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Compare and contrast the policies of the USA and USSR towards Korea between 1945 and 1955

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Introduction

Causes of the Korean War * Korea had been part of the Japanese empire since 1910, but was invaded by the Red Army and American troops. Since then, Korea had been jointly occupied by the Soviet Union and the American forces at the end of World War II. The nation was divided into two parts by the 38th Parallel, a line of demarcation pending the creation of a single Korean government. However, there was no agreement on who would run the country. Subsequently, the imbalance of power between the Soviets and Americans lead to a civil war, aiming to unify the country, with each side claiming to be the legitimate government and threatening to invade the other. * Two key points caused a shift in the balance of power between the United States and the Soviet Union. The imbalance between the two superpowers made evident of the tension between the two, and so, through Korea, a war broke out. One of the key points was when the USSR developed a nuclear bomb on its own. At this point, the United States' "ace card" no longer held its worth, and knew that if they used the Atomic Bomb, the USSR would do the same. The USA had not anticipated the fast developments in the USSR and became threatened by this power. * Another cause of the shift in balance was when China fell to the Communism of Mao Zedong. During the Civil War, the USA had given limited support to the Nationalists. This action made it seem to the Chinese that the Americans deemed China unworthy of American support. Then, with Communism being more favorable in China, Nationalism came to a down-fall. The conflict in Korea gave the United Nations a chance to prevent the further multiplication of Communism throughout the world. * NSC-68: 'Total Commitment' This encouraged military and economic support to any countries perceived by the United States of America to be resisting Communism. ...read more.

Middle

Since the war, the United Nations had led to a further expansion of military power; also growing the anti-communist feeling across the United States. It had brought both positive and negative effects to the world in general. * The Japanese' economy had most evidently grown. During the war, the Americans boosted the Japanese government. They needed a base in Asia, and Japan served as the perfect destination. This gave the Japanese economy a dynamic boot that brought a new beginning to Japan. It was no longer a place for rural planting, Japan was given the success after the depression WWII had brought; it would become the bulwark against Communism in Asia. * China's reputation grew and became a major power in the region, just as Mao Zedong had wanted. To many of the Chinese, it seemed their nation had "saved" North Korea from the Americans, and had took on the USA head on. It was a powerful feat. This not only increased China's reputation, but also of Mao Zedong's. However, due to this war, China was then isolated by the USA, and was condemned by the UN as an aggressor and prevented from taking a seat in the UN Security Council. ? The resources in the homeland was diverted to the recovery of war effort. Meaning it would be a while before the Chinese could unite China and Taiwan. Until now, Taiwan is still not yet part of China (though it is going to be). Stalin's reluctance to help throughout the war also showed to Mao Zedong that he cannot rely on the Soviet Union's help and would be less bothered about the following events ahead (Moscow's lead). ? Taiwan had to be defended by the United States against possible Communist invasion. Following the Korean War, the USA supported Taiwan's Chiang Kai-Shek with military and economical aid, continuing to recognize Taiwan as the official Chinese state until late 1971. ...read more.

Conclusion

Such situations became a basis for the formation of the "sphere of safety" at the western borders of the USSR. Concluded in 1945 - 1948. The United States were also asked to form policies in to deal with its doppelganger's atomic power and communistic government. They were forced to make strategic plans to help other countries regain economic stability, to contain communism, and not end up in a ruinous global nuclear war. * Goal: the prevent the spread of communism. * "From Monroe Doctrine to Truman's NSC response to the endangering communism and war fare with NSC 68'. ? Three policies formed the backbone for foreign policy in America through the Cld War era, eventually setting an examplar reflected in present politics. * Realism and Moralism took center stage in the debates of policy. ? Realists: US should be motivated by consistent and well-defined national interests. ? Moralists: US's values should reside in democracy, human rights, tolerance, etc. - Spaner * Realists had the upper hand in controlling the US foreign policies during the Cold War. However, it was the fusion of the two ideas that form the blue print for that trouble era. * NSC 68' The Marshall Plan. ? The response to the faltering economies in Western Europe. To provide economic assistance to all European nations that would agree to the United States intervention. Based upon Moralism ideology. ? George Kennan was a large proponent of the Marshall Plan. He believed that the pressure of poor economies make nations turn to communism as an answer. "Containment through Economics" ? The plan was effective in maintaining good trade, and undermined the spread of communism. * Containment ? President Truman was a proponent of military aid to the satellite nations of the Soviet Union, thus aim to contain the communist threat. The fusion of Kennan's proposal, in similarity to the Marshall Plan, adding with the Truman's plan was the heart of the theory of containment. ? Was a policy influenced by realism, an ideology quick to adopt in Keenan's dealings with the Soviet Union. ...read more.

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