US History Period H
Explosions in the Distance: The Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project threw us into the age of nuclear warfare through the creation of a weapon that can kill thousands in seconds. But before we continue onto the story of The Manhattan Project, we first must know the reasons why it was started. During World War II, Germany, with some help from primarily Italy, tried to take over Europe. This was the rise of Hitler, who also tried to destroy all Jews. Germany invaded many small countries, such as Denmark and Norway in 1940, and were successful. After these attacks, Germany tried to take over Great Britain, but Britain’s air force is superior, and Germany loses. Germany also tries to take the Soviet Union, and is unsuccessful mostly due to harsh weather and the vast territory. Meanwhile, the United States refuses to enter the war, mostly due to being caught in a Depression (which this war pulls us out of... but that’s another story for another time). However, when the Japan bombs (not atomic bombs though) Pearl Harbor, well, then that decision was history. The very next day we declared war against Japan, and a naval war between the United States and Japan ensues. World War II ends when we drop atomic bombs on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, causing Japan to surrender. But, wait. Where exactly did these bombs come from? Well, here the story, The Manhattan Project, begins.
The scientific community finds out that Germany knows how to split a uranium atom. Now they actually have a chance at creating nuclear weapons- a scarily possible chance in fact, mostly because Germany does indeed have access to a decent amount of uranium. Of course, this causes much panic in the scientific community. Albert Einstein wrote President Roosevelt a letter informing him that hostile countries are trying to create nuclear weapons and advising that America should also begin working on developing an atomic...
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