Truman, Congress, and Korea: The Politics of America's First Undeclared War

TitleTruman, Congress, and Korea: The Politics of America's First Undeclared War
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBlomstedt, Larry
Number of Pages305
PublisherThe University Press of Kentucky
CityLexington, KY

In this volume, the author provides the first in-depth domestic political history of the Korean War, from the initial military mobilization, to Congress's failed attempts to broker a cease-fire, to the political fallout in the 1952 election. During the war, President Truman faced challenges from both Democratic and Republican legislators, whose initial support quickly collapsed into bitter and often public infighting. For his part, Truman dedicated inadequate attention to relationships on Capitol Hill early in his term and also declined to require a formal declaration of war from Congress, advancing the shift toward greater executive power in foreign policy. The Korean conflict ended the brief period of bipartisanship in foreign policy that began during World War II. It also introduced Americans to the concept of limited war, which contrasted sharply with the practice of requiring unconditional surrenders in previous conflicts. This study explores the changes wrought during this critical period and the ways in which the war influenced US international relations and military interventions during the Cold War and beyond.

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