The Manhattan Project

SSUSH19 The student will identify the origins, major developments, and the domestic impact of World War II, especially the growth of the federal government.
e. Describe the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos and the scientific, economic, and military implications of developing the atomic bomb.

The Manhattan Project was a research and development project that produced the first atomic bombs during World War II. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada.The Manhattan Project began modestly in 1939, but grew to employ more than 130,000 people and cost nearly  $2 billion (about $26 billion in 2015 dollars). President Harry S. Truman ordered the bombings of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 in Japan. The new super weapon would ultimately lead the Japanese to officially surrender.


Presidential Adviser to Truman. You are a top-level adviser appointed to Truman as soon as Franklin D. Roosevelt dies. Your specialty is foreign policy and you have a military background as well. Truman relies on you heavily especially since his background in foreign policy and military strategy is weaker. Soon after you are appointed, the President puts you in charge of overseeing the Manhattan Project and keeping him abreast of its progress. By late July, Truman turns to you for advice when he realizes that he must decide quickly if he should drop the bomb on Japan.In this paper, you have to decide what action you would recommend to the President. Write the paper as an internal memo in which you detail the pros and cons using the evidence you have about: 1) the possibility of Japan's surrender, 2) causality statistics, 3) the costs of the Manhattan Project, and 4) the moral implications of dropping such a powerful weapon on a target that might, and probably will, include a large number of civilians. Also, keep in mind that the pressure to find a quick end to the war is intense.

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