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

How far was the USA's military involvement in Korea the consequence of a desire to defend democracy?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How far was the USA's military involvement in Korea the consequence of a desire to defend democracy? The USA's military involvement in the Korean War is often seen as America's desire to defend democracy. This argument is often difficult to refute considering economically there was little to gain from Korea and there was a certain risk of coming into conflict with the USSR. Although there are factors which I will later explore that are indicative of there being another purpose to the Korean War, much of the evidence shows the USA's military involvement was driven by their fear of communism, which clearly went against their ideals and threatened democracy and their way of life. Detest conceit presented in unnecessary situations Furthers Unfounded arrogance It makes the person look ridiculous and the person their conversing with being left feeling uncomfortable and stifled. Domestic events up to the 1950 in America had led the American people to be violently anti-communist. America the country that put much emphasis on liberation and the importance of democracy felt threatened by the USSR their rival superpower, who had a different government system and an opposing ideology. Often this is the main argument that the American's belief of there being immense communist aggression and a threat to global peace urged them to take on the role as world policeman and defend democracy which they held close to their hearts. ...read more.

Middle

The clear implication was that America would use it to fight against any communism threats. It becomes obvious tat with the political turmoil and anti-communist feeling in the USA and with Truman's furious reaction 'Dean we've got to stop those son of bitches no matter what' on the 26th June when Acheson gave him the news of South Korea's invasion, it was clear America would resort to anything to stop the spread of communism and preserve democracy. The US firmly believed that the North Korea was attacking under the orders of Stalin. Clearly the American's were dedicated to the cause since the majority of the military troops were American in addition they sought the involvement of the UN to justify their intervention. Although some may argue that it may have also been a way to show their support of the UN and legitimise the UN as a peace keeping organisation in its first international conflict. Yet again whilst this may have been a reason along with America's desire to uphold its prestige and power and a way for Truman to counteract domestic political criticism once again America's conduct of the war suggests otherwise. The US's actions in Korea were dictated by the policy of containment. The domino theory (if one country fell to communism then a chain reaction would follow leading to the loss of other countries) ...read more.

Conclusion

The United States never calculated the costs involved. If the conflict had ended at the 38th parallel in 1950, it could have been considered a stunning victory. But MacArthur and the UN. dreadfully underestimated the result of their actions. The UN. failed to understand that communist China would not tolerate UN. forces on its borders. The anti-communist hysteria in the United States during and after the war, made the U.S. leaders stockpile nuclear weapons. The Soviets responded by stockpiling their own nuclear weapons, thus creating a "Balance of Terror".34 The world became much more dangerous after the Korean War because of the volume of nuclear weapons produced. High taxes were imposed upon the American people to keep up the nuclear race with the Soviets. Within a year or so, America had turned its back on the Korean War. No one wanted to remember a war which cost so much to accomplish so little. The dead were just simply forgotten in the fast modern world. The lessons of the war were also forgotten. As the last troops left Korea, another conflict started in a nearby Asian land, Vietnam. If we had learned from W.W.II, we would not have fought the Korean War. If we had learned from the Korean War, we would have not fought Vietnam. Often the decision to cross the 38th parallel and invade North Korea proved to be both a military and political blunder for the USA during the course of the war. ...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 ...

    USA had control of the capital Seoul and also the bulk of the Korean population. The Soviets supported Communism in North Korea. Their desire in Korea derived from their desire to maintain a sphere of influence in East Asia. Kim Il Sung was appointed the leader of the Korean Communist Party when it was officially formed in July 1946.

  2. The Sino-Soviet Split

    worry for Khrushchev, and caused the competition between the two parties to escalate once more. While now on an equal footing with the Soviets in most facets of communist bloc administration, Mao was surpassed in one arena: Khrushchev clearly took the lead in the question of economic competition with the West.

  1. American History.

    - After the US burned the Canadian capital of York, the British [who no longer had to worry about Napoleon, who they beat in April 1814] went down to the Chesapeake, where they set fire to Washington DC and burned it to the ground.

  2. Armed forces.

    Poland partitioned Nitrogen discovered 1773 Boston Tea Party; No taxation without representation Russians suppress Cossack rebellion First Iron bridge built at Coalbrookdale 1774 Coercive acts passed against Boston and Massachusetts; Warren Hastings replaces Clive in India Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther Priestly discovers Oxygen 1775 American war of Independence (1775

  1. How far was the military involvement in Vietnam during the Presidencies of LBJ and ...

    This meant Truman had to follow containment and did so in Korea. Another factor was McCarthyism in 1950's. With the American public scared of the communists the government had to pursue policies that would halt any spread of communism. One major factor that influenced the policies of LBJ and JFK was that of US involvement in Vietnam in the 1950's.

  2. Free essay

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

    The fact the whole peace process did not collapse, was due to the continuing commitment of all the major parties, including South Africa, SWAPO, Angola and a united international community. Though UNTAG subsequently got its act together, and some elements of the operation worked extremely well, the achievement of Namibian

  1. North Korea and South Korea after the Korean war.

    Since then neither side has officially declared peace, they are both still formally at war. 4 From here North and South Korea continued on two different paths of foreign relations. Both nations relied on foreign allies for military security. Although the North had agreements with China and the Soviet Union, and they did not support further military conflict.

  2. History of the United States

    From that war the United States emerged with a protectorate over Cuba and an island empire consisting of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam. The United States also annexed the Hawaiian Islands in 1898, completing a bridge to the markets of the Far East.

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