U.S. History 3rd
Chapter 28:2 Notes
Origins of the Korean War: In September 1949, the Communists defeated the anticommunist Nationalists in a civil war in China. Mao Zedong became head of the new Communist state. The Nationalist government headed by Chiang Kai-shek, fled to the island of Taiwan, formerly Formosa, off the coast of the Chinese mainland. Many Americans were shocked by the fall of the Nationalist government. They viewed the takeover as part of a Communist plot to rule the world. They blamed the State Department for failing to stop the Communist revolution. American fear of communism grew. Korea had been a Japanese colony for half a century when Japan surrendered to the Allies at the end of World War II. In 1945, Soviet troops occupied Korea north of the 38th parallel, or line of latitude. American forces took control south of this line. Aided by the Soviets, a Communist government came to power in North Korea. In South Korea a noncommunist leader supported by the United States governed. Fighting Breaks Out in Korea: In June 1950, North Korean forces crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea. The conflict that followed became known as the Korean War. President Truman viewed Korea as a test case for his containment policy. He responded promptly. Sixteen nations provided soldiers for a UN force. In early fighting, the North Koreans pushed the South Koreans back almost to Pusan. This city was on the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula. War Ends in Stalemate: As the war dragged on, it became more unpopular. In July 1951, Truman accepted a Soviet suggestion that truce talks begin. The talks dragged on for two years. They continued through 1952 presidential campaign. When Truman decided not to run again, the Democrats chose Illinois governor Adlai Stevenson as their candidate. The Republicans picked World War II hero General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ike, as voters liked to call him, criticized the unpopular...
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