• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Domestic pressure rather than events in Asia governed the USA's intervention in, and conduct of, the conflict in Korea

Extracts from this document...


"Domestic pressure rather than events in Asia governed the USA's intervention in, and conduct of, the conflict in Korea." How far do you agree with this view? On the 25th of June 1950, the communist North Korea (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea) invaded the capitalist South Korea (Republic of Korea). Within two days, USA, the world's most powerful country, became involved in a civil war of a small Asiatic country. One of the main reasons USA became involved in the war were the domestic pressures Truman administration was under. However, other factors, such as events in Asia, international pressure and the concept of the Cold war context governed USA's involvement and conduct of the war. After the World War Two, America found itself in ideological and economic conflict with its one time ally, Russia. Nazism was replaced with Communism, and Stalin replaced Hitler. American propaganda vilified communism to the maximum, and the Truman administration was under pressure not to appear "soft on communism". This was especially true due to the repeated attacks by the Republicans on Truman. Spy scandals such as Algar Hiss case and the Rosenberger's added to general paranoia created by Senator McCarthy, a Republican. Truman was determined not become a victim of McCarthyism and to appear decisive in the war against communism. ...read more.


He also learned that appeasing aggressors never worked, and in his eyes Kim Il Sung was nothing more than Stalin's puppet. And that, arguably, is the most important reason why USA became involved. Americans saw Korean War in the Cold war context. To them everything that happened in the world was the result of the conflict between capitalist and communist. Due to their monolithic view of Communism, they were convinced that Kim was fighting on the orders of Stalin. Because of this they could not afford to lose anything - cold war was zero-sum game. Losing Korea would be unacceptable if they wanted to win the Cold war. Domestic pressures and events in Asia, as well influencing USA's decision to become involved in the war, had a tremendous impact on the conduct of the war. Although the expedition to Korea was nominally UN venture, the armed forces were dominantly American under the command of General MacArthur. As such, majority of the decisions were American. Previous events in Asia affected the opening stages of the war. Truman distrusted Sigmund Rhee, president of the Republic of Korea, and as such refused to give military weapons and support to Korea. USSR reinforced DPRK army had no problem in driving poorly armed ROK back into the Posen pocket. ...read more.


However, in addition to these arguments, there is strong indication that the Cold War context played a significant role in the conduct of the war. This is demonstrated by the continuing argument between the USA and Chinese forces over the treatment of Prisoners of War. Under Geneva convection, after cease of hostilities, all PoWs were to be returned to their forces. USA however, found that many Chinese and North Korean soldiers did not wish to return. They considered this a major propaganda victory if it can be used. As such, they refused to surrender all the PoWs, resulting in continuing of hostilities long after it was necessary. This event indicates that American's considered Korea just a steppingstone in the Cold war. To them, the propaganda victory was more important than ending the war. They wanted to win the Cold War, not so much the Korean War. From all the different factors, it can be determined that although domestic pressure had a great deal of influence over America's involvement and conduct of Korean War, it was not a prevailing factor. And, in spite of their importance, were the events in Asia. It was the Cold War context under which USA regarded the Korean War that was the primary influence on the USA behaviour. USA was aiming to win the cold war, and behaved with that aim in mind. ?? ?? ?? ?? Maja Jovanovski 07/05/2007 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did North Korea invade South Korea in June 1950, and why did USA ...

    Stalin offered the PRC $300 million in loans. In early 1950 the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship was signed between USSR and China. It entailed that each country would aid the other in the event of an attack by a third party. China also received another loan of $300 million, which was to be spent on purchasing arms from the Soviet Union.

  2. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    . would be the question of referendum and the right of self-determination." The exchange with Stalin accurately reflected Roosevelt's position over time. Significantly, Roosevelt even sanctioned Churchill's efforts to divide Europe into spheres of influence. With Roosevelt's approval, Churchill journeyed to Moscow in the fall of 1944.

  1. Armed forces.

    in America along St. Lawrence 1745 Fort Louisbourg captured from the French Jacobite rebellion (1745 - 46) Treaty of Dresden 1746 Madras captured by French but returned after war Battle of Culloden Mazrui dynasty in Mombasa becomes independent from Oman 1747 Britain wins naval battle of Belle Isle Afghanistan united

  2. Free essay

    The Korean War represented total defeat for the Truman Doctrine? H. Brogan. How far ...

    stop him being the dictator of his people, and many believed that his regime was authoritarian, corrupt and inefficient. After the war he remained as the leader, being voted back with an overwhelming majority in both 1956 and 1960, but it was believed the elections were unfair and caused wide-spread

  1. Korean propaganda during the Second World War and the Korean War had a different ...

    At this point, Japan was becoming intensely weak, and at the brink of defeat, but they refused to just give up. Propaganda was being spread thru eminent people. There were "conferences" where Korean civilians were gathered, and a speech was told.

  2. Free essay

    Do you consider military intervention in Africa as successful? Focus on the policies in ...

    it is successful compared to total inaction, which is impossible to predict. Inescapably the UN failed in Somalia if the judgement is made in terms of its own mandates to secure peace and restore government, (Macqueen, 2002, pp218). This fourth section evaluates the unsuccessful interventions, which the majority are, and outline how and why they are unsuccessful.

  1. Korean war - Domestic pressure an devents in asia

    Truman faced heavy domestic pressure in October 1949 the communist revolution in china succeeded and china becomes the People's Republic of China, this was very bad news for the USA, 1/4 of the world turns communists. Events in Asia such as the successful surprise attack by the communist North against

  2. Introduction - US policy to Southeast Asia in general

    Dean Acheson pledged assistance to France and "The Associated States of Indochina": 'The United States recognises that the solution of the Indochina problem depends both upon the restoration of security and upon the development of genuine nationalism and that the United States assistance can and should contribute to these major objectives.'...

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work