8th – History – Truman, MacArthur & the Korean War

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What factors influenced Truman’s decision to commit U.S. forces to the defense of South Korea?

1. promise to come to the defense of "free peoples" everywhere – Truman Doctrine 2. North Korean’s under the rule of Kim Il-Sung invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950. 3. United Nqations called upon members to help South Koreas resist. 4. Russians said they would send military and economic aide to North Korea , but not troops. 5. Chinese sent troops to help the North Koreans.

Why did Truman allow U.S. forces to to cross the 38th Parallel?

They wanted to punish the North Koreans for invading in the first place. Also, MacArthur assured Truman that the Chinese would not become involved in this fight and if they did, the Chinese would be quickly and easily defeated by the U.S. MacArthur planned to use nuclear warfare to attack the Chinese on the border of North Korea and crush communism in china as well as Korea. Macarthur had his own agenda that was not Truman’s agenda. Truman wanted to limit the war and to keep a thrid world war from starting.

Why did Truman fire MacArthur? Was the decision justified?

Truman fired MacArthur because he was using his influence on Congressmen and people in the united States to operate the was in the way he wanted to run it, as if he was President. Truman was maddened by MacArthur’s rudeness when he flew to Wake Island to meet him. MacArthur showed up 45 minutes late and this was a direct afront to President Truman. MacArthur was 70 years old and and Truman thought MacArthur was unwilling to take orders from the president, so he fired him for insubordination.

What factors made the war in Korea so unpopular by 1952?

1. there was a fear of any war turning into a nuclear war. 2. Americans were tired of fighting a war. 3. Americans wanted to limit the war. 4. There was a stalemate in the war – neither side was really winning, but men were still dying.

Douglas MacArthur

General who graduated from West Point and was popular in the U.S. for leading the americans to victory in the Pacific against the Japanese. He was the main general of the Americans in the fight against the North Koreans. He wanted to push the war into the mainland of China and "destroy the communists there. He was fired for not supporting President Truman’s stand on limiting the war in Korea.

Wake Island Conference

President Harry Truman flew to Wake Island in the Pacific to meet directly with General MacArthur and have a face-to-face meeting about what the U.S. policy in Korea would be. MacArthur showed up 45 minutes late and Truman chewed him out and told him he should never be late to a meeting with the Comander-in-Chief again. Truman had his hands full with the MacArthur going to the press with his own stand on how the war should be fought, and refused to support Truman’s position. Truman was truly afraid that MacArthur was going to get us in an all out war with the Chinese and Russians, not just the North Koreans.

38th Parallel

the approximate latitude that separates North and South Korea


was an amphibious invasion and battle of the Korean War that resulted in a decisive victory for the Americans and the United Nations troops against the North Koreans.

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