Truman: Korean War

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What was American policy towards the Chinese Civil

  • 1927 - civil war in China (Nationalists - Chiang Kai-Shek vs Communists - Mao Ze-Dong).
  • USA - little involvement due to isolationism.
  • 1937 - Japanese attacked China and Stalin kept situation under control (Yalta).
  • 1945 - another outbreak and USA did NOT support the Communists (feared it contacting trade with Japan)
  • 1945 - conference between Kai-Shek and Ze-Dong (overseen by USA) but it failed & Truman sent 50,000 troops to Manchuria to help Kai-Shek take control. 
  • Jan 1946 - George Marshall negotiated a truce.
  • April 1946 - Kai-Shek attacked Manchuria leaving Mao in control.
  • RESULT: Kai-Shek fled and China became Communist.

Truman was criticised for not applying containment and for giving aid to the nationalists (suggesed by General Wedemeyer). China Aid Act (1948) gave $400 billion to Kai-Shek - which did not prevent Communist victory.

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Why did the USA not intervene in China?

  • Truman didn't send extra troops as the people did not want to enter another war.
  • Tension was increasing in Berlin and he needed troops for that.
  • Dean Acheson (Secretary of State) felt Kai-Shek was responsible and it was his loss - he was undemocratic.

USSR - China Pact (1950) - showed Communist intentions.

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What was the effect of the 'loss' of China on US p

  • Some felt China was not the USA's to 'lose'.
  • There was nothing the USA could have done to change the outcome.
  • USA did not understand the extrent of the agreement between China and the USSR and just assumed they were working together as Communists.
  • Republicans blamed Truman and this increased McCarthyism.
  • Truman Administration saw China as a 'Soviet Puppet' and refused to allowed the People's Republic of China to join the UN.
  • They supported the Nationalists in Taiwan but no the Republic.
  • Changed relations between Japan and the USA as they were the USA's closest allies in that region.
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Korean War: The Start

  • WW2 - Korea under Japanese occupation and the USSR helped to liberate Korea (Potsdam).
  • Post WW2 - divided into two zones (38th Parallel - border).
  • Division was meant to be temporary and in 1947 the USA went to the UN.
  • USA held elections in their zone and both nations removed troops.
  • Sygman Rhee was left in control of Democratic South and Kim II Sung in control of Communist North.
  • USSR - wanted Communist united Korea.
  • USA - wanted non-Communist united Korea.
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How did the war break out? How effectively did the

  • 25th June 1960 - N.Korean troops invade S.K and capture Seoul (capital) to Pusan.
  • S.K's asked USA for help and Truamn sent military aid.
  • 2 days later the 7th Fleet arrived in the China to prevent China attacking Taiwan (where Kai-Shek was).
  • Truman went to UN and it was permitted to coordinate military action by 16 member nati8ons against the N.K's to get them out of the S. 1/11 countries voted against (Communist Yugoslavia).
  • July 1950 - troops landed.
  • Sept1950 - counter-attack launched by General MacArthur (UN) and landed at Inchon (N.K).
  • 8th Oct 1950 - N.K troops back behind line BUT MacArthur's troops then invaded the N in an attempt to fight the Communists. 
  • Oct 1950 - M.A captured Pyongyang.
  • Chinese warned USA that this threatened their security (Stalin suggested).
  • As US troops approached Yalu River (border between China and N.K) Chinese troops invaded.
  • 4 months later - Seoul recaptured by Communists.
  • Spring - fighting settled at 38th Parallel.
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How was the war brought to an end?

  • Neither wanted war or to back down.
  • M.A wanted Truman to support Nationalist invasion on the Republic (China) but the USA was warned by UK that attack on China could result in USSR getting involved.
  • M.A suggested using Atom bomb on China.
  • M.A was sacked by Truman when he went to Joseph Martin (Repub. Congressman) saying that Truman would not agree with him and Martin told the Press.
  • Truman lost popularity.
  • 1951 - negotiations for armistice in Panmunjon that cont. for 2 years.
  • 1953 - Stalin died, Eisenhower elected (he promised to end the war in his election campaign).
  • In agreements - Dulle made 2 nuclear threats who wanted the Chinese to understand what lengths the USA would go to to end the war.
  • 1953 - ceasefire and agreed border of 38th Parallel.
  • S.K gained 1,500 square miles of land and lost 2 million people.
  • USA lost 54,246 soldiers and 106,000 wounded.
  • War cost around $20 billion.
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What were the effects of the Korean War on US poli

  • War had bipartisan support in Congress but was dragged out and fuelled McCarthyism.
  • Raised questions at home - USA was most powerful but did not win?
  • Truman was blamed and there was a search for traitors in the State Dep.t and gov.t.
  • Truman's containment policy was seen to have failed in Asia.
  • 2 defence treaties signed (1951 - 1-Japan 2-Phillipines).
  • Anzus Pact - Australia, N.Zealand, USA.
  • Military and economic aid - Japan, Phillipines, Thailand.
  • Encouraged USA to act quicker in crises and try harder with containment in Asia.
  • NATO strengthened.
  • Bases built in N.Africa and South East Asian Treaty Organisation created.
  • Bagdad Pact (1954).
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Why did the Korean War take place?

  • Often 'forgotten war' as was between WW2 and Vietnam.
  • Truman was blamed by many saying his people encouraged it:
  • Reason 1 - removing US troops leaving S.K defenceless (1948).
  • Reason 2 - Dean Achesons's statement (1951) in which he referred to Korea as 'outside the US defence perimeter'.
  • Reason 3 - He didn't react quickly enough.
  • Truman' military advisors were to blame:
  • M.A made suggested with little strategic value.
  • N.K is to blame:
  • They invaded the S unneccessarily (James Patterson)
  • Soviets are responsible:
  • Stalin backed the attack.
  • May and June - USSR supplied N.K with military supplies.
  • Sygman Rhee is responsible:
  • He had aggressive policies towards N.K and wanted to unite with it,
  • Both N and S are to blame:
  • Both tried to claim international stance by claiming Korea (Peter Lowe).
  • Kim II Sung is responsible - central role in the war (Lowe and Thomas G. Paterson),
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