Using Deliberative Techniques to Teach United States History

By Eleanora Von Dehsen; Nancy Claxton | Go to book overview

RESOURCE SHEET
Arguments
ProCon
Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.
Japan has tortured American prisoners of war.
Japan has refused unconditional surrender.
Using the bomb will shorten the war.
Using the bomb would have a profound psychological effect on the Japanese, empowering those Japanese advocating for peace and weakening military resistance.
Using the bomb would diminish the need for Soviet help in concluding the war in the Pacific—and intimidate Stalin.
If the United States were to invade the Japanese home islands, hundreds of thousands of American and Japanese lives would be lost. The campaign to take the small island of Okinawa had resulted in the deaths of more than 12,000 Americans and over 200,000 Japanese and Okinawans.
The U.S. spent $2 billion developing the bomb. If the American people find out that we had the weapon but did not use it to shorten the war and avoid American casualties, they will be furious.
We do not need the bomb. The Soviets are about to declare war against Japan. This might convince the Japanese to surrender unconditionally.
A blockade of Japan along with continued conventional bombing might eventually lead to surrender without endangering American troops.
The firebombing of Tokyo killed some 100,000 people in a single night, and yet Japan did not surrender.
Japan may have been prepared to surrender conditionally—if it could keep the emperor.
Releasing the bomb would turn the world against us.
We can publically demonstrate the bomb in an isolated site where no one will be hurt.
Using the bomb would inevitably lead to a nuclear arms race.
Using the bomb, regardless of circumstances, is immoral.

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