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Debating the Decision to
Drop the Atomic Bomb
A group debate activity.
Essential Questions
GOAL

Can you explain 3
claims for your
viewpoint about
the atomic bomb?
Directions
1.
2.
3.
4.

Go over the debate topics.
Break into groups.
Assign debate topic and point of view.
Research the ...
Topics to Debate
 Should the United States build an
atomic bomb?
 Should the United States drop an
atomic bomb on Japan?...
Debate Preparation
1. Class is broken into 2 groups.


Pro and anti bomb.

1. Students are assigned a topic to represent....
Debate Steps







First Speaker, Proposition Team 2 minutes
First Speaker, Opposition Team 2 minutes
Second Speake...
Opposition Rebuttal
 Summary speech for your team.
 Focus on the 2-4 critical claims your
team made.
 Do not start new ...
Proposition Rebuttal
 Summarize the entire debate.
 Answer the critical claims brought up
in the Opposition Rebuttal.
 ...
Debate Terms
 Claim- The argument you are making.
 Counterclaim- The argument your opponent is
making or the point you a...
Points of Information






Also known as POI (pronounced “P-O-I”)
May be accepted or rejected
May not last longer th...
Heckle
 Encouraged heckling

 Applaud teammates and opponents after
their speeches
 Done by:

 Pounding on a desktop w...
Heckle
 Illegal heckling
 Disrupting the debate in any other manner
than those listed on the slide above
 May result in...
President
Harry
Truman
 Only recently
learned the
existence of the
atomic bomb
program
Japanese
conduct
 Has been brutal
throughout the war.
 slaughtered civilians,
 bombed cities,
 tortured prisoners-ofte...
Battles against the Japanese
 Resulted in
horrendous casualties
on both sides:
 Iwo Jima
 22,000 Japanese
soldiers
 on...
Military situation
 War has drastically
weakened Japan
 Japanese navy
essentially been
destroyed.
 Bombing destroyed
ma...
Operation Olympic
 Invasion plan of
Japanese homeland
 Scheduled for November
1st..
 Some advise to
blockade the island...
U.S. intercepted messages
between Japan and Russia
 Show Japanese want to
surrender with
conditions
 U.S. pursued a poli...
Japan’s Supreme War Council

 Decision-making body,
 Hopes to achieve one last major victory before it
negotiating serio...
Stalin favors
unconditional
surrender

 Wants to crush Japan
completely.
 Expects the victorious
nations to partition an...
American public opinion
 Favors continually
bombing Japan
 90% of Americans want
Japan's unconditional
surrender
 One-t...
Atomic bomb
 Successful test on an
atomic bomb in the
New Mexico desert.
 A single atomic bomb
can destroy a whole city
Potsdam Declaration
 July 26th, Truman issued the Postdam
Declaration
 U.S. threatened the Japanese with utter
destructi...
Interim Committee
 Recommendation
 Bomb should be
used against Japan
as soon as possible
 against a war plant
surrounde...
Other options
 Some military leaders predict 175,000
American casualties if the U.S. invades Kyushu
 Two other military ...
Truman takes advice of
Interim Committee
 Use of the atomic bomb against
a military target,
 factory surrounded by worke...
The U.S. military plans
second atomic bomb on
another Japanese city.
 Truman did not
interfere with plans for
the second ...
Fighting ends
 August 14th
 September 2nd the U.S. accepted the
formal surrender of Japan.
 Historical perspectives on ...
Debating the decision to drop the atomic bomb
Debating the decision to drop the atomic bomb
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Debating the decision to drop the atomic bomb

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Debating the decision to drop the atomic bomb

  1. 1. Debating the Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb A group debate activity.
  2. 2. Essential Questions
  3. 3. GOAL Can you explain 3 claims for your viewpoint about the atomic bomb?
  4. 4. Directions 1. 2. 3. 4. Go over the debate topics. Break into groups. Assign debate topic and point of view. Research the topic and fill in their debate organizer. 5. Create an introductory paragraph that presents a debate thesis and introduces three claims.
  5. 5. Topics to Debate  Should the United States build an atomic bomb?  Should the United States drop an atomic bomb on Japan?  Should the United States drop a second bomb on Japan?  Did the United States make the correct decision about dropping the bomb?
  6. 6. Debate Preparation 1. Class is broken into 2 groups.  Pro and anti bomb. 1. Students are assigned a topic to represent. 1. 2. 3. 4. Should the United States build an atomic bomb? Should the United States drop an atomic bomb on Japan? Should the United States drop a second bomb on Japan? Did the United States make the correct decision about dropping the bomb? 2. Read and highlight/underline the handout. 3. In your notebook, write notes about your topic using information from the textbook and handout. 4. Fill out the debate organizer using the textbook, the handout, and extend your research into other sources. 5. Look at rubric to see how the debate is scored.
  7. 7. Debate Steps       First Speaker, Proposition Team 2 minutes First Speaker, Opposition Team 2 minutes Second Speaker, Proposition Team 2 minutes Second Speaker, Opposition Team 2 minutes Rebuttal Speaker, Opposition Team 1 minute Rebuttal Speaker, Proposition Team 1 minute
  8. 8. Opposition Rebuttal  Summary speech for your team.  Focus on the 2-4 critical claims your team made.  Do not start new arguments.
  9. 9. Proposition Rebuttal  Summarize the entire debate.  Answer the critical claims brought up in the Opposition Rebuttal.  Do not start new arguments.
  10. 10. Debate Terms  Claim- The argument you are making.  Counterclaim- The argument your opponent is making or the point you are trying to disprove.  Point of information- A request by a member of one team to a person who is speaking to give some of her time to the other team to make a comment or ask a question about her speech.  Heckling- An interruption of a speaker during her presentation.
  11. 11. Points of Information      Also known as POI (pronounced “P-O-I”) May be accepted or rejected May not last longer than 15 seconds Accept only 1 point at a time Person making a POI may not  Interrupt the speaker’s answer to the point  Make a two-part question  Ask a follow-up question
  12. 12. Heckle  Encouraged heckling  Applaud teammates and opponents after their speeches  Done by:  Pounding on a desktop with an open palm  Slapping one’s hand 3-4 times  When to:  Supporting a partner’s particularly clever or winning argument  May add a shout of “Hear! Hear!” to the pounding  Disagree with an opponent  Shout “Shame!” but do not pound on the table
  13. 13. Heckle  Illegal heckling  Disrupting the debate in any other manner than those listed on the slide above  May result in losing points for your debate even if you are not currently debating.
  14. 14. President Harry Truman  Only recently learned the existence of the atomic bomb program
  15. 15. Japanese conduct  Has been brutal throughout the war.  slaughtered civilians,  bombed cities,  tortured prisoners-often working them to death.  May have caused more deaths during the war than the Nazis  May have killed over 17 million people.  Sneak attack on Pearl Harbor
  16. 16. Battles against the Japanese  Resulted in horrendous casualties on both sides:  Iwo Jima  22,000 Japanese soldiers  only about 1000 survived  Okinawa  100,000 Japanese soldiers  along with about 150,000 civilians  only 7000 surrendered;
  17. 17. Military situation  War has drastically weakened Japan  Japanese navy essentially been destroyed.  Bombing destroyed many cities, railroads, and factories.
  18. 18. Operation Olympic  Invasion plan of Japanese homeland  Scheduled for November 1st..  Some advise to blockade the islands and continue bombing until surrender.  U.S. bombs Japanese cities on a regular basis  almost every major Japanese city hit.  firebombing of Tokyo in March killed over 100,000 people.
  19. 19. U.S. intercepted messages between Japan and Russia  Show Japanese want to surrender with conditions  U.S. pursued a policy to surrender unconditionally.  Russians have promised the U.S. that they will attack Japan on August 15th.
  20. 20. Japan’s Supreme War Council  Decision-making body,  Hopes to achieve one last major victory before it negotiating seriously with the U.S.  Ketsugo - military plan  use remaining strength to defend their islands and inflict heavy casualties  Think U.S. will have to agree to give better surrender terms
  21. 21. Stalin favors unconditional surrender  Wants to crush Japan completely.  Expects the victorious nations to partition and oversee Japan  Include a Russian zone of occupation  Similar to Germany
  22. 22. American public opinion  Favors continually bombing Japan  90% of Americans want Japan's unconditional surrender  One-third of Americans favor executing the emperor  Almost all other Americans want him removed from power after the war
  23. 23. Atomic bomb  Successful test on an atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert.  A single atomic bomb can destroy a whole city
  24. 24. Potsdam Declaration  July 26th, Truman issued the Postdam Declaration  U.S. threatened the Japanese with utter destruction.  Japanese could not return their emperor.
  25. 25. Interim Committee  Recommendation  Bomb should be used against Japan as soon as possible  against a war plant surrounded by workers' homes,  without prior warning.
  26. 26. Other options  Some military leaders predict 175,000 American casualties if the U.S. invades Kyushu  Two other military strategies available:  blockade has become extremely effective:  Japan can import almost nothing  bombing campaign has weakened Japan.  report on the effectiveness of conventional bombing  concentrate all of its bombing on railroads, bridges, and ferries,  Starvation will become widespread throughout the country
  27. 27. Truman takes advice of Interim Committee  Use of the atomic bomb against a military target,  factory surrounded by workers' houses.  U.S. planes dropped the bomb on the city of Hiroshima on August 6th, killing about 100,000 people.  The Japanese government did not respond.  Russians are about to declare war and attack Japanese forces in Manchuria.
  28. 28. The U.S. military plans second atomic bomb on another Japanese city.  Truman did not interfere with plans for the second bombing  U.S. planes dropped the bomb on Nagasaki on August 9th.  President Truman ordered the military not to use atomic bombs without his specific authorization.
  29. 29. Fighting ends  August 14th  September 2nd the U.S. accepted the formal surrender of Japan.  Historical perspectives on Truman's decision: Truman's decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki remains controversial.

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