Dropping the Bomb: An Alternate History

Amidst the throws of World War II, the US lost its strongest leader and commander in chief. Had Franklin Delano Roosevelt been able to see the war through until its end, there may have been several key differences in history, most notably whether or not FDR would have decided to drop the atomic bombs on Japan as President Truman did.

This event was clearly a historical turning point, not only in the hundreds of thousand of Japanese lives that were lost but also when considering the larger impacts that using weapons of mass destruction had on the growing Cold War tensions between the US and USSR following WWII. The decision not to use the nuclear bomb would have had huge, long-lasting impacts on the trajectory of Twentieth Century history. What would have happened if FDR had not died in his fourth term as president?

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4 Replies to “Dropping the Bomb: An Alternate History”

  1. Hi Francesca,

    I really liked this! I like how the alternate event was more micro and focused on one person, but the alternate ending would’ve been such a major historical change in US history. I think students would have a lot of fun doing this type of thing on a WWII topic.

  2. Hey Francesca,

    I really like the creativity of your post, it seems that you and I both had similar approaches to this assignment lol. I think it’s also interesting to see where the alternative future takes us with modern Japanese relations. If not for the atomic bomb, would they be a close ally of ours in today’s world?

    Great thinking, and even better work.

  3. Thanks Francesca!

    Probably my most common Thanksgiving argument is pushing back on an older person’s perspective that “[dropping the nuclear bomb] was a tragedy, but it had to be done.” A project like this could be an interesting way to push students on their prior assumptions about this event and consider multiple perspectives.

  4. Well thought out and the illustrations add another dimension. Very cool “surrender leaflet.”

    It taps into the classic debate on “should the US have dropped the bomb?” I like that you settled it with a new President who was more adept at foreign policy. (An interesting factor)

    BTW – there’s a notorious (racist) film made by US Gov’t called “My Japan” that makes the argument that we had drop the bomb because the Japanese would have fought to the last.

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