant to show the soviets that america was the strongest and most powerful nation --- balance of power (still only a theory) N president truman was inexperienced with foreign affairs; he was unaware of the. Manhattan project: faced pressure from all guards of the government, did not have the same authority as fdr. N capacity of punishment became incredibly high; there was no shield. N the brits and the canadians were in agreement with the us. N came as a surprise to all; including the germans.

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