WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2011-2012       Summer Session       Winter Session       Home       Archive       Search
Japan and the Atomic Bomb in Historical Perspective

HIST 271
Fall 2011
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: EAST 270, SISP 271
Certificates: International Relations

The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 was a pivotal moment in the 20th century. This course examines how Japanese history and the history of science and technology came to intersect at this time. It begins by examining the emergence of Japanese imperialism in the 19th century and how that led to Japan's war with the United States. Separately, it also examines the development of nuclear physics and the technology that created the bombs. It then looks at the political and cultural dimensions of these bombings, raising the question to what degree the bombs led to Japan's surrender and the impact the bombs had on both the Japanese and American peoples.

Essential Capabilities: Ethical Reasoning
This course examines ethical issues such as: whether dropping the bomb on Japan was justified; how the atomic bomb should be remembered; what the ethical consequences might be if there was no decision to drop the bomb and if the historical record is ambiguous regarding the bomb's importance in ending the war in the Pacific; what leads scientists and engineers to develop weapons of mass destruction.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS HIST
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CEAS-Arcp/Hist)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on MAY-22-2024
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459