SAT Subject US History Practice Question 588: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 588

29. President Harry S. Truman ordered the dropping of atomic bombs on Japanese cities primarily because

A. he wanted to save U.S. lives by forcing the Japanese to surrender
B. he wanted to intimidate the German Army into surrendering
C. he wanted the United States to be in the strongest possible position during peace negotiations with the other Allied Powers
D. he wanted Japan to shut down its own nuclear facilities
E. he wanted to destroy the capital city of Japan

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

The Germans already had surrendered; Japan had no nuclear facilities; Japan's capital city, Tokyo, was not attacked with an atomic bomb; and peace negotiations with the other Allies already had taken place, although more were to follow. Truman simply wanted to end the fighting as soon as possible.

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