Critical Thinking

Gaddis to Vyacheslav, “Let them. We’ll have to

Gaddis argues that President Truman went to the Potsdam
Conference, believing that the bomb would be a major factor within political foreign
affairs. Thus, the belief that the sheer power potential of the atomic weapon
would give the United States’ a strong arm when it came to negotiation
capabilities with the Soviets.1
A week into the Potsdam conference, Truman, who was influenced by Churchill,
casually and in a lack of detail said to Stalin that America had created a new,
bomb that they believed could win the war. Stalin, calm and collected, showed
no interest or visible change in emotion to Truman’s surprise.2
 Presidents Truman’s handling of foreign
affairs was based on the fact that America would comfortable rely on its atomic
monopoly for potentially 10 to 15 years before the Soviets could even be close
to an atomic bomb of their own.3
However this of course didn’t actually matter as that the Soviet Union knew
long before Truman of the Bomb. Without their knowledge Stalin already had the
key information and knowledge to create their own atomic weapon. “You are
politically naive if you think they would share information about the weapons
that will dominate the world in the future” said Stalin to his scientist who
asked if they should ask about the bomb to Americans and British when they
first learned of the bomb.4
The Potsdam Conference only solidified Soviet mistrust of the U.S and to
which Gaddis argues began a mind game to strong arm the Soviets. LaFeber,
another historian, also agrees as he states Soon after the meeting Stalin had with
Truman during Potsdam, Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav M. Molotov
came up to Stalin and said “they’re raising the price”, Stalin replied to
Vyacheslav, “Let them. We’ll have to talk with Kurchatov today about speeding
up our work”. Stalin and his spies own information gathered of the secret Manhattan
Project only reinforced his gut belief that America can not be trusted after
the war has finished. 5

1
Gaddis, John Lewis, Russia, the Soviet Union, and the United States: An
Interpretive History  (New York: John, Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1978), 173.

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2Gaddis,
John Lewis, The United States and the Origins of the Cold War,
1941-1947 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1972), 244.

3
LaFeber, Walter America, Russia, and the Cold War, 43.

4 Gaddis, John Lewis, We
now know, 92-3

5Ronald Takaki, Hiroshima: Why America
Dropped the Atomic Bomb  (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1995), 60-1.

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