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Justified Or Unjustified: America Builds The First Nuclear Weapon

2036 words - 8 pages

On August 2, 1938, in the heat of World War II, Albert Einstein, a physicist born in Germany, sent a letter to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States. The letter suggested America to build an atomic bomb before the Nazi Germany does. However, it took more than two months for the letter to reach Roosevelt. On October 19, 1938, Roosevelt agreed, replying, “I found this data of such import that I have convened a Board … to thoroughly investigate the possibilities of your suggestion regarding the element of uranium” (“President Roosevelt's response to Dr. Einstein”). As a result, America held a secret program, code named Manhattan Project, and started to build new, destructive weapons in a laboratory in Los Alamos, a remote area in northern New Mexico. By the spring of 1945, the war started to subside. Even the surrender of Germany, which ended the war in Europe, did not trigger Japan to give up. America, tired of making sacrifices, decided to drop atomic bombs in Japan. Despite the loss of numerous innocent lives due to the use of two atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the discoveries from the Manhattan Project were not merely the inventions of destruction; they were built to improve America’s science and technology, and most importantly, used to end the World War II.
At first, the atomic bombs created during Manhattan Project were not only aimed to destroy an area. When the plan to build an atom bomb just came out, there were not a lot of scientists involved in the event. However, towards the end of the project, 120,000 people gathered together to invent and test the weapon (“The Manhattan Project”). Since it was not a big deal in the beginning, not a lot of people were needed. One of the editors of a book, Joseph Oakland Hirchfelder, a scientist involved in the project, recalled, “At Los Alamos during World War II there was no moral issue with respect to working on the atomic bomb. Everyone was agreed on the necessity of stopping Hitler and the Japanese from destroying the free world” (Badash, Hirschfelder, Broida 68). Scientists were not considering other issues but only focusing on Germany and Japan, and they were dedicated to stop Hitler and the Japanese from destroying the world. Harry S. Truman once said in his speech, “The atom bomb was no 'great decision.' It was merely another powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness” (“Biography of Harry Truman”). It didn’t matter whether the decision to build and drop the bomb was worthy or not, it was just another weapon for righteousness.
Yet the atomic bombs were not only made to be used as a weapon, but also to develop and prove America’s science and technology. In Einstein’s letter to FDR, he stated, “Some recent work … leads me to expect that the element uranium may be turned into a new and important source of energy in the immediate future” (“Letter from Albert Einstein to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt”). As the development of science and technology...

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