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Explain the reasons why America became increasingly involved in the affairs of Vietnam between 1954-1965.

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Introduction

Explain the reasons why America became increasingly involved in the affairs of Vietnam between 1954-1965. America became increasingly involved between 1954-1965 with Vietnam, although very far away and at the start without the American public backing as they believed Vietnam was too far away to fight a war in and they were just getting over WW2. America fought a ruthless war with Vietnam all due to their fear of Communism. In this essay I will explain the reasons why America became involved in the affairs of another country that, on the face of it, had little to do with the USA. After 1893 Vietnam was made part of the French empire. The Vietnamese peasants were exploited and forced to pay high taxes. The peasants had to sell their land and work for low wages at the French plantations. Ho Chi Minh formed the Vietminh in 1950; it was an Indo-Chinese Communist party. Ho Chi Minh wanted freedom, independence and equality for all the Vietnamese people. By September 1945 the Guerrilla group had forced Japan, which had invaded Vietnam during WW2 out of their country, to rid themselves of foreign domination and proceeded to announce the formation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The Vietnamese were behind the Vietminh- the communists- as the French were exploiting the peasants, they had no money and were forced to work for extremely low wages and sell their land. ...read more.

Middle

The theory was, that when one country fell to Communism the rest around her would also fall and eventually the whole world would become Communist. President Truman also made the Truman Doctrine, which stated if any country was threatened by a Communist takeover -as Vietnam was- America would send money, advice and equipment. All the successors of Truman also had the same beliefs about Communism, and stuck to the same policies. Eisenhower was a very strong believer in the domino theory. He knew if he wanted to stop Communism spreading, he must act straight away and follow the Truman Doctrine. As more and more Vietnamese people turned to Communism, Eisenhower and his successor Kennedy became progressively more involved. America needed to come up with a plan to influence the Vietnamese people into voting against Communism. The Americans sent over a small group of 'military advisors' to South Vietnam. The 'military advisors' job was to mount a propaganda campaign to persuade all the people to vote for capitalism in the forth-coming elections. The advisors were very devious and produced fake documents to turn people against Communism. They also made out the corrupt Diem, the capitalist leader of South Vietnam to be a marvellous man. Diem was told to introduce strategic hamlets to the Vietnamese, by the Americans. Strategic hamlets were just one of the many schemes thought up by the Americans and Diem. ...read more.

Conclusion

Pleiku was a US airbase. The Vietcong bombed the base: ten aircrafts were destroyed; eight US advisors were killed; over a hundred others were wounded. The US public were once again infuriated. Johnson now had what he needed to go ahead with his plan- 'operation rolling thunder.' The attack on North Vietnam came on the 11th February 1965. The purpose was to destroy military and industrial targets such as bridges, railway lines, roads, army barracks and supply depots. This changed the course of the war and dragged in the USA as far as she would go, as it became an intensive war from the air. By 1968 there were 500,000 US troops in South Vietnam. In conclusion, America became increasingly involved in the affairs of Vietnam between 1954-1965, for a number of reasons, but principally because of its fear of Communism. By the turn of the 20th Centaury, the Vietnamese were being exploited by the French. This was when the peasants first turned to Communism and America was alerted. North Vietnam became Communist after the French wars. The domino theory told America that when one country fell to Communism the others around it would follow and due to the Truman Doctrine America was brought into the affairs of Vietnam. The Cuban missile crisis of the cold war also added tension to the problems, as this crisis originated from the constant arguments between Communism and capitalism. The Americans wanted to give the guerrilla group- the Vietcong a short, sharp, shock. With the public backing 'Operation rolling thunder' started and the tragic anti-Communist battles in Vietnam went ahead. ...read more.

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