The bombings of the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki had a wide range of negative consequences. They had a destructive impact on health, as well as social, ecological, economic, and other aspects of life in Japan. Yet, the effect of this tragedy on the political state is rarely analyzed. The essay on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings below investigates the political context of this incident and the political consequences for Japan, the Soviet Union, and the USA.
The Political Consequences of Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 is one of the most breaking points in the history of the world. It may be considered as a significant shift in the life of the people living not only in Japan but also in other countries, which participated in the World War II. The tragedy is believed to have various negative social, ecological, health, psychological, and other consequences, which mainly revealed in the situation among the Japanese country and people. Although, the impact was also visible in the countries involved in that process. Many investigations have been made to define and explain the consequences mentioned above. However, less information is given in the characterization of the political effect of Hiroshima and Nagasaki tragedy. The political implications reflected in the change in a relationship between the Soviet Union, the United States, and Japan; and in the future perspective, it marked the beginning of the possibility of using the atomic as well as nuclear bombs as the significant means of taking the leading position in the world scene.
To explain the political consequences of the tragedy, the events preceding it should be first analyzed in their political context. Atomic weapons may be considered here as the strategical mean of decreasing the power of the Soviet Union. One of the American objectives was to apply the bomb with the aim of preventing the development of their opponent, which was predisposed to obtain the world leadership after the war. The red wave had already put control over the particular European countries such as Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. Nevertheless, it was not only about Europe and Russia. The Americans did not want to take the weak position in comparison to other countries but rather control them, including Britain and Asia. The authorities of the United States was interested in establishing the power in the western part of the Pacific Ocean and thus being the first country among their allies to make a significant contribution to the defeat of Japan. They recommended preparing that till the time of holding the Potsdam Conference. It certainly played a role in President Truman’s decision to accelerate the use of atomic bombs, the first of which was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. However, the second, and the third days passed, and there was no trace of Japan’s readiness for unconditional surrender from Tokyo. Under these conditions, the Soviet Union entered military operations against Japan, which radically changed the course of events.
The Soviet Union had sufficient grounds for the entering to the war against Japan, which Tokyo had made clear long before, denouncing earlier on that year the Neutrality Pact. When it comes to the Soviet goals in the war, they announced their policy like the only way of reaching peace in the world, releasing the peoples from further sufferings as well as giving the opportunity to the Japanese nation to make a successful surrender by avoiding more negative consequences. From this, the war of the Soviet Union against Japan was fair for its people, while for the victims of the Japanese aggression (and the Japanese themselves) it had a humane face. Having sanctioned the use of the atomic bomb in these conditions, the US leadership, in its turn, indicated political and military adventurism that led the world to a historical nuclear stand-off. Military necessity did not dictate the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. It was the time when the Soviet Union was ready to enter the war against Japan. In 1960, General Douglas MacArthur, the former commander-in-chief of the allied forces in the war against Japan, admitted that it was no use of applying of the atomic weapons. (“Countdown To Hiroshima For August 5, 1945: Gen. Macarthur – No Need To Use Bomb Against Japan”). Eventually, the capitulation of militaristic Japan was the most significant military and political outcome of the Soviet Union’s entry into the war and the direct result of the decisive military actions of the USSR Armed Forces in the Far Eastern campaign, as allied fronts did not conduct active military operations on the other fronts. The blows of the Red Army paralyzed Japan’s will to resist. The fact that the allies sought, despite the possession of an atomic bomb, to achieve the fastest in about one year of the war, was performed as a result of effective actions by the Soviet troops. Japan was forced to peace and capitulation.
This helped the US to extend its reach to Japan, although the latter managed to save their culture and the country borders. Thus, the US concluded that from that moment they should continuously control the Asian region due to its crucial role-playing to them. Being the west coast of the United States, including Alaska, it may be considered a significant area in the military-strategic plan. Additionally, there was no talk that Japan would be allowed to conduct a sufficiently independent state policy. The Americans were sure that if the Japanese had once started a war, they could unleash it once again. On this basis, the US was building its policy, first of all, economic. The Japanese, with the scarcity of resources, had to live well, relying on its production potential, culture and skills, the highest productivity, and discipline. With the help of the Americans, they needed to create an economy that would work not only on the higher social class but ensure a high standard of living for the majority of the population. Thus, Americans controlled almost all of the life spheres. Among the significant changes, liberal reforms were carried out, which made the economic and political life of the country to become better. As for the use of atomic weapons by the United States against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it had a very dubious effect on the Japanese leadership’s decision to surrender. It became the starting point in the unfolding ideological Cold War, facilitating the transition of former allies to a path of mutual distrust and hatred that led them to a historical nuclear impasse. Taking into account the emergence of a dozen states having nuclear power, it becomes more complicated to go out from it. The following statement identifies the most important political effects of the event: “The bombs…ended the war, and affected the Soviet-American arms race and the relationship between America and Japan.” (Praino). From this, the consequences appear to be severe and adverse.
In conclusion, atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 marked a significant shift in the political and international relations between the number of countries taking the leading positions in the world at the time of the World War II. They led to the beginning of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union as well as the change in the US-Japan relationship.
“Countdown To Hiroshima For August 5, 1945: Gen. Macarthur – No Need To Use Bomb Against Japan.” HuffPost. N.p., 2017. Web. 6 Sept. 2017.
Praino, Madison. “History And Global Effects Of Hiroshima/Nagasaki Bombings | Fall 2015 | Washington State University.” History.libraries.wsu.edu. N.p., 2017. Web. 6 Sept. 2017.
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