Presidency FRQ

FRQ #1, Concept Application.

The following is an excerpt from a presidential memoir:

The final decision of where and when to use the atomic bomb was up to me. Let there be no mistake about it. I regarded the bomb as a military weapon and never had any doubt that it should be used. The top military advisers to the President recommended its use, and when I talked to [Prime Minister Winston] Churchill he unhesitatingly told me that he favored the use of the atomic bomb if it might aid to end the war . . . Four cities were finally recommended as targets: Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigita, and Nagasaki . . . I personally went over them in detail with [his officers] and we discussed the matter of timing and the final choice of the first target . . . With this order the wheels were set in motion for the first use of an atomic weapon against a military target. I also instructed [Secretary of War Henry] Stimson that the order would stand unless I notified him that the Japanese reply to our ultimatum was acceptable.President Harry S. Truman, 1945: Year of Decisions, 1955


(A) Describe presidential authority and procedure in the context of the above passage.

(B) In the context of this scenario, explain how your response in Part (A) affects this president or affected the office of the presidency.

(C) In the context of the scenario, what other presidential actions, procedures, or approaches likely followed the event discussed in the passage?


Photo/Image: President Harry Truman, Edmondston Studio, Public Domain