Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


MacArthur and McChrystal
Author:
Henry Grubb
Course:
Western Civilization, US History
Time Frame:
1 or 2 Blocks (a block is 80 minutes)
Subjects:
Primary Source Analysis

Grade Levels:
12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
  • This assignment is a primary source based activity.  Students are required to analyze the diaries of Harry Truman from the time of his trip to Wake Island in October 15, 1950 until he was relived of command on April 11, 1951.  The students will also read the Rolling Stone article of June 22, 2010 in which leads to the removal from command of General McChrystal.  The students are to evaluate why they were removed from command.  The research is meant to provide analysis of events in both incidents of the removal from command using the dairies and the article.  

Rationale:
  • This assignment will help build skills in analyzing primary documents and researching the reasons behind both President Truman and President Obama’s decision for removal. 

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:


  • National Standards 5A- Demonstrate understanding of why global power shifts took place and the Cold War developed in the aftermath of World War II. 
  • National Standards 6D- Demonstrate understanding of major sources of tension and conflict in the contemporary world and efforts that have been made to address them
  • Missouri Standards S53 1.6, 1.9,3.5, 3.6-3.a.Knowledge of continuity and change in the history of Missouri and the United States. Standard X-Examine the wars of the twentieth century pertinent to US History including ;causes comparisons , consequences and peace efforts

  SHOW ME STANDARDS

2. Continuity and change in the history of Missouri, the United States and the world

6. Relationships of the individual and groups to institutions and cultural traditions

7. The use of tools of social science inquiry (such as surveys, statistics, maps, documents)

 

KANSAS STANDARDS

 Benchmark 3: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of individuals, groups, ideas, developments, and turning points in the era of the Cold War (1945-1990).

3. (A) evaluates the foreign policies of Truman and Eisenhower during the Cold War (e.g., establishment of the United Nations, containment, NATO, Truman Doctrine, Berlin Blockade, Korean War, Iron Curtain, U-2 incident).

Benchmark 4: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of individuals, groups, ideas, developments, and turning points in contemporary United States history (since 1990).

1. (K) Examines the relationship of the United States to the rest of the world in the post Cold War era (e.g., domestic and international terrorism, United States as the single superpower, United States involvement in the Middle East conflict, spread and resistance to United States popular culture).

Benchmark 5: The student engages in historical thinking skills.

1. (A) analyzes a theme in United States history to explain patterns of continuity and change over time.

2. (A) develops historical questions on a specific topic in United States history and analyzes the evidence in primary source documents to speculate on the answers.

3. (A) uses primary and secondary sources about an event in U.S. history to develop a credible interpretation of the event, evaluating on its meaning (e.g., uses provided primary

 Benchmark 4: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of individuals, groups, ideas, developments, and turning points of the World Since 1945.

1. (A) analyzes the Cold War as the competition between two competing ideologies or world views and its impact on various regions of the world. (e.g., roots in WWII, Mao’s China; the Cold War in Europe; NATO, Warsaw Pact, and the competition for nonaligned nations; collapse of Communism in Europe).

Benchmark 5: The student engages in historical thinking skills.

1. (A) analyzes a theme in world history to explain patterns of continuity and change over time.

2. (A) develops historical questions on a specific topic in world history and analyzes the evidence in primary source documents to speculate on the answers.

3. (A) uses primary and secondary sources about an event in world history to develop a credible interpretation of the event, forming conclusions about its meaning (e.g., use provided primary and secondary sources to interpret a historical-based conclusion).

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • Rolling Stone article RS 1108/1109 from July 8-22, 2010 issue
  • Presidential Decisions for War Gary Hess
  • http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/student_guide.htm (Korean War)
  • Full description of activity or assignment.

    1. Teacher will give a general background lecture on the context of each situation.  The overview of the Korean War and the War in Afghanistan during the two appropriate time periods will be covered.

    2. Students are to read through the pages of the presidential diary of President Truman for the time period from mid October 1950 until mid April 1951.

    3. The students are to read the Rolling Stone article RS1108/1109 and prepare a brief to the President as to the conduct of the General and give their assessment of the situation and advice to the President. The students shall then create a dossier for each President Truman and Obama that will include the following items to be addressed.

    4. The students will create a timeline from the removal of both generals.   

    5. The students will identify the people, places and events in the Truman diary.

    6. The students will provide a brief or report to the President in both cases giving their advice to the president as to how the situation should be handled.   

    7. The students will give the rational for why each general was removed from office. So explain exactly what the general did and what about that caused them to be dismissed.

    7A. The student will now give their opinion as if they were the President in exactly the same situations.  What would they do in both cases?

     The teacher will give background lecture on the events that lead up to both generals being removed from office and brief character descriptions of both generals.  

    Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
    • The teacher will expect the student to complete all parts of the assignments in a thoughtful, thorough and organized manner. They will turn in the assignment ther is no minimum limit of pages.  They simply thoroughly answer the questions. The teacher will give special attention to the rational for removal and how they would handle each situation.  They must be historically accurate and constitutionally correct.
    • The teacher expect the student to think rationally about the removal of both generals from command.  They must also be able to explain how general was removed from command and be able to accurately explain the sequence of events.   

    If the student completes all of the above and does it in the manner described they will receive an A.

    If the student completes all of the work, but not to the highest level of expectations they will receive a B.

    If the student does most of the assignment and gives an average effort, they will receive a C.

    If the student does at least half of the assignment to an acceptable level, they shall receive a D.

    Less than  half of the assignment completes OR all of the assignment done to an inferior level of acceptability shall  result in a F.