Teacher Directions/Background Information:
Before doing simulation with students, study the Constitutional powers of the
President. Students may work individually or in pairs. Share simulation
B with students and let them know that this general is going to command
the troops involved. Give students a simulation A and the primary
sources. After the students have made their choice about what to do with
the general and discussed the Constitutional reasons for their choice, share
actual facts and names of events discussed. Share and explain the
controversy about Presidential powers Truman dealt with over this
After examining the timeline, biography and Primary Sources, students will (acting as President of the United States) decide and explain what they would do with the general in the scenario
President Harry Truman
General Douglas MacArthur
General Omar Bradley
Suggestions for Additional Activities:
- Post simulation-discuss the powers of the U.S. President. How have they changed, expanded and been limited since the creation of the Constitution?
- Students will write a reaction to the actual facts. They should discuss Presidential authority to remove a general deemed insubordinate. Also, they should discuss the power of the military and the power of the civilian government in the U.S.
SIMULATION A: (MacArthur’s resume with name changed and date omitted)
GENERAL BEST’S RESUME
Ignatius Martin Best, born on January 26, the son of a former war hero and military governor
Graduated with highest honors from the U.S. Military Academy
Toured the Orient and served as his father’s aide for fourteen years
Aide to U.S. President and U.S. Army Public Relations Officer
Attained the rank of General
Won honors for heroism and leadership
Served as Superintendent of West Point
Held position of Army Chief of Staff for five years-longer than any predecessor
Chief Military Advisor to a foreign government for six years
Recalled to active duty in U.S. military and given command of troops in the nation he
served as military advisor
Ordered to withdraw by direct Presidential order
Retook country with military invasion and promoted to General of the Army
Appointed Supreme Commander of the Winning Powers and accepted the
surrender of the losing nation
Implemented social, economic and political reforms of the newly liberated nation
Ran for nomination of his party to be their candidate for U.S. President
COUNTRY AB WAR TIMELINE
6/25/Year 1 War breaks out
Country A (hereafter known as CA) invades County B (hereafter
known as CB)
6/27 United Nations security Council (UN) approves aid to CB
6/30 United States troops enter Country AB War
7/8 General I.M. Best is named UN commander to Country AB War
7/Year 1 General Best writes speech to be delivered to VFW convention.
The speech contains his war plan. The U.S. President
and his advisors are not happy with the General’s views
or the publication of war plans.
Read Primary source #4 here.
9/15 General best lands in CB and begins liberation
10/1 CA is driven out of CB by general and his troops
10/9 U.S. President asks general to meet him half way to U.S.
10/10 General responds with change of location—closer to front
Read Primary source # 1 and #2 here.
10/14 President meets general at location of general’s choosing
President asks general about possible involvement of Country C
General assures President CC will not intervene, but also states,
“There is no substitute for victory.”
Read Primary source # 3 here.
11/1 CC enters war on side of CA
11/19 General requests permission from President to enter CC and be
allowed usage of between 30 and 50 nuclear weapons.
President responds with emphatic, “No.” President fears such
action might draw a fourth country into the war. The
President clearly states he wants to wage a “limited war”.
3/7/Year 2 General complains he is prevented from striking at CC
3/14 General Best announces he believes we should fight for,
“unification of Country AB.”
3/24 U.S. President make effort to negotiate a cease fire between CA
General thwarts effort by calling publicly for attacks on CC
5/5 General best’s letter written to U.S. Congressman Joseph Martin
criticizing the Presidential policy on Country AB War is
read on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
You are the President of the United States in this situation. What will you do with this general? Be prepared to discuss your personal and Constitutional reasons for this action. Also, ponder the political fallout your actions might create for your party and the general at home in the U.S.