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How far was the USAs military involvement in Korea a desire to defend democracy?

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´╗┐Mollie Ingram ________________ How far was the USA?s military involvement in Korea a desire to defend democracy? On the 25th June 1950, troops in the North Koreans people army crossed the 28th parallel into South Korea in an attempt to unify the country under a communist system of government. Within two days, the US had gained UN approval to send troops to defeat this act of aggression. However the extent this decision was shaped by a desire to ?defend democracy? is questionable. The Americans themselves would see their intervention in Korea as a desire to defend democracy. It was an attempt to defeat the expansion of communism. This was viewed as a disease by the Americans as it would destroy the values that their country was built on. Certainly it would be viewed as undemocratic as only communist candidates were allowed to stand in elections and personal freedoms were severely curtailed. The decision to fight in Korea can also be seen as an attempt to support the democratically elected government of Syngman Rhee. Syngman Rhee was the first president of South Korea. His presidency lasted from 1948 to 1960; he was regarded as an anti-communist and a strongman. Therefore to America was seen as a strong and great character to be able to get South Korea back on tracks and against communism. ...read more.


This then lead to the UN being set up to reduce and if possible stop acts of aggression against countries. Therefore this is where the UN gets used in the situation of Korea to show that it has the ability to act when needed. However it is argued that what Truman in reality had done was an American invasion force. Americans were able to use the UN due to the soviets not following the UN?s idea that the recognised government on china was not in fact the communist Chinese government, but that what was given to Taiwan. As a result of this it meant that the soviets therefore did not have the ability to argue against the decision of demanding the north withdraw and admitting the use of military force. American involvement in Korea has to be seen within the context of the Cold War. America and the Soviets had fought an ideological Conflict in the aftermath of WW2. America was fighting for the survival of democracy against the growing strength of Communism. To the Americans, the soviets overtake of eastern Europe was viewed as threatening and highly aggressive, this then increased tensions even more and produced a deeper intensity of determination and desire of protection within America. It wasn?t until the creation of the soviets atomic bomb that suspicions of a possible attack began to develop, if Stalin gained ...read more.


American involvement in Korea was also determined to some extent by domestic political opinion. The early 1950s saw the star of McCarthyism and the Red Scare. Senator McCarthy was in charge of a committee on Un-American activities, this included communism. He then lead essentially a witch hunt to uncover communists, from this it is believed that he recorded a list of 205 communists that he discovered. As a result of this, anti-communist feelings evolved, putting pressure on politicians to be tougher on communism if they truly want it to be contained. Due to this Truman then had little choice but to fight in Korea in order to gain trust in Americans that he is doing all he can to prevent communism spreading The USA?s military involvement in Korea was due to a number of reasons. The ?desire to defend democracy? can only be used to a limited extent as to why they got involved. It is clear that the US did desire to defend democracy, but not in all occasions did they stay fully ?democratic? (Rhee?s government). The main thing that is highlighted as to why the US got involved in Korea is their desire and determination of containing communism. This also links to the wider conflict with the USSR and the cold war. ...read more.

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