The constitution of squad
by Gaz - June 28, 2016 at 06:22 AM
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PREAMBLE
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We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
ARTICLE I
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SECTION 1
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All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
SECTION 2
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The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.
When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.
The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
SECTION 3
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The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.
No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.
The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
SECTION 4
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The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of choosing Senators.
The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.
SECTION 5
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Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.
Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.
Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.
Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
SECTION 6
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The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.
SECTION 7
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All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.
Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
SECTION 8
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The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;-And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
SECTION 9
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The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
SECTION 10
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No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Control of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
ARTICLE II
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SECTION 1
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The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner choose the President. But in choosing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representatives from each State having one Vote; a quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall choose from them by Ballot the Vice-President.
The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:-"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
SECTION 2
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The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
SECTION 3
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He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
SECTION 4
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The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
ARTICLE III
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SECTION 1
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The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.
SECTION 2
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The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;-to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public ministers and Consuls;-to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;-to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;-to Controversies between two or more States;-between a State and Citizens of another State;-between Citizens of different States;-between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
SECTION 3
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Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
ARTICLE IV
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SECTION 1
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Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
SECTION 2
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The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.
No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.
SECTION 3
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New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
SECTION 4
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The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
ARTICLE V
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The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
ARTICLE VI
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All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
ARTICLE VII
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The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
DONE in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In WITNESS whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,
Go. Washington-
Presidt and deputy from Virginia
New Hampshire: John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman.
Massachusetts: Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King.
Connecticut: Wm. Saml. Johnson, Roger Sherman.
New York: Alexander Hamilton.
New Jersey: Wil: Livingston, David Brearley, Wm. Paterson, Jona. Dayton.
Pennsylvania: B. Franklin, Robt. Morris, Tho: Fitzsimons, James Wilson, Thomas Mifflin, Geo. Clymer, Jared Ingersoll, Gouv: Morris.
Delaware: Geo: Read, John Dickinson, Jaco: Broom, Gunning Bedford, Jun'r, Richard Bassett.
Maryland: James M'Henry, Danl Carroll, Dan: of St. Thos. Jenifer.
Virginia: John Blair, James Madison, Jr.
North Carolina: Wm. Blount, Hu. Williamson, Rich’d Dobbs Spaight.
South Carolina: J. Rutledge, Charles Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Pierce Butler.
Georgia William: Few, Abr. Baldwin
Attest: William Jackson, Secretary.
AMENDMENT I
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Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
AMENDMENT II
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A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
AMENDMENT III
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No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
AMENDMENT IV
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The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
AMENDMENT V
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No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
AMENDMENT VI
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In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
AMENDMENT VII
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In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
AMENDMENT VIII
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Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
AMENDMENT IX
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The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
AMENDMENT X
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The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
AMENDMENT XI
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The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.
AMENDMENT XII
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The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;-The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;-The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President-The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
AMENDMENT XIII
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SECTION 1
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Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
SECTION 2
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Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
AMENDMENT XIV
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SECTION 1
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All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
SECTION 2
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Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
SECTION 3
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No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
SECTION 4
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The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
SECTION 5
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The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
AMENDMENT XV
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SECTION 1
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The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
SECTION 2
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The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
AMENDMENT XVI
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The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
AMENDMENT XVII
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The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.
AMENDMENT XVIII
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After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
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The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
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This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
AMENDMENT XIX
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The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
AMENDMENT XX
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The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.
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The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
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If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.
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The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.
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Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.
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This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.
AMENDMENT XXI
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The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
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The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
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This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
AMENDMENT XXII
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No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President, when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
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This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.
AMENDMENT XXIII
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The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:
A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.
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The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
AMENDMENT XXIV
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The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
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The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
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In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
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Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
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Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
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Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
AMENDMENT XXVI
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The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.
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The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
AMENDMENT XXVII
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No law varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.
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#2
Hiroshima
Hiroshima was the primary target of the first atomic bomb mission. The mission went smoothly in every respect. The weather was good, and the crew and equipment functioned perfectly. In every detail, the attack was carried out exactly as planned, and the bomb performed exactly as expected.
The bomb exploded over Hiroshima at 8:15 on the morning of August 6, 1945. About an hour previously, the Japanese early warning radar net had detected the approach of some American aircraft headed for the southern part of Japan. The alert had been given and radio broadcasting stopped in many cities, among them Hiroshima. The planes approached the coast at a very high altitude. At nearly 8:00 A.M., the radar operator in Hiroshima determined that the number of planes coming in was very small - probably not more than three - and the air raid alert was lifted. The normal radio broadcast warning was given to the people that it might be advisable to go to shelter if B-29's were actually sighted, but no raid was expected beyond some sort of reconnaissance. At 8:15 A.M., the bomb exploded with a blinding flash in the sky, and a great rush of air and a loud rumble of noise extended for many miles around the city; the first blast was soon followed by the sounds of falling buildings and of growing fires, and a great cloud of dust and smoke began to cast a pall of darkness over the city.
At 8:16 A.M., the Tokyo control operator of the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation noticed that the Hiroshima station had gone off the air. He tried to use another telephone line to reestablish his program, but it too had failed. About twenty minutes later the Tokyo railroad telegraph center realized that the main line telegraph had stopped working just north of Hiroshima. From some small railway stops within ten miles of the city there came unofficial and confused reports of a terrible explosion in Hiroshima. All these reports were transmitted to the Headquarters of the Japanese General Staff.
Military headquarters repeatedly tried to call the Army Control Station in Hiroshima. The complete silence from that city puzzled the men at Headquarters; they knew that no large enemy raid could have occurred, and they knew that no sizeable store of explosives was in Hiroshima at that time. A young officer of the Japanese General Staff was instructed to fly immediately to Hiroshima, to land, survey the damage, and return to Tokyo with reliable information for the staff. It was generally felt at Headquarters that nothing serious had taken place, that it was all a terrible rumor starting from a few sparks of truth.
The staff officer went to the airport and took off for the southwest. After flying for about three hours, while still nearly 100 miles from Hiroshima, he and his pilot saw a great cloud of smoke from the bomb. In the bright afternoon, the remains of Hiroshima were burning.
Their plane soon reached the city, around which they circled in disbelief. A great scar on the land, still burning, and covered by a heavy cloud of smoke, was all that was left of a great city. They landed south of the city, and the staff officer immediately began to organize relief measures, after reporting to Tokyo.
Tokyo's first knowledge of what had really caused the disaster came from the White House public announcement in Washington sixteen hours after Hiroshima had been hit by the atomic bomb.
Nagasaki
Nagasaki had never been subjected to large scale bombing prior to the explosion of the atomic bomb there. On August 1st, 1945, however, a number of high explosive bombs were dropped on the city. A few of these bombs hit in the shipyards and dock areas in the southwest portion of the city. Several of the bombs hit the Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works and six bombs landed at the Nagasaki Medical School and Hospital, with three direct hits on buildings there. While the damage from these few bombs were relatively small, it created considerable concern in Nagasaki and a number of people, principally school children, were evacuated to rural areas for safety, thus reducing the population in the city at the time of the atomic attack.
On the morning of August 9th, 1945, at about 7:50 A.M., Japanese time, an air raid alert was sounded in Nagasaki, but the "All clear" signal was given at 8:30. When only two B-29 superfortresses were sighted at 10:53 the Japanese apparently assumed that the planes were only on reconnaissance and no further alarm was given. A few moments later, at 11:00 o'clock, the observation B-29 dropped instruments attached to three parachutes and at 11:02 the other plane released the atomic bomb.
The bomb exploded high over the industrial valley of Nagasaki, almost midway between the Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works, in the south, and the Mitsubishi-Urakami Ordnance Works (Torpedo Works), in the north, the two principal targets of the city.
Despite its extreme importance, the first bombing mission on Hiroshima had been almost routine. The second mission was not so uneventful. Again the crew was specially trained and selected; but bad weather introduced some momentous complications. These complications are best described in the brief account of the mission's weaponeer, Comdr., now Capt., F. L. Ashworth, U.S.N., who was in technical command of the bomb and was charged with the responsibility of insuring that the bomb was undefinedessfully dropped at the proper time and on the designated target. His narrative runs as follows:
"The night of our take-off was one of tropical rain squalls, and flashes of lightning stabbed into the darkness with disconcerting regularity. The weather forecast told us of storms all the way from the Marianas to the Empire. Our rendezvous was to be off the southeast coast of Kyushu, some 1500 miles away. There we were to join with our two companion observation B-29's that took off a few minutes behind us. Skillful piloting and expert navigation brought us to the rendezvous without incident.
"About five minutes after our arrival, we were joined by the first of our B-29's. The second, however, failed to arrive, having apparently been thrown off its course by storms during the night. We waited 30 minutes and then proceeded without the second plane toward the target area.
"During the approach to the target the special instruments installed in the plane told us that the bomb was ready to function. We were prepared to drop the second atomic bomb on Japan. But fate was against us, for the target was completely obscured by smoke and haze. Three times we attempted bombing runs, but without undefinedess. Then with anti-aircraft fire bursting around us and with a number of enemy fighters coming up after us, we headed for our secondary target, Nagasaki.
"The bomb burst with a blinding flash and a huge column of black smoke swirled up toward us. Out of this column of smoke there boiled a great swirling mushroom of gray smoke, luminous with red, flashing flame, that reached to 40,000 feet in less than 8 minutes. Below through the clouds we could see the pall of black smoke ringed with fire that covered what had been the industrial area of Nagasaki.
"By this time our fuel supply was dangerously low, so after one quick circle of Nagasaki, we headed direct for Okinawa for an emergency landing and refueling".

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Since 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the forces of the United States and her allies had been at war with Japan. The combined land, sea and air forces of the Allies fought back against Japan until only the Japanese homeland remained in Japanese control.

On July 26, Truman issued the Potsdam Declaration, which called for Japan's unconditional surrender and listed peace terms. He had already been informed of the undefinedessful detonation of the first atomic bomb at Alamogordo, New Mexico, ten days earlier. The Japanese were warned of the consequences of continued resistance by the terms of the Potsdam Declaration, signed by President Truman and by Prime Minister Attlee of the United Kingdom and with the concurrence of Chiang Kai-Shek, President of the National Government of China.
When Japan rejected the ultimatum, Truman authorized use of the bomb. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson felt the choice of using the atomic bomb against Japan would be the "least abhorrent choice." This would be weighed against sacrificing the lives of thousands of soldiers. Military advisers had told Truman that a potential loss of about 500,000 American soldiers was at stake.
It was vital to produce the greatest possible blow upon the Japanese, if the war was to be effectively shortened and the lives of the U.S. soldiers were to be saved. The atomic bomb provided such a blow. The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were selected as targets after exhaustive study by military specialists. Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been virtually untouched by the U.S. and Allied bombing runs.
On August 6, 1945, at 9:15 AM Tokyo time, a B-29 plane, the "Enola Gay" piloted by Paul W. Tibbets, dropped a uranium atomic bomb, code named "Little Boy" on Hiroshima, Japan's seventh largest city. In minutes, half of the city vanished. According to U.S. estimates, 60,000 to 70,000 people were killed or missing, 140,000 were injuried many more were made homeless as a result of the bomb. Deadly radiation reached over 100,000. In the blast, thousands died instantly.
The city was unbelievably devastated. Of its 90,000 buildings, over 60,000 were demolished. Another bomb was assembled at Tinian Island on August 6. On August 8, Field Order No.17 issued from the 20th Air Force Headquarters on Guam called for its use the following day on either Kokura, the primary target, or Nagasaki, the secondary target. Three days after Hiroshima, the B-29 bomber, "Bockscar" piloted by Sweeney, reached the sky over Kokura on the morning of August 9 but abandoned the primary target because of smoke cover and changed course for Nagasaki.
Nagasaki was an industrialized city with a natural harbor in Western Kuushu, Japan. At 11:02 a.m., this bomb, known as the "Fat Man" bomb, exploded over the north factory district at 1,800 feet above the city to achieve maximum blast effect. Buildings collapsed. Electrical systems were shorted. A wave of secondary fires resulted, adding to their holocaust.
Flash burns from primary heat waves caused most of the casualties to inhabitants. Others were burned when their homes burst into flame. Flying debris caused many injuries. A fire storm of winds followed the blast at Hiroshima as air was drawn back to the center of the burning area. Trees were uprooted. The bomb took the lives of 42,000 persons and injured 40,000 more.
It destroyed 39 percent of all the buildings standing in Nagasaki. According to U.S. estimates, 40,000 people were killed or never found as a result of the second bomb. Highly penetrating radiation from the nuclear explosion had a heavy casualty effect. Energy released by the explosion of this type of atomic bomb used over Nagasaki is roughly equivalent to the power generated by exploding 20,000 tons of TNT or 40 million pounds of TNT. It would fill two good sized cargo ships.
In the early stages of the explosion, temperatures of tens of millions of degrees were produced. The light emitted is roughly ten times the brightness of the sun. During the explosion, various types of radiations such as gamma rays and alpha and beta particles eminate from the explosion. These radiative particles give the atomic bomb its greatest deadliness. They may last years or even centuries in dangerous amounts. Gamma radiation and neutrons caused thousands of cases of radiation sickness in Japan. First the blood was affected, and then the blood making organs were impaired including the bone marrow, the spleen and the lymph nodes. When radiation was severe, the organs of the body became necrotic within a few days, marking the victim for certain death within a short period of time.
Surveys disclosed that severe radiation injury occurred to all exposed persons within a radius of one kilometer. Serious to moderate radiation injury occurred between one and two kilometers. Persons within two to four kilometers suffered slight radiation effects.
What the bomb had produced was concentrated chaos, from which no city or nation could easily or rapidly recover. No significant repair or reconstruction was accomplished until months later. On September 2, the Japanese government, which had seemed ready to fight to the death, surrendered unconditionally. Winston Churchill estimated that the lives of a million Americans and two hundred and fifty thousand British soldiers and sailors had been saved by this sudden shortening of the war.




NO SURRENDER FOR THE JAPANESE

By the time of the Trinity test, the Allied powers had already defeated Germany in Europe. Japan, however, vowed to fight to the bitter end in the Pacific, despite clear indications (as early as 1944) that they had little chance of winning. In fact, between mid-April 1945 (when President Harry Truman took office) and mid-July, Japanese forces inflicted Allied casualties totaling nearly half those suffered in three full years of war in the Pacific, proving that Japan had become even more deadly when faced with defeat. In late July, Japan’s militarist government rejected the Allied demand for surrender put forth in the Potsdam Declaration, which threatened the Japanese with “prompt and utter destruction” if they refused.
General Douglas MacArthur and other top military commanders favored continuing the conventional bombing of Japan already in effect and following up with a massive invasion, codenamed “Operation Downfall.” They advised Truman that such an invasion would result in U.S. casualties of up to 1 million. In order to avoid such a high casualty rate, Truman decided–over the moral reservations of Secretary of War Henry Stimson, General Dwight Eisenhower and a number of the Manhattan Project scientists–to use the atomic bomb in the hopes of bringing the war to a quick end. Proponents of the A-bomb–such as James Byrnes, Truman’s secretary of state–believed that its devastating power would not only end the war, but also put the U.S. in a dominant position to determine the course of the postwar world.


“LITTLE BOY” AND “FAT MAN”

Hiroshima, a manufacturing center of some 350,000 people located about 500 miles from Tokyo, was selected as the first target. After arriving at the U.S. base on the Pacific island of Tinian, the more than 9,000-pound uranium-235 bomb was loaded aboard a modified B-29 bomber christened Enola Gay (after the mother of its pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets). The plane dropped the bomb–known as “Little Boy”–by parachute at 8:15 in the morning, and it exploded 2,000 feet above Hiroshima in a blast equal to 12-15,000 tons of TNT, destroying five square miles of the city.

Hiroshima’s devastation failed to elicit immediate Japanese surrender, however, and on August 9 Major Charles Sweeney flew another B-29 bomber, Bockscar, from Tinian. Thick clouds over the primary target, the city of Kokura, drove Sweeney to a secondary target, Nagasaki, where the plutonium bomb “Fat Man” was dropped at 11:02 that morning. More powerful than the one used at Hiroshima, the bomb weighed nearly 10,000 pounds and was built to produce a 22-kiloton blast. The topography of Nagasaki, which was nestled in narrow valleys between mountains, reduced the bomb’s effect, limiting the destruction to 2.6 square miles.



At noon on August 15, 1945 (Japanese time), Emperor Hirohito announced his country’s surrender in a radio broadcast. The news spread quickly, and “Victory in Japan” or “V-J Day” celebrations broke out across the United States and other Allied nations. The formal surrender agreement was signed on September 2, aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.

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"The ongoing struggle to present the history of the atomic bombings in a balanced and accurate manner is an interesting story in its own right. . . ."

The design for the exhibit quickly triggered an avalanche of controversy. Critics charged that it offered a too-sympathetic portrayal of the Japanese enemy, and that its focus on the children and elderly victims of the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki encouraged visitors to question the necessity and morality of the weapons. As originally written, those critics alleged, the exhibit forwarded an anti-American interpretation of events surrounding the bombs’ use. That such a message was to appear in a national museum amplified the frustrations of critics (especially veterans’ groups), who believed that the exhibit should not lead museumgoers to question the decision to drop the bomb or to portray the Pacific war in morally neutral terms.

In place of the original exhibit, veterans’ organizations offered a replacement exhibit with a very different message. Their proposed exhibit portrayed the development of the atomic weapons as a triumph of American technical ingenuity, and the use of both bombs as an act that saved lives—the lives of American soldiers who would otherwise have had to invade the Japanese home islands, and the lives of thousands of Japanese who would, it was assumed, have fought and died with fanatic determination opposing such an invasion. The revised exhibit removed the questioning tone of the original, replacing it with more certainty: the use of the bombs, it argued, was both necessary and justified.

When the controversy died down, the Smithsonian elected not to stage any exhibit of the aircraft fuselage.

The historians who produced the original exhibit stood accused of historical revisionism by their critics, of needlessly complicating patriotic consensus with moral concerns. The fallout from the controversy led to loud, public debate in the halls of Congress and, ultimately, to the resignation of several leaders at the museum. When the controversy died down, the Smithsonian elected not to stage any exhibit of the aircraft fuselage. Years later, the plane went on display at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center outside Washington, DC, where it resides now, accompanied by a brief placard detailing its technical specifications.

The Textbook Approach

Because the use of the atomic weapons evokes such passionate responses from Americans—from those who believe that the use of the bombs was wholly justified to those who believe that their use was criminal, and the many people who fall somewhere in between—it is a particularly difficult topic for textbooks to discuss. In order to avoid a potentially treacherous debate, textbooks have often adopted a set of compromises that describe the end of the war but avoid or omit some of the most difficult parts of the conversation.

A 1947 history textbook, produced just two years after the bombings did just this, sidestepping the controversy by presenting the story at a distance and refraining from interpretation or discussion of civilian casualties: “The United States unveiled its newest weapon, demonstrating twice—first at Hiroshima and then at Nagasaki—that a good-sized city could almost be erased from the map in one blinding flash. Confronted by this combination of forces, Japan surrendered August 14.”

“If the war dragged on and Americans had to invade Japan, it might cost a million lives…life for life, the odds were that [the atomic bomb] would cost less.”

Later textbooks made other compromises. The 2005 textbook A History of the United States adopts a familiar tone, arguing that President Truman based his decision to drop the bomb mainly on a complex calculus of the cost in human lives if the war were to continue: “Should the United States use the atomic bomb? No one knew how long Japan would hold out.” That uncertainty forced American planners to assume the worst: “If the war dragged on and Americans had to invade Japan, it might cost a million lives. The atomic bomb, President Truman knew, might kill many thousands of innocent Japanese. But life for life, the odds were that it would cost less.”

A 2006 textbook, The Americans, suggests that the decision to drop the bomb occurred largely outside moral concerns: “Should the Allies use the bomb to bring an end to the war? Truman did not hesitate. On July 25, 1945, he ordered the military to make final plans for dropping two atomic bombs on Japan.” The paragraph on the decision concludes with a compelling quote from the President himself: “Let there be no mistake about it. I regarded the bomb as a military weapon and never had any doubt it should be used.”

Other recent textbooks have labored to present this often-contentious topic in a more nuanced manner. The 2007 textbook American Anthem describes the decision-making process as an involved one, observing “Truman formed a group to advise him about using the bomb. This group debated where the bomb should be used and whether the Japanese should be warned. After carefully considering all the options, Truman decided to drop the bomb on a Japanese city. There would be no warning." The carefully written passage does not suggest that the question of whether to use the bomb against civilian targets was part of the debate; it describes the inquiry as focused on where to drop the bomb and whether a warning would precede its use.

More recent textbooks often offer viewpoints from other perspectives—including Japanese civilians, who suffered the legacy of atomic fallout for decades after the original explosion—from a morally neutral stance, inviting (or directly asking) readers to make their own judgments. Besides offering a description of Truman’s decision-making process, the American Anthem textbook includes a passage of equivalent length that describes the destruction on the ground, anchored by a quote from a survivor of the Hiroshima bomb. It also features a “Counterpoints” section that contrasts a quote from Secretary of War Henry Stimson supporting the bomb’s use with one from Leo Szilard, an atomic physicist, characterizing the use of the bombs against Japan as “one of the greatest blunders of history.”

What the Documents Reveal

A discussion that focuses primarily on the need to employ the bomb in order to save lives—the lives of Japanese civilians as well as those of American soldiers—is incomplete. In fact, as the documentary record shows, there was a good deal of debate over the use of the weapons during the summer of 1945, much of which focused on more complex issues than the lives that would be saved or lost in ending the war.

"A discussion that focuses primarily on the need to employ the bomb in order to save lives—the lives of Japanese civilians as well as those of American soldiers—is incomplete."

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe and one of the architects of the undefinedessful campaign against Germany, was one of the dissenters. After the war, Eisenhower recalled his position in 1945, asserting that “Japan was defeated and… dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary.” Eisenhower’s objection was, in part, a moral one; as he noted, “I thought our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face.'" Eisenhower recalled that his objection found an unreceptive audience with Secretary of War Henry Stimson. In Eisenhower's own words, Stimson was “deeply perturbed by my attitude, almost angrily refuting the reasons I gave for my quick conclusions.” (In a separate document, Stimson himself concurred with Eisenhower’s conclusion that there was little active American attempt to respond to Japan’s peace feelers to prevent the use of the atomic weapons: “No effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the bomb.”)

The year after the Japanese surrender, the U.S. government released its own Strategic Bombing Survey, an effort to assess the effectiveness of dropping bombs on civilian populations, including the firebombs used in Europe and the Pacific, and the atomic weapons detonated over Hiroshima and Tokyo (see Primary Source U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey [1946]). Its findings suggested that the bombs were largely superfluous, and that Japan’s surrender was all but guaranteed even without the threat of invasion. “Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts,” the SBS concluded, “and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that . . . Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.” Though firm in its assertions, the SBS received widespread criticism from many quarters for drawing conclusions far beyond the available evidence. (Many critics noted, rightly, that the SBS was itself hardly a disinterested document, since it was produced by an organization with an interest in emphasizing the effectiveness of conventional airpower.)

"The compromises 21st-century textbooks have struck appear understandable if not necessary."

The Strategic Bombing Survey’s conclusions highlight another important factor in the decision to employ the bombs against Japan: the message such a display would send to Josef Stalin. Uneasy allies in the war against Germany, Russian forces joined the war in Japan in August 1945. Contemporary observers noted that the demonstration of the deadly new weapon’s considerable might had the additional effect of warning Stalin that the U.S. would exercise considerable power in the postwar period. Furthermore, dropping two bombs only days apart had the added benefit of convincing the Russians that the U.S. possessed a formidable supply of the new weapons; when in fact, the U.S. nuclear arsenal was entirely depleted after the two attacks on Japan.
A survey of primary sources from the summer of 1945 and the months afterward reveals a variety of opinions, arguments, and justifications regarding the use of atomic weapons. Embracing the variety of opinions while also presenting a narrative that depicts the decision and its effects from multiple perspectives is a near-impossible task. Given how controversial the story of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has proved to be, the compromises 21st-century textbooks have struck appear understandable if not necessary.
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Hajira Qureshi looks at the impact of the detonation of the first atomic bombs in Japan and the resultant genocide.

Sixty-five years ago towards the end of the Second World War, on August 6, 1945, at 8.15 a.m.[1] local time, the United States of America dropped a uranium-fuelled atom bomb (nicknamed “Little Boy”) on Hiroshima.  Between 70,000 to 80,000 people, most of them women and children, died instantaneously.  Another several hundred thousand were to die later of injuries, diseases and illnesses due to fallout and radiation[2]. Three days later, on August 9 at 11.02 a.m. local time, the U.S. dropped another – more deadly – plutonium-fuelled atom bomb (nicknamed “Fat Man”) on the port city of Nagasaki.  This time the atom bomb killed around 40,000 people instantly.  To date 269,446 people[3] have died as a result of the deployment of the two atom bombs.  All of them were civilians who were not involved in the war between Japan and the Allied forces.  Not only was this act of destruction wholly unjustified, it was at the very least a war crime and, arguably, an act of genocide.

Leading up to the first bomb, on July 26, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the Republic of China issued a document to Japan, the Potsdam Declaration, in which they demanded unconditional surrender from the Empire of Japan.  This document gave the ultimatum that if Japan did not surrender that it would face “prompt and utter destruction”[4] with the warning, “We will not deviate from them.  There are no alternatives.  We shall brook no delay.”  On July 28, Kantaro Suzuki, the Japanese prime minister, declared at a press conference that the Potsdam Declaration was no more than a rehash of the Cairo Declaration of 1943[5] and that the government intended to ignore it[6]. Other than the allusion to “prompt and utter destruction”[4], the Japanese were given no prior warning about the deployment of atom bombs on their cities[7][8][9].



One of the main arguments for the use of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was that it saved lives by ending the war quickly and by avoiding a land invasion.  By this fact alone, Americans to this day feel justified in their support for the action of Truman and his war machine. However, Truman did not have any serious discussions with the military about possible losses in a ground invasion; all such calculations have been done since the events of August 1945.  In fact, several of the U.S. military leaders were against the use of the atom bombs.  Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is on record as having said that, “The use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the undefinedessful bombing with conventional weapons... ”[10]



Monday August 6, 1945 was a bright and sunny morning – perfect for the deployment of a bomb, right on target.  Hiroshima was the primary target, with Kokura and Nagasaki being alternatives if the weather conditions made it difficult to sight Hiroshima.  The B-29 Enola Gay[11] aircraft was accompanied by two other B-29s – one carried instrumentation, the other was the photography aircraft[12].  At nearly 8 a.m. the Japanese called off the air raid alert, having detected only three aircrafts and assuming it must be a reconnaissance mission because the weather observation aircraft had flown over Hiroshima half an hour earlier.  



The bomb was released to detonate at 1,900 ft. above ground for maximum effect, creating a fireball that reached a diameter of 1,000 ft. and a temperature of more than 3,000 degrees Celsius, followed by a deafening boom and a blast wave.  Due to a crosswind, it missed its target and detonated over Shima Surgical Clinic[13].  It created a blast equivalent to 13 kilotons of TNT.  30% of the population of Hiroshima were killed instantly, their bodies turned to black char, and another 30% injured.  Over 90% of the doctors and 93% of the nurses in Hiroshima were killed or injured[14].  Birds burst into flames and fish died in rivers and ponds.



In a matter of seconds, Hiroshima became silent to the rest of Japan. The Japanese had no idea what had happened. They sent an aircraft to find out. The aircraft arrived and circled above the city. The staff officer looked at the scarred land, the dark cloud above and the burning city in disbelief. The aircraft landed and the rescue mission began. Japan was reeling from shock and it was coping with the dead and the survivors. The number of casualties was even higher because of the lack of medical aid and the fact that there had been no warning.  Still, the Japanese government did not respond to the Potsdam Declaration; they were considering four of the conditions of surrender[15]. Only three short days later, Nagasaki was devastated in much the same way.  In fact, some survivors of the Hiroshima blast had sought aid and shelter in Nagasaki, only to be devastated by the second atom bomb[16].  



The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was followed shortly by the unconditional surrender of Japan on August 15 as per the terms in the Potsdam Declaration, otherwise referred to as the Japanese Instrument of Surrender.  This heralded the end of the Pacific War and so the Second World War came to an end.  



Readers should note that by the time the decision was made to deploy the atom bombs on Japanese cities, the Japan war machine had been crippled.  At the decisive Battle of the Philippine Sea and Marianas, between June 19–20, 1944, the Japanese threw all that they had at the Americans in one final attempt to defeat the American Pacific Fleet.  But having lost 476 planes and two aircraft carriers[17], their naval and air fleet were crippled and would not recover from this blow.



From 1943 onwards, the U.S. had been attacking and sinking undefended Japanese merchant ships.  By January 1945, the U.S.  had sunk half of the Japanese merchant fleet.  Thus Japan’s supplies of natural resources, food and oil were severely depleted.  As a result the Japanese people were facing starvation.  



In addition the U.S. airforce had bombed major Japanese cities – Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobe, Osaka, Yokohama, and Kawasaki – so that 40% of these cities’ urban areas had been destroyed.  So by the time the decision was being made to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese naval and air fleets were defeated, their industrial areas were destroyed, the major cities were severely damaged, the Japanese merchant fleet was destroyed also, Japan’s war economy wrecked and the Japanese people were on the verge of starving[18].



By this time, also, the Japanese government was sending out peace feelers to a number of embassies, including those of Germany, the Soviet Union and Portugal.  Four years later, when the Potsdam papers were published, it transpired that U.S. President Truman had known about these peace feelers from intercepting Japanese communications[17].



Many notable individuals have criticised the bombings; many have described and denounced them as war crimes and even genocide.  Two early critics of the bombings were Albert Einstein and Leo Sziland, who had together spurred the first atom-bomb research in 1939 with a jointly written letter to President Roosevelt.  Szilard, who had gone on to play a major role in the Manhattan Project, in which the atom bombs were developed, argued:



“Let me say only this much to the moral issue involved: Suppose Germany had developed two bombs before we had any bombs.  And suppose Germany had dropped one bomb, say, on Rochester and the other on Buffalo, and then having run out of bombs she would have lost the war.  Can anyone doubt that we would then have defined the dropping of atomic bombs on cities as a war crime, and that we would have sentenced the Germans who were guilty of this crime to death at Nuremberg and hanged them?”[19]



A number of scientists who worked on the bomb were against its use.  Led by Dr. James Franck, seven scientists submitted a report to the Interim Committee (which advised the President) in May 1945, saying:



“If the United States were to be the first to release this new means of indiscriminate destruction upon mankind, she would sacrifice public support throughout the world, precipitate the race for armaments, and prejudice the possibility of reaching an international agreement on the future control of such weapons.”[20]



Before we consider the question of whether the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were acts of genocide or not, let us consider whether they were a legitimate military action.  Given that the Japanese were defeated, their industrial centres were destroyed, their cities heavily damaged and the people facing starvation, and given that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not military targets, we can safely say that the bombing of the two cities certainly was not a legitimate military action.  In fact, it was quite incidental that Nagasaki was a target of the atom bomb at all.  Originally, the target had been Kyoto.  But it was removed from the list by the then Secretary of War Henry Lewis Stimson because he had honeymooned there some years previously and knew of its cultural significance[21] and no doubt had fond memories of the city; Nagasaki was then substituted for Kyoto.  So if the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not a legitimate military action, and clearly it was not, then at the very least it was a war crime. Stimson is on record as having said, “The atomic bomb was more than a weapon of mass destruction; it was a psychological weapon.”[22] 



Going on to the question of genocide, we see that in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the convention defines genocide as “...any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, such as 1.  Killing members of the group; 2.  Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.”[23]



Clearly, the group in this case is a part of a national group: the Japanese people.  There are precedents to show that “a part” in this case is satisfied by the killing of a large proportion of the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  For example, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia concluded that “The killing of members of part of a group as such located in this small geographical area”[17].

We can prove intent by simply showing that Truman knew that the Japanese were defeated and that they were sending out peace feelers, and by showing that he had not sought advice from the military leaders about the necessity of such an action to end the war.  As this act of war fits the definition of genocide in the Genocide Convention, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is therefore genocide.



The racism against and dehumanising of the Japanese people at the time of the Second World War mars this issue further. The second day after the bomb in Nagasaki, Truman stated, “The only language they seem to understand is the one we have been using to bombard them. When you have to deal with a beast you have to treat him like a beast.”[24] Caricatures depicting Japanese as less than human, e.g. monkeys, were also common in the U.S. during the war.[25]

The lack of justice with respect to the U.S. being made to pay compensation to the Japanese people (according to the Peace Treaty, the U.S. is not bound to make reparations) and, to date, the absence of even a verbal apology or statement of regret by the U.S. government (discussion forums show that Americans are emphatic that they should definitely not apologise for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and that they have nothing to apologise for) are staggering. 


-



August 6, 1945 and August 9, 1945 were days in history like no other.  Only one country in history has ever used an atomic bomb against another nation; the United States of America.  Code named the Manhattan Project, the atomic bombs were being developed to use against Japan towards the end of World War II.  The United States was completely justified in dropping the bombs on Japan.  Japan was near defeat, but many question how close Japan was to surrender (Jennings).  Although some do not agree with the actions of the United States, the bombs were dropped, altering the history of World War II, our country, and the rest of the world.   


                Desperate times call for desperate measures, and war is definitely no exception to this statement.  Just as the attack on Pearl Harbor was a tragic day in our history, the days of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are tragic for Japan. However, as quoted by a Japanese survivor of the atomic bombs, Mrs. Hatsuyo Nakamura, “it was war and we had to expect it.”  A country only enters war to defend their country and win, by any means necessary.  The actions of war are unavoidable and cannot be helped, as stated by the Japanese expression “shikata ga nai” (Hersey 89).  Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese because they felt that was the best way to make advancements in the war.  The United States used the bombs to dictate the terms of the surrender of the Japanese dictatorship, and essentially the Japanese surrender.  The atomic bombs were used by the United States because it was thought to be the best way to make advancements with the Japanese.



                At 8:15 on the morning of August 6, 1945, the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, nicknamed “Little Boy.”  It is estimated that 140,000 died due to the bomb on Hiroshima.  The Enola Gay flew over Hiroshima and dropped the first of the atomic bombs.  Three days later, on the ninth of August, 1945, 70,000 others were killed due to the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, nicknamed “Fat Man.”  While this may pose for attacks on the United States about how necessary these two bombs were, it may be quoted that China and South Korea feels Japan was “the aggressor, rather than the victim, of war” (Shubert).  Japan played a role in its essential fate; no one in war is innocent.  



                No one may be sure about how many American lives – or even Japanese lives – the atomic bombs saved.  There is no way to fathom such a number.  However, there is a way to fathom time, and saving time in war does result in saving lives.  An invasion on Japan was being planned for the following year, leaving a plethora of time for which American and Japanese lives may have been taken in war.  However, the invasion was not necessary for on September 2, 1945 – less than a month after the first atomic bomb was dropped, Japan officially signed to unconditional surrender.  The dropping of the atom bomb served its purpose – to end the war as quickly as possible with the least amount of American deaths as possible.  We had the bomb, which saved multiple men’s lives; men who would have eventually had to invade Japan, resulting in the deaths of both Japanese men and American men (Siegel).



Additionally, it may be argued that “what was new about these bombs was the technology, not the morality” (Sowell).  A huge part of war is death, whether it occur due to shootings or bombs or other means of war.  Death is death, regardless of how it happens.  Technological advancements will call for new means of death, and as long as a country is in war, it is subjecting their people to death, by all means.  Would the vast number of deaths be as greatly questioned if they had occurred due to anything but atomic bombs?  The atomic bombs were strong military weapons of the war (Siegel).   “Morality is about what you do to people, not the technology you use” (Sowell). 



                In war, you want the least amount of people to die from your country.  In war, you want your country to win.  A country will do whatever they need to do to make those two statements a reality.  For the United States of America, dropping the two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the way.  War is not ideal, so no situation in war will ever be ideal.  You must do what you need to do.  The United States was justified in dropping the atomic bombs on Japan.  What would our country be if we would have held back and not used the technology we had developed? No one knows, because the United States dropped the atomic bombs, which accomplished the ultimate goal in war; victory.







END NOTES:


  1. Hakim, Joy (1995).  A History of Us: War, Peace and all that Jazz.  New York: Oxford University Press.  ISBN 0-19-509514-6.

  2. Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR VII) report to the National Academies of Science, 2007

  3. Nowpublic.com

  4. Birth of the Constitution of Japan

  5. Ibid.

  6. Frank, Richard B.. Downfall. pp. 233–234. ISBN 0141001461

  7. “Decision to Drop Atomic Bomb” Cia.gov.

  8. “The Myths of Hiroshima”. Commondreams.org. 

  9. “Hiroshima: Historians' Letter to the Smithsonian”. Doug-long.com.

  10. Leahy, William I Was There Whittlesey House 1950 p. 441

  11. The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of History and Heritage Resources

  12. “Timeline #2- the 509th; The Hiroshima Mission”. Children of the Manhattan Project. Archived from the original on Oct. 9, 2006Retrieved July 26, 2006.

  13. Enola Gay, ISBN 0-671-81499-0-250, page 309

  14. Harry S. Truman Library & Museum. U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey: The Effects of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, June 19, 1946. President's Secretary’s File, Truman Papers.

  15. H. Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, 2001, p. 512.

  16. “Twice Bombed, Twice Survived: Film Explores Untold Stories from Hiroshima & Nagasaki”. Columbia University. August 2, 2006.

  17. David Model (August 2008). “The Legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Instant Genocide”

  18. Robert A. Pape “Why Japan Surrendered,” International Security, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Fall 1993), 154–201

  19. “Leo Szilard, Interview: President Truman Did Not Understand”. U.S. News and World Report: pp. 68–71. 15 August 1960.

  20. John Toland, ibid, p. 762

  21. HyperHistory.net 

  22. "LEAST ABHORRENT CHOICE", TIME Magazine, February 3, 1947

  23. Text of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, website of the UNHCHR.

  24. James J. Weingartner (February 1992). “Trophies of War: U.S. Troops and the Mutilation of Japanese War Dead, 1941–1945”.

  25. Gordon Martel, “The World War Two reader” p.231
Work Cited:

Hersey, John. Hiroshima. New York: Vintage Books, 1989.
Jennings, Peter.  Hiroshima: Why the Bomb Was Dropped.  ABC News. MPI Home Video, 2000. 
Shubert, Atika. “Hiroshima Still Stokes Controversy” CNN. 05 August 2005. 19 January 2009. 

Siegel, Allen. Lifting the Fog The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Maljack Productions, Inc. MPI Home Video, 1992.
Sowell, Thomas. “The Morality of Dropping the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” Capitalism Magazine.  09 August 2005. 19 January 2009.
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#3
(June 28, 2016 at 06:24 AM)GordyGordy12902 Wrote: [Image: nHz9IFa.jpg]

Accepted. Well spoken.
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#4
Racism is something something we've all witnessed. Many people fail to believe that race isn’t a biological category, but an artificial classification of people with no scientifically variable facts. In other words, the distinction we make between races has nothing to do with genetic characteristics. Race was created socially, primarily by how people perceive ideas and faces we are not quite used to. The definition of race all depends on where and when the word is being used. In U.S. history, the meaning of the label “white” has changed over time, eventually adding groups like the Italians, Irish and Jews. Other groups, mainly African, Latino, American Indian, Pacific Islander, and Asian descendants, have found the path for worldwide social acceptance much more difficult. The irregular border of ethnicities touch educational and economic opportunity, political representation, as well as income, health and social mobility of people of color.

So where did this type of behavior begin? There are many ideas thrown around as to how racism began, though the truth lies in the history of mankind. Before people were able to travel and experience difference groups of people, we predominantly stayed in the same kind of area with the same kind of people. We feared things that were different, and were lacked the power to face those kinds of things. All this changed once we did, in fact, obtain this level of human advancement, but the fear never drifted. The truth is, racism began as soon as people faced those of different races. We’ve always the fear of change, not to mention the unknown.

It seems that is racism has been around so long we would have been able to overcome it as our species developed, but contact with those of whom we are afraid of often lead to disputes, which, in time, is what caused racism to transform from people simply disliking each other, to the permanent and indestructible foundation of common racism and prejudice.

Contemporary racism is said to have been derived from many places, one of the most common ideas being upbringing. As a child, you are reliant on your parents to help you become who you are. Part of that involves their own, distinct opinions, that of which children don’t have the maturity to form on their own. They need the help of their parents, and this is often where the problem starts.

If you were told that all Asians were sneaky or all Whites are evil or all Blacks are criminals, you can bet that you are going to feel this way about them. “Upbringing is the largest cause of racism”-Anonymous. Even if we allow yourself to get to know some of them, this will always be in the back of your mind.

Another suggestion as to how racism makes it’s way into our heads is through the almighty media. As we grow up, media becomes a factor of our lives whether or not we want it to be, and is also a major source of how racism keeps itself active. Since the 70’s the media has been giving us racial labels, one of the largest supplies coming from crime shows like “Law and Order”, and “CSI”. When dealing with crime, people of color are reflected in the demarcation of “them” and “us”. Whites are often represented as the “good guy”, or the strong, law obeying citizens. They often target people of color, sometimes without any sort of evidence. Directors and writers use racial stereotypes to make a more complex story with more suspects.

In the novel, “The Power of One,” by Bryce Courtney, a young, white, African boy named Peekay lives in a world where the government, the country, and the world revolves around racism. World War II is coming to an end, and in South Africa, the whites seem to hate the blacks just as much as the blacks hate the whites. Peekay was raised by a compassionate and loving black woman he refers to as “Nanny”, due to the unsafe conditions at home with his bad, mentally ill mother. He grew up with Nanny and his best friend, who was also black. To Peekay, racism didn’t exist.

The author, Bryce Courtney, didn’t intend on writing a book fully based on racism in South Africa. He grasps a trace of apartheid by Peekay’s experiences as a white boy by unhurriedly soaking it into South Africa as a toxin.

“Adapt, blend…develop a camouflage.” This thought went through Peekay’s mind once he had been exposed to racism, having been forced to attend a boarding school full of bigger, darker students. In Chapters One and Two, as a mere five-year-old, the bright protagonist Peekay is already addressing the necessity of affecting camouflages in order to survive the system. He is often forced to act differently around people of different skin colors in order to fit in better to prevent himself from getting beaten or teased.

Peekay faces his first taste of racism the very first night at the boarding school. One boy, known as “The Judge”, who was much older, stronger, and darker than Peekay, comes up with the nickname “PissKop” for Peekay, because of Peekay’s habit to wet the bed that was caused by The Judge’s, along with the help of many other older black students, tendency to beat Peekay and spit in his face. The Judge also convinces Peekay that Hitler is determined to march all Englishmen in South Africa into the ocean, and even forces Peekay to eat human feces.

Upbringing is a very strong factor of what influences people to become racist, or to have even slight racial views. In Peekay’s case, he had gone from one extreme to another. At home, Nanny and his best friend were the only people he could call family, besides his mother who spent time at what Peekay called “The Mental Breakdown Place”. When sent to the boarding school, he wasn’t expecting the black students to dislike him because of his skin color. He saw the black kids as merely bullies, and before they started bullying him hadn’t anticipated them to gang up on him because they were black. This is what caused Peekay’s neutrality with the racist society in which he lived. He gave each person a chance to be a good person, because he had seen the good in different ethnicities to which many people were stubborn to open up their minds.

The power of one, or the idea of how one person can make a significant difference, is an important idea in relation to challenge in the novel. Giel Piet, one of Peekay’s boxing coaches who had been sneaking tobacco to all of the prisoners, was forced to eat feces by Sergeant Ballman, a white racist who works at the prison. If Giel Piet had refused to eat the feces, the guards would have found the tobacco, resulting in the prisoners getting beaten along with Giel Piet . As Peekay witnessed this happen to his coach, he thought, "It made me angry. Angry it was done. Angry I couldn't do anything to stop it."

But how does racism really affect society? Visibly identifiable members of racial and ethnic oppressed groups continue to struggle for equal access and opportunity, particularly during times of stringent economics. Often, the targeted race has a harder time doing things such as finding a well-paying job or house. While there have been some sizeable gains in the labor force status of racial minorities, significant gaps remains. Racism is rampant in all areas of employment. For many members of exploited racial and ethnic unit, there is always an economic depression. Studies show that people of color are the last hired and the first fired. As a result, budget cuts, downsizing, and privatization may disproportionately hurt people of color. In February 1995 the unemployment rate for African Americans was 10.1 percent as compared to 4.7 percent for white Americans (Berry, 1995). The unemployment rate for adolescents of color is approximately four times that of white adolescents. What's more, In America, the Majority of unemployed men are black, and compared to other races, Blacks and Latinos on average have disproportionately low income.

Other than simply getting a job, getting and keeping a house is often a difficult task for those of color. The job of a landlord is to rent out houses to reliable people or families, though a racist landlord could make it difficult for a family of color to find a home. Widespread housing discrimination against Americans of color in U.S. neighborhoods is sometimes referred to as a “national” problem, something that must be fixed by new government policies. Housing segregation in the United States developed slowly and deliberately. By law, property owners may not refuse to rent or sell housing, make housing unavailable to, set different conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a property, impose different rates and terms on a loan, refuse to make a mortgage loan, or discriminate in appraising property due to a client’s ethnicity, and because racism cannot be seen, these rules are very vague. Available evidence suggests that blacks and Hispanics face higher rejection rates and less favorable conditions in securing mortgages than do Whites with similar credit characteristics (Ross & Yinger 1999). It has been reported that blacks pay more than 0.5% higher interest rates on home mortgages than whites do and that this difference persists with income level, date of purchase, and age of buyer.


During the Great Depression, people of color had a much harder time getting past the financial hardship because of the racial stereotypes that had before been thrown around. In the book, Whitewash Race: The Myth of a Colorblind Society, Michael K. Brown says “In the late 1930’s, black unemployment rates were two to four times higher than white unemployment rates.” Few Blacks had any financial savings to caution them from the full affect of the Depression. Blacks that had before has troubles getting a well paying job the faced the same challenge with a much larger margin for failure. Mrs. Roosevelt was particularly fretful about the financial difficulties encountered by racism.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor, is a story about a black family, the Logans, from the south, living frugally in order to preserve and keep their patch of farmland. Because the story takes place during the end of the Great Depression, one of the worst times in history to be a black farmer, money has become very sparse for the family and for the neighborhood. The children of the family, Cassie, Stacey, Christopher-John, and Little Man, live in a world where white kids rule and they know it. White kids had the freedom to do anything they wished to do, from threatening the kids they thought were inferior to hammering kids who socialized with black kids, or even walked with them to school. This was the case for T.J., a friend of the Logan kids who often walked with Cassie and her brothers to school, more often than not with a price.

While walking to school on the first day, Cassie and her brothers are cascaded in red dust as a bus full of white kids skids past, though they eventually get their revenge on the kids by sabotaging the bus. This is significant not only because it shows us just how boorish white kids were to black kids, but it also shows that black kids had to walk to school, and to some black kids, according to Cassie, the walk is so long they are forced to drop out of school. Cassie, being in fourth grade, attends a school especially for black kids. On the first day back to school, she and the other students are staggered to realize that that year they would be having books in the class, something that at that time was a luxury for an all-black school. Though once Cassie sees the books, she quickly sees why the books were given to them. The books were old and dirty, and on the inside of the front cover clenching to stay on was the label “Nigras.” Infuriated, Cassie refuses to take the book, and is ultimately whipped for her quarrel.

It isn’t until a black man is killed by a group of white men without consequence that the Logan kids grasp the idea of how dangerous living in a racist, white community could be. Racism becomes the problem revolving around the Logan family. Cassie doesn’t understand why they are treated differently and doesn’t want to back down because of the color of her skin. Stacey, on the other and, agrees to keep a low profile in the white community as to not trigger any alarms that may cause an issue.

This novel does a good job of showing how the effects racism on a specific race simply cause racism itself to stay functioning. After all they endure, at the end of the book the Logan family are a healthier family than they were at the start, mainly because of their capability to see through each other’s skin color, something the rest of the town was unable to do. The disruption of the school bus, though it was simply a small revenge, shows how close the kids had become because of everything they had been through because of the white kids. Racism brings races together, making races seem like a tighter bondage, and ultimately making it easier to target races.

Racism had existed throughout human history. It is regularly defined as the detestation, or belief that someone is less than human, because of skin color, place of birth, and mores. All of these arguments are based on a false understanding of race; in fact, some contemporary scientists could argue that the classification of races used today is inadequate, and that there are more meticulous and proper ways of categorizing humans. What may seem to be considerable "racial" differences to some people, such as skin color, hair, and facial shape, are not of much scientific significance. It has been said that there have been greater biological differences between people of the same race than if we were to compare the same trait to a different race. One philosopher writes: "There are few genetic characteristics to be found in the population of England that are not found in similar proportions in Zaire or in China….those differences that most deeply affect us in our dealings with each other are not to any significant degree biologically determined."

Often what causes people to act racist is the fact that they have learned to conceal fear with racism. Many individuals react with fear towards those who look or appear different than them. Fear is what makes us uncomfortable, making us need to protect ourselves and defend, mostly causing pain and discomfort to the person or object of the fear. Instead of attempting to fix and deal with the differences, the wall between the two maintains; union and agreement are never attained.

So how do we put an end to this? The sad fact of the matter is that, during this age, we won’t. People were born differently, and it’s only human to retaliate negatively to things or people we aren’t used to. Scientists believe there is the tendency in all animals to selectively preserve their own kind even at the cost of a different animal type, which is in essence what caused racism, not to mention prejudice in general.

As humankind progresses, our way of thinking becomes more complex, as does the world around us. The values we once had aren’t forgotten, but replaced with new values as our old ways hide in the back of our minds. Though they are present and may re-emerge if a change in life conditions calls them up, they are no longer the dominant. This genuinely is the hope for mankind in their fight to end racism. In the future, if we can surmount the silliness of racism to the point where no one senses it, we will be in fine condition. The most effective way to begin this, through the words of Morgan Freeman, is to “Stop Talking About It.”
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