Henry Wallace and the Legislative Settlement of Control the Use of Atomic Energy in the USA in 1945-1946

  • Viktor Lushchak The State Institution «Institute of World History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine» https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1142-3271
Keywords: atomic energy, nuclear bomb, «Manhattan Project», US Atomic Energy Commission

Abstract

The paper examines the problem of the formation of the US «Atomic Energy Act» of 1946, from the point of view of confrontation between civilian and military approaches to the issue of controlling atomic energy.

The author found out that the main «underwater stone» in the process of drafting the American legislation on nu atomic clear energy was the issue of full-time control over nuclear research and development. In that discussion, there were two points of view on the application of atomic potential. The first was peacetime use for industrial purposes, which did not require military involvement, and set civilian control over the atomic program – a number of scientists and progressive politicians supported it. The second was the safeguarding of national security through the preservation of an atomic monopoly which required the continuation of military control, the most actively that position was maintained by the Director of the «Manhattan Project» L. Groves.

The contribution of US Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace to prevent the establishment of military custody over atomic energy is characterized. A supporter of progressive views G. Wallace enjoyed the authority of scientists and liberal politicians, besides, Wallace was the only member of Roosevelt’s administration who was the architect of the US nuclear research program, and that allowed him to pattern his behavior on the debate over the nuclear problem. The author has proved that thanks to G. Wallace's efforts, this problem was brought to a level of public debate and eventually a law that would prevent the peacetime development of atomic energy was not passed.

References

Hewlett, R. (1962). The New World. 1939-1946. University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press.

Shimamoto, M. (2016). Henry A. Wallace’s Criticism of America’s Atomic Monopoly 1945-1948. UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Thomas, G.P. (Ed.). (1971). Cold war critics: Alternatives to American foreign policy in the Truman years. Chicago: Quadrangle Books.

Walton, R.J. (1976). Henry Wallace, Harry Truman, and the Cold War. NY: The Viking Press.

Yergin, D. (1977). Shattered peace: The origins of the Cold War and the National Security State. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Published
01.07.2019
How to Cite
Lushchak, V. (2019). Henry Wallace and the Legislative Settlement of Control the Use of Atomic Energy in the USA in 1945-1946. EMINAK: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (2(26), 114-121. https://doi.org/10.33782/eminak2019.2(26).297
Section
World History and International Relations