• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the reasons why American military intervention in Vietnam increased from 1954

Extracts from this document...


Assess the reasons why American military intervention in Vietnam increased from 1954 When looking at the Vietnam War, there is no dispute that America were heavily involved in the affairs of the South Vietnamese people. Coming up towards 1954, there were a lot of changes in the way Vietnam operated; Ngo Diem became president of South Vietnam and the French left Indochina due to their defeat by the Vietminh in the battle of Diem Bien Phu. When the French were in Indochina, the Americans supported them and heavily subsidised their costs. This was a policy started by Truman which was carried on by Eisenhower, mainly due to the fact that they believed Vietnam to be 'the cornerstone of containment'. Effectively Kennedy was funding the French to fight his war. The Geneva Agreements led to the withdrawal of France and the division of Indochina into Laos, Cambodia and a North and South Vietnam divided by the 17 Parallel. Ho Chi Minh, the communist leader of North Vietnam was confident that he could take all of Vietnam. ...read more.


South Vietnamese military overthrew him in a coup in October 1963, it is believed it was done with the approval of Kennedy. Diem's unpopularity increased, and the opposition within South Vietnam grew. Diem labelled all opponents Vietcong (communist). The Vietcong appealed to the mass of the Vietnamese population, they attracted people with promises of land reform and their respectful treatment and persuasion of the peasants, this enabled them to win over the 'hearts and minds' of the people. As support for the Vietcong grew the South Vietnam needed greater assistance from the United States in order to deal with this. Kennedy was a believer of the quagmire theory, and it is for this reason that he needed to do something to counteract the Vietcongs' popularity. By sending in military troops he saw it as a way of showing the South Vietnamese that the Americans were just as capable of supplying the demands of the people. Sending troops in showed that the Americans could offer protection to a corrupt Vietnamese nation. ...read more.


had to continue escalating as none of them wanted to accept the fall of Vietnam to communism during their term, but also did not want to fully commit troops which could be unpopular. Kennedy, being a great believer of the domino and quagmire theory, matched with his desire not to be blamed for the 'loss of Vietnam', saw military intervention as the only direction to move in. The fact that previous presidents had been blamed for Chinas' fall to communism drove Kennedy on to make pivotal decisions. American intervention was primarily determined by the context of the Cold War, the US could not sanction the loss of Vietnam to communism and the further the US got embroiled in sustaining the unsustainable in South Vietnam, the harder it became to pull out, the quagmire theory. Johnson's strong military intervention came as a result of years of support to a corrupt regime which failed to win the 'hearts and minds' of the Vietnamese people, when Ho Chi Minh and North Vietnam could offer unity and independence, the US presence could, realistically, offer only continued conflict. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 essays

  1. Why did the US get involved in Vietnam in 1965?

    they needed to act now to give an example against communism and also to give them the upper hand. The next factor that was significant in the US getting involved in Vietnam in 1965 was the state of South Vietnam.

  2. Was Vietnam Kennedy or Johnson's War?

    Although President Kennedy did increase US commitment towards South Vietnam during his presidency, he was reluctant to do so. It was his 'hawk' advisors like McGeorge Bundy who pressured Kennedy into believing a massive increase in aid and US personnel was needed in South Vietnam.

  1. To what extent does a fear of Communism explain the changes in American policy ...

    Due to this, xenophobia increased within the country during the war and as a result, Americans grew more hostile towards immigrants. Many changes were made to American policy which reflected this change as many German immigrants were discriminated against. For example, the German language was no longer taught in schools,

  2. Was it domestic pressures or events in Asia which caused US intervention in Korea?

    However, this did not happen and because the Americans felt guilty they felt that to redeem themselves they needed to intervene in Korea. Another reason that I think China's fall to communism is the most important event is also because it led the Americans to fear that they were going to be targeted by Stalin soon.

  1. How far was the decision to rollback past the 38th parallel a military and ...

    area of Berlin, this demonstrated their power, in particular their economic power. America wanted to rollback for the same reason as the Berlin Blockade, to demonstrate their power to the communists. Another reason why the decision to rollback was effective for the military was due to the possibility of taking over North Korea.

  2. Roosevelt(TM)s aims of relief, recovery and reform 1933-1945

    Even though there are many criticisms towards the agencies set up for the unemployed they all created employment opportunities this further helped the levels of unemployment rise for example these agencies were giving workers jobs which meant wages, which meant money to spend, by spending this money the demand for

  1. 'Johnson alone bears the responsibility for the escalation of war in Vietnam in the ...

    Also Eisenhower pumped money into Vietnam aiming to stop communism from spreading there, then JFK escalated by sending advisors over and using the flexible response, so LBJ is only left with one option to escalate more because he doesn?t want to be the first president to lose a war in

  2. How far was the USAs military involvement in Korea a desire to defend democracy?

    confidence through this progression in military supplies and decided to test Truman?s true affection to stop communism through and attack, then Americans would have to respond. The American ?desire to defend democracy? was significantly absent when Dean Acheson made a speech on the 12th January 1950.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work