The Manhattan Project: The Nuclear Race

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The Manhattan Project: the nuclear race that changed the world The Manhattan Project was a research project that began in 1942 with the goal of building the world’s first atomic bomb. The project pushed limits and ethics on an international scale in a race to develop a nuclear war weapon, a new concept of the time. With world war two dawning on America and the intelligence that the Nazis were attempting to build a bomb, the United States took action by beginning the project. Competition between countries to see who could build it first ran high and made the stakes even higher- mass destruction. If an atomic bomb was going to be used, it was going to be big and the United States exemplified this when the okay was given to drop the bombs on …show more content…
The new opportunities were achieved by the international competition encouraging nuclear energy research, the new committees created, and the need for people to fill jobs. In the late 1930s, various countries world-wide were gathering resources and researching how to build the atomic bomb. Germany managed to split the atom in 1938 in order to release massive energy amounts while the United States had not achieved that until late 1942. Also in 1938, Japan had acquired uranium and electrical power that was needed for the construction of the bomb. The following year Albert Einstein learned of the progressions made by the Nazis and sent a letter to President Roosevelt detailing what he knew and made Roosevelt aware of the international competition and opened up more research opportunities by urging him to look into developing a nuclear research project. (Sakalauskas 1). The competition put pressure on the nations to be the best first thus resulting in the Manhattan Project in 1942. New facilities and committees were created because of the need for nuclear power research. The National Defense Research Committee, the NDRC, was created in 1940 to fund and influence nuclear research. Much research was done in university labs and focused on isotope separation. Following the NDRC the Office of Scientific Research and Development, the OSRD, was established and branched into the Uranium committee. Among the many, these committees furthered the research devoted to nuclear energy which led to the Manhattan project and would have employed several Americans. In addition, President Johnson signed an act which allowed for private groups to “assume title to special nuclear materials” (US Department of Energy: Office of Science 1). Prior to World War Two, the United States had been in an economic depression and the war opened up jobs for the people which

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