Introduction to the Korean War

The 736th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion was called to Active Duty in June 1950 when North Korea
moved south across the 38th Parallel and the United States was at war again.

Judi Allen
Malden High School
Grade 10
US History II
May 14, 2008
Examining China's Past: Contemplating its Future

In the late 1940s, communism spread to many countries in East Asia. With the success of China's Communist Revolution in 1949, the Communists gained control of one fifth of the world's population. China would play a critical role in the Cold War struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. The effects of this struggle would be evident in China's involvement in Korean War.

"The Cold War became a hot conflict in June 1950 when North Korean troops attacked South Korea
across the 38th parallel. The Truman administration believed the North Korean attack was part of a coordinated international Communist strategy to begin World War III. The United States led a United Nations military coalition to force the North Koreans to withdraw. Three years of bloody fighting followed, until an armistice restored the border between North and South Korea roughly where it had been when the war erupted."
Robert D. Schulzinger

State Standards:
USII.18 Analyze the factors that contributed to the Cold War and describe the policy of containment as America's response to Soviet expansionist policies.

  • the differences between the Soviet and American political and economic systems
  • Soviet agression in eastern Europe
  • the Truman Doctrine, The Marshall Plan, and NATO

USII.19 Analyze the sources and, with a map of the world, locate the areas of Cold War conflict between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

  • the Korean War
  • China
  • the arms race

Key Questions
  • How did the Cold War conflicts affect the nations of China and Korea?
  • Do you think the United States should have been involved in the Korean War?
  • Do you think General MacArthur's decision to advance toward the Yalu River was justified?
  • Why was MacArthur's decision to try to take all of North Korea significant?

Lesson Objective
Students will:

  • Explain how Mao Zeodong and communists gained power in China and it's impact on the Cold War
  • Analyze China's role in the Korean War
  • Explain why the United States became involved in the war in Korea
  • Analyze a political cartoon on the role of the League of Nations
  • Assess the decision to send U.S. and U.N. forces across the 38th Parallel into North Korea
  • Identify on a world map foreign countries associated with the Korean War
  • Identify key terms and individuals associated with the Korean War


Using information from the documents and your knowledge of American history, write an essay in which you answer the following question:

Do you think the United States should have been involved in the Korean War?

Using the information from the documents provided and your knowledge of history, write a well-organized essay that includes an introduction, a body of several paragraphs, and a conclusion. Use evidence from the documents, relevant facts, examples and details from your notes and text to support your position.


  1. Read the question carefully -- Circle key components -- Pay attention to what is being asked -- Are there dates involved? -- Is change over time a possible factor?
  2. Accurately analyze and interpret the documents.
  3. Consider the question and formulate your thesis statement. Your thesis statement should respond directly to the question being asked.
  4. Incorporate information from the documents and the text in the body of the essay to support your thesis.
  5. Identify the source of the document. Different sources or P.O.V. will give you different perspectives on an issue.
  6. Cite documents when referencing evidence - example: (doc.1) (doc.2)
  7. Use a logical and clear plan of organization.
  8. Write a conclusion analyzing your thoughts on the US involvement in the Korean War.

Daily class activities and discussion will be assessed
Final DBQ will be used as test grade for the chapter

Annotated Bibliography: