16. Truman and the Atom Bomb
Instructional objectivesStudents will be able to:
|• ||Evaluate Truman's decision to use the atom bomb|
|• ||Understand the historical circumstances in which Truman made his decision|
DESCRIPTIONStudents will evaluate the arguments for and against using the atomic bomb, and they will
debate the wisdom of Truman's decision.
MATERIALSArguments (copy for each student)
CLASS LAYOUT AND GROUPING OF STUDENTSStudents will remain in their usual seating arrangement for the discussion.
|1. ||Explain that Harry Truman's decision to use the atom bomb against Japan in the closing
days of the war remains one of the most controversial presidential acts in American history. Tell the students that they will analyze the arguments presented for and against the
bomb's use and debate whether Truman made the best choice.|
|2. ||Set the stage for the debate, explaining the historical context in which Truman had to
make his decision. The war in Europe had ended and the defeat of Japan seemed inevitable. Its navy and air force had been destroyed, but the Japanese appeared ready to fight
to the last man to defend their home islands. With victory achieved in Europe, Stalin was
contemplating entering the war in the Pacific. Truman had to decide whether to use the
bomb and under what circumstances.|
|3. ||Distribute Arguments and ask the class to review and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each argument. Ask students to add any other arguments they think important.|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Using Deliberative Techniques to Teach United States History.
Contributors: Eleanora Von Dehsen - Author, Nancy Claxton - Author.
Publisher: International Debate Education Association.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 2009.
Page number: 163.
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