#184 dward R. Murrow High School Ms. Sarno & Ms. Albu Allen Barge, Principal American History Semester 2 The Korean War (1950-1953)

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September 14, 1950:

  • North Korea invades South Korea.

November 25, 1950:

  • General MacArthur helps South Korea in pushing back the invasion

  • UN defense drove the North Koreans past the 38th Parallel and almost to the Yalu River.

January 12, 1951:

  • China initiates a defense that pushed the UN forces back across the 38th Parallel

  • Soviet Union aided the North Korean and Chinese armies.

July 27, 1953: Korean War ends:

  • An armistice (peace agreement) restores the border between the Koreas near the 38th Parallel.

IV. Total War v. Limited War IV. Total War v. Limited War

President Truman and General MacArthur had different opinions on fighting in Korea. Truman wanted limited war, which meant just to contain Communism in Korea (make sure it stayed above the 38th parallel). However, General MacArthur wanted total war, which meant traditional war and using all resources available to win. Truman wanted to keep China, a Communist nation, out of the war; however, China sent troops to help North Korea. General Macarthur wanted to attack China, but Truman did not want war with China. By 1951, the U.S. was trying to stop fighting and make peace with North Korea and China. MacArthur made a statement threatening to keep fighting and expand to China if the Communist side did not come to peace terms. Truman felt that MacArthur went against civilian control of the military, meaning that country’s decision making is in control of the leaders who people choose not military officers. MacArthur went against Truman and was fired and replaced.

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