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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain the reasons why America became increasingly involved in the affairs of Vietnam between 1954 to 1965 There are many reasons why America got involved in the Vietnam War. Some of which were short term, some long term and some more important than others. For example some historians have said the Domino Theory was the most crucial. Despite which cause was the most vital, the U.S.A's involvement was gradual. It all started way back in 1917 when the Russian Revolution took place. In November 1917, Lenin and the Red Guards seized Petrograd and claimed Russia as a communist state. This created an immediate fear for the Americans, for if one country could have a revolution why couldn't another? The U.S government feared that poor Americans would revolt, and they didn't want the most capitalist country in the world to become communist. This was the most long tern cause, and the first domino. After the Second World War, Stalin made several countries surrounding Russia communist; this formed a wall of countries protecting Russia from immediate attack. A buffer zone. This "wall" became known as the Iron Curtain, and although only imaginary, it separated Eastern Europe from Western Europe; The west being democratic and the East being communist. Germany was right in the middle of this imaginary line and so split in two, W. ...read more.

Middle

This is the same view Truman took over Korea, confirming a constant fear of communism. Despite Eisenhower's want to stop the spread of communism, another war so soon after Korea would be extremely unpopular. (in fact comparing the Korean War to the Vietnam War shows many similarities) So Eisenhower couldn't send troops to help defeat N. Vietnam. Instead he sent aid to pay for weapons and equipment and he sent 12 Military advisors to the south to train the ARVN. This was the first real step in America's involvement, because America now had a physical presence in Vietnam. This is the most important long-term cause, as without the advisors the Vietcong would not have had any Americans to attack and so no U.S bombing campaigns or ground troops would have been sent to retaliate. John F Kennedy followed on from Eisenhower, believing in the same ideas. He upped the number of advisors in S. Vietnam and sent mercenaries; ex soldiers to actually fight the Vietcong. This intensified U.S involvement as by the end of 1962 there were 12,000 Americans present in Vietnam. Kennedy also set up the "Strategic Hamlet" program. It's aim was to stop the influence of the NLF on the south Vietnamese peasants. ...read more.

Conclusion

So on March 8th 1965, 3,500 U.S Marines were sent to S. Vietnam. This was the shortest term of all causes, it was what escalated the war and was the start of many American deaths. Many historians have come up with many theories as to the reasons behind America's involvement in the Vietnam War. For example, Schlesinger's idea is "Bitter Heritage". This idea is that America has had such a bad history of communism spreading ever nearer to them, that each president in turn has been forced to continue the previous president's goal of stopping it. Each getting more and more into a quagmire of long war, and each president not being able to pull out. Whereas Neom Chomsky's idea is that America only entered Vietnam for economic reasons, to deny Russia Vietnam's resources. The most important cause of America's involvement is the domino theory, because every president carried on the idea. From Truman to Eisenhower to Kennedy to Johnson. They all believed in it. They believed that if one country were to fall to communism (Vietnam) then another would fall and another and another until eventually ever country is communist. Just like a row of dominoes falling. Once one goes they all go. The presidents wanted to stop this. This proves that there is an underlying, constant American fear of communism. This is because a lot of rich Americans would lose a lot of their money if U.S.A became communist. ...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)

    The Americans in 1954, prevented elections taking place because they feared the communists would win. A fixed date for the elections was July 1956. In eight years of fighting, 400,00 soldiers and civilians died. But few at the time believed that the Geneva agreement really would end the conflict.

  2. What can you learn from Source A about the reasons for US involvement in ...

    Previously, this was not possible and news from the front line took weeks to filter back to civilians at home. In addition, television had very little censorship, partly due to its nature and because TV networks didn't have enough time to censor footage properly because they had to broadcast as soon as possible.

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

    To help prevent South Vietnam becoming a communist state President Eisenhower sent a small group of 'Military advisors' in June 1954. The advisors were a mix of intelligence agents and American soldiers, their job was to persuade the population not to vote for the communists in the forthcoming elections.

  2. American History.

    Woodward (1819), which protected contracts against state interference. - The concept of the corporation also emerged through federal and state court rulings: corporations, groups allowed to hold property and do business as if they were individuals, were allowed to sell shares where the shareholders were granted limited liability [no responsibility in company's debt beyond original investment].

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

    On the 11th November 1965 the American Destroyer 'Maddox' registered a radar mix-up and thought it was being attacked. The President was told, and he went public and stated they were under attack even though a second message was relayed saying it was an error and not attack.

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

    warning - if one is attempting to woo the people living there to the goodness of one's cause," I would say he is definitely supportive of one cause over the other. But the horrible images on television screens were not the only reason Americans developed anti-war feelings.

  1. Why the US became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam

    President Johnson only used the Gulf Tonkin incident as an excuse to get more involved in Vietnam, and to have US forces attack the Vietcong, he famously said " If we quit Vietnam, tomorrow we'll be fighting in Hawaii and next week we'll have to fight in San Francisco".

  2. Analyse and Discuss the Reasons Behind the Breakdown in the Relationship Between the United States a

    contiguous regions was tacitally agreed; or perhaps, more accurately the areas of these regions where each power would have spheres of influence. This meeting was to prove hugely significant in the years to come: in particular as to the thinking of Joseph Stalin.

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