America Faces the Cold War
From 1941-1945, the United States, along with numerous other countries throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, was engaged in World War II. The allied powers bitterly fought against the axis powers on European land and over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. After the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan, which caused the axis powers to succumb to the allied powers, Americans were very relieved that the many years of fierce conflict had finally come to a halt. It was a good time for American citizens to celebrate the return of the soldiers and to enjoy the peace that had spread throughout the world. The United States was starting to rebuild its standard economy and was ready for everyday life to return to normal. But the good times did not last too long. Immediately following the conclusion of the war, the fear of communism spread throughout the United States. The Soviet Union, the most dominant of all communist countries, was in continual conflict with the United Nations, an international organization established by the victorious powers of the war to assure peace and stability. Thus began the Cold War. During the Cold War the United States of America was engaged in two wars, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. At the outbreak of the Korean War, the American people faced many questions dealing with their autonomy and responsibility to their country.
Harsh disputes arose between the United Nations and the Soviet Union over who would maintain control over such countries like Poland and Germany. One country that found itself in trouble of falling to communist rule was South Korea. North Korea, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, influenced by the Soviet Union, invaded the Republic of Korea, supported by the United Nations, by crossing the thirty-eighth parallel line, the established border. The United States, as part of a UN police action, sent troops to help South Korea fight off the communist troops of North Korea. Under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, and with aid from Australia, Great Britain, and Turkey, the UN forces were of great assistance in the fight against not only North Korea, but also troops from the Soviet Union and China. The Korean War lasted from 1950-1953.
The Korean War had major impacts on the autonomy and responsibility of the United States as a nation, as well as the people of America. Many powerful political authorities of the United States, thought not wanting communism to spread, argued that their nation was not allied to South Korea, and therefore had no responsibility of protecting them. On the contrary, other political figures felt that to ensure freedom as a democratic society, the United States had to assure that communism would not dominate in Asia and other foreign lands. These people believed that it was the duty of the United States to protect South Korea from communist rule. Meanwhile the American citizens were facing the same types of...