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President Harry S. Truman: Lessons America Made

President Harry S. Truman made a significant mistake that changed the way governments conduct themselves during conflicts and attach rivals during wars. Researchers mention that Truman wanted to intimidate other countries using deadly force (Warren and Siracusa 19). However, while the president specifically stated that this was a military operation aimed at the Japanese army, in reality, it was a critical action that affected multiple civilians (Rushay 635). The Hiroshima and Nagasaki attack caused the death of more civilians than soldiers and led to the acquirement of similar bombs by multiple other countries that have witnessed the power of the attack. The president specifically stated that killing women and children could not be justified, which is why the atomic bomb will only affect sailors and soldiers.

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In reality, the bomb is so powerful that a targeted attack is almost impossible when using it. Thus, several lessons can be made from the president’s decision and action. First, Truman caused the world to shift to a much more deadly strategy during wars. As soon as the bombs were dropped, leaders of several countries armed themselves with the same bombs. Thus, using such a robust measure causes a global disbalance and changes the way countries approach wars. Second, using atomic bombs is directly linked to the hardness directed toward civilians. Due to the immense power of these weapons, it is impossible to avoid casualties or the destruction of whole cities, which is a significant lesson.

The beginning Cold War was a stressful period for Americans due to the fears that correlated with the conflict between the two great world powers, the US and the Soviet Union. For example, the partially animated film “Duck and Cover” is guidance that aims to teach children what to do in case there is a nuclear explosion. Several other movies, posters, and other literary works were either describing or inducing fears related to atomic bombs, which became one of the essential fears during the beginning of the Cold War. It is essential to mention that Americans were also concerned with the growing influence of communism (Rajagopal 19). It was often portrayed as an anti-American regime that could not correlate with the US values of freedom and liberation.

The general final years of the Cold War were much less noticeable in terms of media portraying the soviets as the bad guys and the Americans as the good side. Instead, a more subtle approach was used when portraying the conflict in movies and other artworks. The media started portraying a somewhat hidden threat and rivalry between the USSR and the US. The general population certainly became calmer after the hysteria from the beginning.

While the threat of communism was less noticeable, the 60s and 70s were incredibly challenging because of the nuclear power concern (as exemplified in Your Tomorrow and Arms Race). However, there was an effort towards mitigating the conflict. Thus, the initial hysteria caused by fears of bombs and the spread of communism has shifted into a more solidified concern for safety potentially compromised by both parties of the conflict.

Works Cited

Rajagopal, Arvind. “Communicationism: Cold War Humanism.Critical Inquiry, vol. 46, no. 2, 2020, pp. 353–380. Web.

Rushay, Sam. “Nuclear Energy and the Legacy of Harry S. Truman. Edited by J. Samuel Walker. Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2016. 229 Pp.” Presidential Studies Quarterly, vol. 48, no. 3, 2018, pp. 635–636. Web.

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Warren, Aiden, and Joseph M. Siracusa. “The Transition from Roosevelt to Truman.” US Presidents and Cold War Nuclear Diplomacy, 2021, pp. 19–34. Web.

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