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The American Experience since 1945: Red Scare & Mccarthyism

Speculate: In what way might successes in Korea have later influenced the decision to become more deeply involved in Vietnam?

Why did Americans listen to Joseph McCarthy?

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Dear Student,
Below is your solution. The Korean War allowed for the U.S. to fully realize their democratic responsibilities and military might after leading an international engagement. In the case of McCarthy, he showed how politics can ride sensationalized issues, imagined or not and profit from it by riding on people's fears & suspicions. I adapted the McCarthy section from a previous solution I previously wrote on the subject as I wanted to give you a full picture of why Americans listened to his sensationalized views. Good Luck & thank you for using BrainMass. The attachment is a word version of this solution.

OTA 105878

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The Korean War in American View

The Korean War was a triumph in the Cold War Policies of the U.S. in the early part of the 50's. At first the Korean War was an in-country conflict between Pyongyang (the North) led by absolute dictator Kim Il Sung under the influence of Chinese Communism. He attempted to unite Pyongyang & Seoul and therefore sent his armies into what was then considered southern territory resulting to clashes. The South was led by a democratic regime, the rival of Kim's north. Since the 7th century Korea was a unified Peninsula. Japan's imperial ambitions however sent Korea under Japanese occupation continuously since 1894's Sino-Japanese War. At the end of WW2, Korea was divided in the 27th parallel, the north under Russian occupation & the South under American for the purpose of reconstruction.

Korea soon afterwards became an immediate battleground for the two superpower's war by proxy. The Cold War's beginning was that mistrust and misunderstanding that Russia & America had for each other's ideological intents in terms of reconstruction. In the Yalta Conference, while all the Allied nations agreed to reconstruct Europe under democratic industrialization, Russia did not agree and wanted to introduce Communist Socialism. America, the UK & France believed that for Germany and war ravaged-Europe to stand on it's feet & recover , a revitalization of the economy by way of industrial capitalism is key. Russia's Stalinist views of a centrally held, centrally controlled economy did not work with the agreed democratic industrialisation, hence the disagreement. Russia held the belief that the U.S. was using WW2 reconstruction efforts to further it's own ideological goals and the U.S. felt the same about Russia's continued disagreement on the Yalta reconstruction plan. Escalation of the mistrust resulted into Cold War, the Arms Race, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Korean War, Afghan Engagements, and of course the very bloody Vietnam War.

This was however the early 50's. Fresh from the triumph of WW2 America received the mandate of reconstructing South Korea at the Potsdam Conference. While Korea as a whole wished to become free of Foreign interference, to ensure successful reconstruction, this proposal was not considered. Earlier in the mid-40's to counter Japanese advancement, the Russians have invaded Korea from the North until the 38th parallel. When the Americans landed in the peninsula in 1945 they took to securing the south. At the end of the war an agreement to become Foreign oversight of 4 years was signed by Russia & the U.S. They each worked at building a working government favourable to their beliefs. While the Koreans in the north led rebellions, the Koreans in the south protested. Sadly, this did not matter much as the grip on political power of the occupying powers came to fore. The South had for Pres. Syngman Rhee who like the North's Kim wanted to unify Korea but ...

Solution Summary

The Korean War allowed for the U.S. to fully realize their democratic responsibilities and military might after leading an international engagement. In the case of McCarthy, he showed how politics can ride sensationalized issues, imagined or not and profit from it by riding on people's fears & suspicions. This solution presents a picture of what the Korean War was about & how it was percieved by the American people & the rest of the world. Furthermore, the solution discusse in a separate essay what Mccarthyism is about while discussing the man whose actions gave rise to the word - Sen. Joseph McCarthy,

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