TheRise of the USA as a SuperpowerThe development and use of nuclear powerhas led to the United States assuming a position as the true World MilitarySuperpower. The Unites States was the leader in planning, building,testing and actually using the most powerful nuclear weapon known to man.
This country also led the world in relatively safe production of nuclearpower. The only other competitor to the United States, the SovietUnion, had poor leaders, induced a poor economy, and eventually led thecountry to lose the race for superpower. During World War II, the United Statesbegan the research and development of the atomic bomb. Code-namedthe Manhattan Project, it took place in a government built city in NewMexico called Los Alamos. General Leslie Groves and physicist RobertOppenheimer led the research to create this atomic bomb.Order now
The missionwas to build, test and, if necessary, unleash an atomic bomb. Withthe many people working on creating and building this bomb, they completedit within the short amount of time given. In July of 1945, they testedthe nuclear bomb in New Mexico. It was a success. The verynext month, an atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima.
Only a few days later, the atomic bomb “Fat Man” was dropped on Nagasaki. It was around this time that the United States found out that nobody, noteven Germany or the Soviet Union, was anywhere close to competing withthe U. S. in atomic weaponry. The atomic bomb was dropped not onlyto end the war with the Japanese, but to show the world, especially theSoviet Union, how powerful the United States was in its government, itsmilitary, its technology, and its people. The fact that it was anew bomb and being the first type of its kind ever created also causedan eagerness to use the bomb and see how it would work.
These threefactors are the reasons behind the United States dropping the atomic bombon Japan, as they unknowingly and unintentionally began the nuclear ageand the Cold War. The Cold War began as World War II wasending. The United States and the Soviet Union came out of the previouswar nearly equal in strength, with the United States having the upper hand,being the first to create and use such intense nuclear power. Itwas during this time that these countries were competing to become theWorld Superpower. Nuclear power, for the purposes of electricityas well as weaponry, was going to be the determining factor as to who wouldbe the greater Superpower.
The United States leadership was strongand organized. The economy was good and growing stronger. TheSoviet Union was not doing as well. Formerly being under the ruleof Stalin, with strict centralization where it was only the highest partylevels that made any and all decisions who ruled by decree and enforcedwith terror, the Soviet people and economy was stagnating.
Strictcentralization continued and eventually led to economic decline, inefficiency,and apathy during the 1970s and 1980s, and contributed to the Chernobyl’nuclear disaster. The great disaster at the Chernobyl NuclearPower Plant in 1986 was the final string cut that led not only to the SovietUnion losing its war to become the greatest World Superpower, but furthermore,the collapse of the Soviet system. The Chernobyl Nuclear Powerplantwas being run by people who made mistakes maintaining the power supply,who were tired of their own country, and who simply didn’t care. This careless conduct led to poor maintenance and low output of nuclearpower. To correct for this, some steps were taken to increase thepower output.
During the effort to correct the low power output,one final error occurred, and the consequences were tremendous. Oneof the reactors exploded and released huge doses of radiation. Theambitious nuclear power program of the Soviet Union was now over. The Unites States led the world in nucleartechnology by producing the atomic bomb, and had the courage to use it- twice.
This proved to the world that the United States was a Superpowerthey should fear. The United States also had good leaders whom kept theeconomy strong, and kept the people in order. The Soviet Union however,trailed behing the United States. They did not have the technologyto produce the amount of nuclear power that the United States had, northe economy to support the research. Their economy was not only poor,but also continually declining. With these governing factors, andfinally the accident at Chernobyl, the Soviet Union collapsed.
TheUnites States endured through this time, stayed strong, and came out tobe the World Military Superpower.