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

    It seemed to them that the peasants themselves wanted communism and that they were fighting for no one. When they returned home to America many of them spread these views and feelings among the American people, telling them that the Vietnamese peasants they were fighting for had turned on them

  2. What were the reasons for America to become increasingly involved in Vietnam? The second ...

    The fear of communism links with the domino theory. They had become obsessed with the spread of communism in Asia and also felt that other communist countries like Russia and China were putting more influence on the countries around them.

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

    Using the Domino Theory to explain the USA's next step to stop communism from spreading. They started sending large amounts of weapons and troops to Vietnam. Chomsky saw the World as economic. He saw that Vietnam had lots of resources, USA wanted resources, and trade.

  2. Explain why the USA became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam.

    It became known as The Battle of Dien Bien Phu. The French used conventional tactics and wore an eye-catching uniform making them an easy target. For the French, it was a desperate attempt to retrieve its empire in Indochina. The Vietminh however, were camouflaged and used bicycles to travel through the forests to access the French.

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

    As the end of National Socialism and Japanese militarism became inevitable during the course of 1944, the war aims of the victors became settled in the minds of the probable victors. It soon became apparent that both the USSR and the USA had different end games in mind, which as

  2. American History.

    - The Townshend Acts (1767) were on trade goods [paper, glass, tea, etc.] but were different from the Navigation acts b/c they (1) applied to items imported from Britain and (2) were designed to raise money to pay for the salaries of royal officials [this is no good...remember, the power of the purse].

  1. Explain why the United States became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam.

    countries that attended were the USA, the UK, France, China, and the SU, and there were representatives for North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Mutually, they agreed on the retreat of French troops, the initiation of a cease-fire and a new regional agreement.

  2. The role of Saddam Hussain in serving the aims of America in the Middle ...

    Washington also worked towards igniting the Iranian revolution in 1978 through exploiting the popularity of Khomeini who used to live in Iraq and was very popular in Iran both amongst the people and the mullahs. Once Saddam Hussain became the strong man in Baghdad, he managed to discard al-Bakr and replace him as President of Iraq in 1978.

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