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After World War II the United States centered its foreign policy on the containment of communism, at home and abroad. Although it was aimed primarily at containing the spread of communism in Europe, the policy also extended to Asia. Asia proved to be the site of the first major battle waged in the name of containment: the Korean War. Dividing Korea in half came about at the end of World War II. In an effort to avoid a long-term decision regarding Korea's future, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to divide Korea temporarily along the 28th parallel, a latitudinal line that bisected the country. War between North and South Korea broke out along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950. The U.S. decision to intervene in Korea grew out of the tense atmosphere that characterized Cold War politics. This lesson plan provides an historical background of the conflict; reproduces President Harry Truman's statement ordering troops to Korea; identifies the National History Standards and National Civics and Government Standards correlations; and presents seven activities for analyzing the document. Also contains a written document analysis worksheet. (BT)

Descriptors: Academic Standards, Communism, Federal Government, Foreign Countries, Korean War, National Standards, Primary Sources, Secondary Education, Social Studies, Student Research, Teacher Developed Materials, United States History

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Autor: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.


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