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

Between 1954 and 1965, America became increasingly involved in the affairs of Vietnam.

Extracts from this document...


History Coursework Essay 1 Between 1954 and 1965, America became increasingly involved in the affairs of Vietnam. This was due to many reasons, the most important being the hatred of communism, and the USA's need to contain it and restrict its spread into hitherto 'friendly' countries. The USA's first involvement with Vietnam was indirect but was still significant in that, they supplied the French with weapons during their war with the Vietminh. The French were looking to regain rule of their former colony after the Japanese occupation during World War 2. This was also the year that Ho Chi Minh a leading communist, nationalist formed the Vietminh as a military organisation. They began a guerrilla warfare campaign against the Japanese in the effort to free Vietnam from foreign rule and to implement a Vietnamese led government. When the French took control of Vietnam in 1946 the Vietminh continued its guerrilla campaign against them. The war between them lasted 7 years and ended in the defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu, after which the French made it known in April 1954 that they wished to withdraw from Vietnam. At a peace conference taking place at that time in Geneva it was decided by the USA, Britain, France and the Soviet Union that temporarily until general elections could be held in 1956 that Vietnam should be split at the 17th parallel. ...read more.


Another major reason why Diem was unpopular and why the US felt he was no longer a proficient leader, was the continuing success of the NLF. The NLF or National Liberation Front was another armed resistance force directed against President Diem, and it was given aid by Ho Chi Minh and North Vietnam. The NLF's aim was the replacement of the Diem administration, with a government that "represented all social classes and religions". The NLF used the tactic of getting the poor South Vietnamese peasants on their side, they achieved this by taking land from the rich and giving it to the poor peasants. It proved to be extremely successful tactic as the peasants hated working for the landowners. The NLF also kept operatives in many villages to reassure the villagers, and to stop Diems forces 'liberating' the village. America's new president, President Kennedy, was concerned about the events in South Vietnam so he sent 100 more 'advisors', and gave South Vietnam the money to increase its army by an extra 20,000. In 1962 a new counter-tactic was commenced to try and stop the NLF gaining more support in the rural villages. It involved the moving of the peasants into new villages under the army's control, heavy defences were built around the villages, and guards protected them, it was called the 'strategic hamlet' programme. ...read more.


It was scheduled to last for 8 weeks, but it lasted for 3 years, 1 million bombs were dropped. The NLF's answer to this was to concentrate its attacks on the US air bases in South Vietnam. This presented a problem to the US, as the General in charge of US 'advisors' in Vietnam, General Westmoreland, had concluded that the 23,000 men there could not adequately defend the bases. Johnson took the only route he could, and on 8th March sent 3,500 US marines to South Vietnam. In conclusion, the USA's increasing involvement Vietnam was due to fear, hatred and the attempt to contain communism. At first America were indirectly part of the war, they gave financial aid and equipment to the South Vietnamese. They increasingly became involved when the prospect of communism endangered their 'backyard'. The USA was dragged into a war by their complete and utter hatred of communism. The US thought the war was communism against nationalist, whereas in fact it was between colonialists and Nationalists. The later part of the war consisted of two Nationalist parties who both wanted power over Vietnam. America's tunnel vision saw the Vietminh led by a communist. This meant America would do anything they could to defeat the Vietminh and the NLF, and that aim dragged them feet first into a war they fought for the wrong reasons. Paul Bevan ...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 International History, 1945-1991 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 International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explain why America became increasingly involved in the affairs of Vietnam

    3 star(s)

    They met the day after Dien Bien Phu fell. Eisenhower wanted the French to continue fighting but they had enough. The Vietminh wanted early elections so the people could elect a government for the whole of Vietnam. They were confident of winning.

  2. I will be looking at how the U.S became increasingly involved Vietnam, the problems ...

    of men - men they needed to carry out their operations and attacks. So the USA had to increase aggression and involvement to lower the amount of men dieing in Vietnam. Part of this increased aggression included Operation Rolling Thunder.

  1. America In Vietnam, 1953-73

    The seige was lifted on 11 July, In the 1968 Tet offensive, 60,000 Vietcong emerged from a series of tunnels to the north-west of Saigon. With the help of civilian supporters they attacked in a battle which lasted 10 days.

  2. American History.

    Peck (1810) - in this case the SC ruled against a Georgia law? that violated individuals' rights to make contracts. McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) - in this case SC ruled against a Maryland law? taxing the Second Bank of the US and consequently asserted the supremacy of the federal gov't over the sates.

  1. Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s?

    The war would carry on until 'peace with honour' could be achieved. The Vietnamization meant gradually removing the American forces so that the South Vietnamese Army would be forced to do more and more of the fighting. The US would continue to support the South Vietnamese Government and the US air force would continue to bomb North Vietnam.

  2. Why did America become increasingly involved in the affairs of Vietnam beaten 1954-1965?

    out of involvement in Vietnam he choose not to, he in fact increased the involvement as not to look weak. He poured more money and bombed the Ho Chi Minh trail. The Gulf on Tonking incident provide the excuse needed by President Johnson to seize control of the war and send troops into Vietnam and win the war.

  1. Why the USA Became increasingly involved in Vietnam.

    This became known as the Domino Theory. The North Vietnamese communists restarted the guerrilla campaign in retaliation for the cancelled elections positioning 5000 Vietminh guerrillas in South Vietnam in 1959 supported by another 100,000 sympathizers in the countryside. Top increase these numbers many refugees from the South were trained as armed soldiers and sent back along a

  2. Why Did the United States of America Become Involved In Vietnam?

    long to wait, he suggested a strategy that would be less unpopular with the American public as it would result in fewer of the men being killed. The lution of the U.S. Congress. It is of historical significance because it gave US President approval, without a formal declaration of war,

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