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american history Atomic Bomb 2

The Manhattan Project

     The Manhattan Project was and is still one of the most secretive projects ever created in United States history. The purpose of the Manhattan Project was simple: to build; test; and unleash its power if necessary. Robert Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves were the two men put in charge of this mission. These two men along with the top scientists from around the country were brought together to construct the most deadliest thing known to man.
     The project originated in the Pentagon in 1942 when General Groves was told, by the White House, he was to lead the Manhattan Project. World War II had already been raged for three years when the Nazis, after being victorious in Europe, declared war on the United States. This was nine months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In September of that year, Groves, met with Leo Szilard and asked him if making the atomic bomb was possible. Leo told him how an atomic bomb would work, but also that it is impossible to build. General Groves only wanted to hear that an atomic bomb was conceivable in theory and then he knew to start the project.
     In October of 1942 Groves went to California to meet with Robert Oppenheimer, one of the most brilliant scientists in the country. Groves informed Oppenheimer that he had been selected to lead the expedition on trying to invent the atomic bomb. Oppenheimer immediately started preparing by telling Groves that they needed an isolated area with one ringmaster(Oppenheimer).
     General Groves was in charge of the military or security part of the project, while Oppenheimer was in charge of the organization of the scientists and ideas. At times, Oppenhiemer and Grooves had some nasty arguments over policies. Even though Groves was the one who reported to Washington, Oppenheimer had more power and Groves was aware of this. If they had a disagreement, Oppenheimer would threaten to leave the project and take his scientists with him. Groves knew if this occurred then the project would never be finished. So, Grooves most always ended up agreeing or letting Oppenheimer do what ever he wanted to do.
     In April of 1943, this isolated area was being build in Las Alamos, New Mexico. The borders consisted of barbed wire fence accompanied by guard dogs. Many laboratories, storage buildings, shelters, hospitals, dining halls, and other buildings were found inside these borders, also. One thing that was not found inside these borders though was women, not even wives of the scientists. No scientist was allowed to talk to anyone outside the camp about what they see, hear, taste, or even smell. Everything they knew belonged to the army now. Everything they knew from here on was highly confidential. There job was to create the atomic bomb and to do nothing else but that. They were to refer to bomb as the gadget or devise for security reasons. The scientists were given 19 months to complete their mission. Most of them complained that it could not be done, that it was not enough time.
     Under the leadership of Oppenheimer the work and research began. After several days, their work got them no where. They were faced with the problems such as weight, velocity, and detonation. To make such a bomb they needed materials heaving enough to weight tip the biggest cranes in the world. Late one night, while eating an orange and talking to another scientist, Seth Neddermeyer (a scientist) thought of an idea called implosion. He got the idea from the orange he was eating. This was probably the one idea that the atomic bomb is centered around. Without implosion, the atomic bomb could not be created. When he squeezed the orange, juice squirted out or an outwards explosion. If you can reverse this process, then the explosion goes in creating a even bigger force. This theory applies to Plutonium. Implosion occurs causing a chain reaction which in return causes an outwards explosion. If an inwards explosion occurred the Plutonium atoms would split apart creating the biggest explosion known to man. The problem was now creating an inward explosion.
     By this time, turmoil started to arise inside the camp. Many scientists began complaining about the drastic security measures ... more

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Treaty of Versailles

The end of World War I was finalized by the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.  It was signed by Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan but not the United States, as the U.S. drafted its own treaty with Germany in 1921.  Many historians argue that the Treaty of Versailles was the major cause of World War II which occurred twenty years later.  On the Treatys most superficial level, the extreme punishment and fines that were levied by the Allied Powers on the Germans were causes enough for war.  Historians argue that this and the international fallout that resulted most notably with the United States were simply too powerful to avoid war at all.  The ramification of the Treaty sent the German economy into a severe depression and planted the seeds needed to sprout revenge and uprising such as the world had never seen before.
 Estimates for the costs of the war for the Allied Powers fluctuated between ten billion and one hundred billion dollars.  Ultimately, the Allied Powers settled on the astronomical sum of thirty-three billion dollars which the German government was mandated to pay but simply did not have the funds to do so.  In addition to paying reparations, Germany had to severely limit military spending and personnel, relinquish land previously gained in the World War, and was barred from having any air force at all.  The lack of American involvement, which was sorely needed at this time, had significant impacts on the actions of other key states.  Sudden American withdrawal from the Treaty of Versailles sent France into a panic and their subsequent occupation of the Ruhr Valley in Germany.  This action dealt a harsh blow to the Germany and British-French relations.  The former came into economic conflict with France, creating hyper-inflation, and throwing Germany into a severe depression.  Wheelbarrows of money were necessary to buy loaves of bread until the Deutsche Mark became so devalued that the bills were burned to provide heat to those living in poverty.  
Following this collapse in German currency, a desperate and vulnerable Germany capitalized on the breakdown of relations between Britain and France and United States isolationism to begin rebuilding.  This included rearmament that was in direct violation of the Treaty of Versailles.  The dictator behind this proposed revitalization in economic and military strength was Adolf Hitler.  Current economic hardship made Germany ripe for the rise of a dictator.  Hitlers timing was impeccable and he perhaps never would have gained such prominence in the German government if it was not for his propaganda that the weary and desperate German people needed so badly to recover from their depression.  The depression however, was not contained within German borders.  The politics of the era, most notably Americas isolationist policy contributed to world wide economic collapse.  This was the result of then President Woodrow Wilsons inability to persuade Congress to ratify the Treaty of Versailles and become a co-signer with the other Allied Powers.  The major failure in Wilsons pitch came in his proposal of the Fourteen Point Plan.
The Fourteen Point Plan outlined Wilsons view of what the post-WWI world should look like, providing for the liberation of certain peoples and territories.  Presented to Congress on January 8, 1918, strong debate ensued over the proposal of the fourteenth and final provision; a general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.  Congress voted against what Wilson dubbed the League of Nations, the failed basis of todays United Nations.  Although the U.S. proposed the League, they were the most notable nation that failed to join.  The U.S. subsequently retreated to a policy of isolationism and combined with a rebuilding and weakened Europe, there was little opposition to Hitlers rise to power and continued violation of the Treaty of Versailles.  
The rest of the world exercised a policy of appeasement, allowing Hitler to make small advances in Europe hoping that he would be satisfied with what he was given.  He became emboldened as each of his new advances into Europe met little to no opposition in the international community.  He ... more

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