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

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Introduction

GCSE History Coursework: Denis Harley Assignment Two; Question One Question: Explain the reasons why America became increasingly involved in the affairs of Vietnam between 1954 and 1965? There are many reasons as to why the US became more and more involved in Vietnam. I will talk about all of these reasons, but the main, underlying fact is: The Cold War. The Cold War was about the building up of nuclear threats and arms between the then two world super powers; Russia (USSR) and America (USA). After World War 2, the USSR hated the US and Vice Versa. Here are a few of the reason why the USSR hated America: Russia was not invited to the Treaty of Versailles, after they helped defeat the Germans in the First World War (However this decision was not totally unjust). At the T.o.V. they lost land, without even being asked. Another reason for the hatred was during the 1930's, running up to WW2, Communist Russia and their leader, Josef Stalin asked for an alliance with the West (including the USA), so they would have someone to back them up if Germany invaded. ...read more.

Middle

The US did not want the further spread of communism. During WW2, Russia had accumulated land on their route to Berlin. They weren't simply going to give this back. They were made communism states, or 'satellites'. The land was in Eastern Europe, and the Russians kept on taking more in this area, including Hungary, Romania, Poland and Czechoslovakia. This was called the domino affect, and to prevent it spreading further, the US helped Western Europe out with the Marshall plan, loaning money to them. This basically meant those countries allegiance to the US. The Americans needed to replicate this in Vietnam. The Vietnam War was part of the Cold War. There was no actual fighting between the US and the USSR, but they used other countries to do it for them. The Berlin Blockade and the Korean War were examples of this. The Vietnam War was another. Ho Chi Minh was a Viet national who had seen his country tarnished by foreigners; he and his people did not like them, in 1954, with the help of the Vietminh, he kicked the French rulers out of the country. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was also an incident at an American base, Plieku, where American soldiers were massacred. This was the catalyst, the Americans had to strike back LB Johnson was given a 'Blank Cheque' by congress, and in 1965, they launched operation Rolling Thunder, a bombing campaign. They then introduced more US troops to fight. All of these things escalated the US into the War. By this point the US was too far into the war to pull out. They simply could not lose to a small, mountainous country. Even then, the spread of communism would be too strong. If the South fell, surely Cambodia and Laos would too. Then it would spread to Burma, Thailand and India. There was too much at stake. They could not pull out at this late stage and lose to a peasant nation. I have talked about many reasons for the US involvement, but what the ultimate and Long-term reason was the Cold war against the USSR. As Lyndon B Johnson said, it was 'a bitch of a war', which lasted a further 8 years. 1 ...read more.

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