AP U.S. History 2.4 Period 7: 1890-1945

AP U.S. History 2.4 Period 7: 1890-1945. Besides forcing Japan to surrender, what was another primary goal of dropping the second atomic bomb?

AP U.S. HistoryPeriod 7: 1890–1945
HistoryCold War
Historical Points of Reference
WWII
LanguageEnglish Language
Science, Technology, and SocietyWWII and the Cold War
Transformation of the Nation During WWIIThe Most Powerful Nation on Earth

Transcript

00:16

Ugh. Give 'em hell, Harry.

00:17

All right, and now the question:

00:19

Besides forcing Japan to surrender, what was another

00:22

primary goal of dropping the second atomic bomb?

00:26

And here are your potential answers.

00:28

[ mumbles ]

00:31

All right. Well, the first atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city

00:34

of Hiroshima cost somewhere between 90 and 160 plus thousand lives.

00:40

The second atomic bomb,

00:41

dropped on Nagasaki a few days later, killed between

00:44

60,000 and 80,000 people. Right here.

00:48

Though the Americans reportedly used the first bomb to avoid

00:50

a costly ground invasion of Japan,

00:52

many historians believe the second atomic bomb was

00:55

detonated for another reason.

00:57

Let's see which answer reveals that train of thought.

01:01

Was another primary goal of

01:02

dropping the second bomb to A -

01:04

eliminate Japan's future military capabilities?

01:08

Well, with Hiroshima obliterated and Japan's allies defeated,

01:11

the country's potential for future military capabilities

01:14

was pretty much already gone. So it isn't A.

01:18

Could a primary goal of dropping the second bomb have been C -

01:21

thoroughly testing a new technological breakthrough?

01:24

Well, the atomic bomb had already been tested on Hiroshima,

01:27

and if they truly needed another test, the U.S.

01:29

could've used other, less populated locations.

01:32

So that knocks out C.

01:34

Might the second bomb have been used to D -

01:37

punish Japan for its participation in the Axis Powers?

01:40

You know, with the Nazis and all those people?

01:42

Well, while anger and racism against Japan were widespread

01:45

at the time, there's little historical evidence to suggest

01:48

the second atomic bomb was primarily an act of vengeance.

01:51

So it's not D, either.

01:53

Which means the primary goal of dropping the second atomic bomb

01:57

was probably B - to demonstrate the extent of American power to the Soviet Union.

02:02

Both the U.S. and the Soviet Union wanted to emerge

02:04

from World War II as a global superpower,

02:07

and most historians agree that dropping the second bomb

02:10

was intended to intimidate the Soviet Union rather than

02:13

to assure a military victory.

02:15

So B is the correct answer.

02:16

The use of the atomic bomb will always be controversial.

02:20

Couldn't there have been a better solution?

02:22

Yeah, like how about this?

02:25

[ things clattering and breaking ]