Korean and Vietnam Wars

Topics: Vietnam War, Korean War, Cold War Pages: 7 (2528 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The Korean War would be a radical step in fighting wars, as well as the feelings people had toward the war. All wars in American History fought before the Korean War were based on either national survival or the gain of territory. A strong conflict was created between the Soviet Union and the United States. From this conflict, tension was so strong that wars were fougt in the midst of this Cold War. The Korean War was the first America ever waged that was not fought for national survival, for territory, for manifest destiny or for hegemony. Korea was the first ideological war;" (Coppel, 505).

For example the American revolution was based on national survival. The people of the thirteen colonies wanted a nation in which they were free of Britain's tyranny. They wanted to live as an independent nation and survive as one. The American Civil War was another example of national survival. President Lincoln had the point that if the war was unsuccessful or was pushed in the right direction then the nation would be divided into the north and south. World War One was fought as a result of both the gain of territory and national survival. Austria-Hungary was expandingt into western parts of Russia and northern Italy. It was also conquering the nations to the east and taking control of their governments. The Allied powers sought to stop this expansion and war broke out in Europe. The United States then sent of troops to assist France and Great Britain in the conflict. At the end of World War One, Austria-Hungary was divided up, its territory formed many new nations as well as restored land to already existing nations. In World War Two, much of the same circumstances were present with events that contributed to the escalation of the war, and the involvement of the United States. Germany, under the rule of Hitler was expanding very slowly across Europe. It took land to the east and west of them, took over many of the new nations created by the Versailles treaty, as well as disregarding many laws passed during the Versailles treaty. As the war continued, France was taken over, and Stalin gave Germany a large area of land that belonged to Russia when the country withdrew from the war. These countries needed to be restored and Germany needed to be pushed back to its original boarders. Japan which was also in alliance with Germany, needed raw materials to continue building an its economy. When Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, it was inevitably drawn into the war. The United States joined the war effort in order to defend their country at first, then we continued the war. The Korean and Vietnam wars were the next two wars in American History. They were not fought for either national survival or for a gain in territory. These two wars were unique in that they were fought over a belief in politics rather than the traditional reasons the United States had fought wars in the past.

The Korean began in the middle of the Cold War. The war was fought as a result of North Korea invading the South. "Large movements of troops, tanks. ordnance and ammunition to the border areas were reported. This was not suspected as a threat of war because it was thought to be a normal aspect of cold war behavior;" (Ridgway, 14). When America joined the war under command of General MacArthur, they made a great push North. When they were close to the Yalu River they were orderd to stop and turn around. "United States forces were ordered to turn around when they were in visual distance of the Yalu river;" (Knox, 439). When China learned of the the position of the Americans they joined the war and pushed to Americans back to the thirtyeighth parallel.

When China entered the Korean war, the United States had much control over the land around the Yalu River. The main objective of China was to eliminate the presence of U.S. military control in South Korea. "Mao ZeDong thought the removal of United States...

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