This extra credit opportunity is worth 2 points of extra credit PER question on your Unit 8 Test on WEDNESDAY May 24.
Why might textbooks from different countries offer different versions of the same historical events? When textbooks offer conflicting accounts, how do you decide which textbook to believe? Textbooks, like other historical documents, have a bias and often offer only one perspective on the past. History textbooks are often influenced by a country's national perspective and geo-political relationship to other countries.
Korean War was the first hot war of the Cold War: 1950-1953. During Second World War, the Allies decided to divide Korea at the 38th parallel. The North was under the trusteeship of the Soviet Union, the South under the trusteeship of the Americans. Two different countries developed: the North became a communist country, the South a noncommunist, democratic country. Both sides wanted to re-unify the country under their own rule. In 1950, after a number of small skirmishes at the border, war broke out between North and South Korea. The US backed and fought with the South, and China fought with a backed the North. Initially, American and United Nations forces pushed deep into North Korea; however, China entered the war and pushed the Americans backed into the South. After three years, the two sides fought to a stalemate and kept the country divided at the 38th parallel.
Central Historical Question: Who started the Korean War?
Directions: Read the documents below and then answer the guiding questions in the comments below.
North Korean Textbook
Upset by the fast and astonishing growth of the power of the Republic, the American invaders hastened the preparation of an aggressive war in order to destroy it in its infancy....The American imperialists furiously carried out the war project in 1950....The American invaders who had been preparing the war for a long time, alongside their puppets, finally initiated the war on June 25th of the 39th year of the Juche calendar. That dawn, the enemies unexpectedly attacked the North half of the Republic, and the war clouds hung over the once peaceful country, accompanied by the echoing roar of cannons.
Having passed the 38th parallel, the enemies crawled deeper and deeper into the North half of the Republic...the invading forces of the enemies had to be eliminated and the threatened fate of our country and our people had to be saved.
When the overthrow of the South Korean government through social confusion became too difficult, the North Korean communists switched to a stick-and-carrot strategy: seeming to offer peaceful negotiations, they were instead analyzing the right moment of attack and preparing themselves for it.
The North Korean communists prepared themselves for war. Kim Il-sung secretly visited the Soviet Union and was promised the alliance of the Soviets and China in case of war. Finally, at dawn on June 25th, 1950 the North began their southward aggression along the 38th parallel. Taken by surprise at these unexpected attacks, the army of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) fought courageously to defend the liberty of the country....The armed provocation of the North Korean communists brought the UN Security Council around the table. A decree denounced the North Korean military action as illegal and as a threat to peace, and a decision was made to help the South. The UN army constituted the armies of 16 countries—among them, the United States, Great Britain and France—joined the South Korean forces in the battle against the North.
DUE WEDNESDAY May 24 by MIDNIGHT
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