James Francis Byrnes
Represented by: Sophia Kotsianou
Background: My name is James Francis Byrnes, I am 77 years old and the 104th Governor of South Carolina. I am a proud American politician and I have made my way up the political ladder with hard work and dedication. Both President Truman and FDR confided in me. I have served in all three branches of the American federal government, I started of in the House of Representatives then became a U.S. Senate. Eventually I became a justice of the U.S. Supreme court and lastly I served as Secretary of State during President Truman's term.
Connection to this Case: I have a political connection to this case, as Secretary of State during the end of WWII I helped make several decisions. I accompanied President Roosevelt to the Yalta Conference and I was a negotiator at the Potsdam Conference. Having these two Presidents confide in me I was able to help as decisions were made. I believe that Harry S. Truman is innocent because it was the last measure, I am able to back this up due to our close relationship as colleagues. In fact every decision that was made was supposed to bring us one step closer to ending this war.
Your Testimony: In my testimony I will be explaining that Truman's actions were indeed justified. Prior to dropping the bombs fliers were sent out in order to warn innocent civilians. At the Potsdam Conference a deceleration as made in order to end the war however the Japanese did not accept. If the bomb would not have been used there is a chance that the Soviet Union would have invaded Japan therefore prolonging the war, inevitably the main goal was to cause less casualties. Clearly the bombs targeted military, industrial and infrastructural bases.
This source is a primary source, it is a letter from President Truman to Mr. Cavert during the second World War and it can be found in the Truman Library. It is a primary source on President Truman's behalf, he was a key individual during WWII. Truman served as president as WWII was coming to an end. This letter was written only a few days after the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was the 11th of August 1945.
(Truman, Harry S. "Correspondence between Samuel Mr. Cavert and Harry S. Truman, August 9 and 11, 1945, regarding the Situation with Japan." Decision To Drop The Bomb. The Harry S. Truman Library, n.d.)
A letter is often provided in order to express more personal and private feelings about an event or thing, in this case the letter was used in order to express Truman's feelings of remorse. It provides evidence that President Truman knew the measures he was taking and how the atomic bomb would affect Japan, yet he acknowledges that he wishes it would not have come to that situation. Truman's only intention was to end the war, however along with ending the war came the guilt that he portrays by writing that "Nobody is more disturbed over the use of Atomic bombs than I am". The final decision was up to him, this letter is used in order to provide evidence that his actions were justified.
Harry S. Truman was president at the time of the Atomic Bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in fact he authorized these "drops". Due to the fact that this source is a first hand account on Truman's behalf it makes it much more reliable. This source is extremely valuable as Truman writes that he is clearly devastated for using the bomb, however "the Japanese on Pearl Harbor and their murder of our prisoners of war" made Truman extremely distressed. Another reason that the letter is valuable is because it provides an honest President Truman, he is expressing his feelings rather than facts. In the letter also provides pure honesty, Truman is expressing his feelings and he is able to explain that the atomic bomb was the only option left. His only intention, according to the letter, was to end the war.
The fact that President Truman had a personal involvement to the drop of the atomic bomb may make this source somewhat unreliable. Truman's authorization is his main connection, as the President he was able to make several decisions and this was one of them. Truman is clearly placing emphasis on the fact that he believes the bomb is justified, he is creating an image of the crimes that only the Japanese committed. In a sense he may seem to be persuading the recipient, Mr. Cavert, to believe that his actions were only out of the best intentions. Truman seems to indirectly regret his decision, however wanted to come across fearless to the rest of the World.
Original Letter too Byrnes from President Truman
Content of the Letter:
This letter is between President Truman and Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, written by President Truman. These two individuals are extremely important, they are part of several decisions and in this letter Truman is expressing the importance of being informed. The letter was written on January 5th 1946, during Truman's term as President. (Truman, Harry S. "Letter from Harry S. Truman to James F. Byrnes." Letter from Harry S. Truman to James F. Byrnes.)
This letter to Secretary of State James F. Byrnes is both an admonition and a declaration of foreign policy. It is a rather private letter as Truman is clearly expressing feelings of anger rather than pride with James Byrnes. It is intended to make Byrnes aware of how important Truman's position is in the U.S. Government and how he must at all times "be kept fully informed on what is taking place". Without being kept up to date problems may occur in the future that President Truman can not avoid. The letter is used in order to protect himself form getting into a situation that will result to Truman being guilty.
The source is very valuable because it is able to justify the fact that Truman wanted to be informed of all things at all times. Once again this is a source written from Truman, it is his own words and therefore are honest. It is evidence that he is a President that wants to be involved and not let other people, such as his Secretary of State, make decisions on his behalf due to their close connection to him. Truman is being extremely serious and this is portrayed through the use of "absolutely necessary". In Truman's opinion it is a necessity as President to be aware of all possible problems, negotiations and decisions that may happen. It is also very valuable because it goes to show that in order for Truman to feel like a proper President he wants to be informed, therefore all his actions were actions that he was well aware of.
The biggest limitation of this source is that it is very personal. Truman's expression of disappointment due to the lack of information from Byrnes behalf may have an affect on the reason why he actually is sending this letter. There may be a hidden reason, or a more secret implication as to why he would send a letter that is so aggressive in a sense. It seems to be that the letter is also used in order to persuade Byrnes that each decision and negotiation must be done outside of Washington, because one way or another it is "necessary in domestic affairs and it is vital in foreign affairs". The letter is limited mainly due to the fact under certain circumstances Truman may be trying to protect himself.
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