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

Explain why the USA became increasingly involved in the Vietnam war

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain why the United States became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam. Rona Johnston Vietnam was a tiny country 9000 miles away from the United States, one which many Americans had never heard of before the Vietnam War. This was why it came as such a shock to people all over the world when America became involved with disputes of no relevance to them so far away. In 1945, Vietnam was divided into North and South Vietnam. North Vietnam became Communist under the rule of Ho Chi Minh whilst the south was led by anti-communist dictator Ngo Dinh Diem. On of the most important reasons for America becoming involved was that the West, in particularly the U.S were aware of the threat of Communism from the East and feared that the spread of Communism would eventually engulf most of the world, it was for this reason that the U.S felt strongly enough to support South Vietnam against the communist north. The Americans could not allow Communism to spread any further as they believed in the 'Domino theory' in which if one country fell to Communism then others would quickly follow. ...read more.

Middle

However, the greatest weapon the Viet Cong had was the media, Vietnam was the first war in which images and news reports were sent directly home to be viewed by the American people. This led to widespread outrage and many protests took place in objection of the Vietnam War. The Viet Cong were used to the rough terrain and paddy field areas of Vietnam whereas U.S troops had no experience of this. The Viet Cong were not trained military soldiers like the U.S were, they were ordinary civilians armed with weapons which made it difficult for U.S soldiers to distinguish between the peasant population and Viet Cong soldiers, as a result many civilians were killed. However, the U.S could not back down and send their troops home as this would have meant the mission had been a failure, they were already committed and as a result of this America began to pour even more advisors, troops and money into the area. This also links to America's idea that they were the 'moral guardians of the world', if they backed down they would not only have failed themselves they would have failed the rest of the world. ...read more.

Conclusion

Napalm was used to devastating effects and many people were killed as a result of the effects caused by it. Because it was so difficult to distinguish between ordinary civilians and the Viet Cong soldiers U.S troops were instructed to carry out 'search & destroy' ground missions with the aim of killing as many Vietnamese people as possible regardless of whether they were military or not. The U.S troops aim was to win the 'hearts & minds' of the Vietnamese people however this proved impossible when they were continuously bombing villages and killing innocent civilians. In conclusion, the United States became increasingly involved in Vietnam for a number of reasons, the fear of Communism; the Domino theory and their own self belief being just few. However, the most important reason for the increased involvement was the American fear of Communism and their idea of 'containment'. The increased U.S involvement was due to the fact that they could not bear the thought of Communism taking hold of the West, so when U.S troops began to fail in their mission The U.S felt they had no other choice but to increase the amount of troops and money they were putting into the area. ...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)

    Troops opened fire on the celebrating crowd. Nine people were killed, eight of them children. Two days later, on May 10th, 10,000 Buddhists marched in protest. Diem ordered the arrest of leading Buddhists and their supporters. These actions led to the suicide by burning of the Buddhist monk.

  2. Explain Why The US Became Increasingly Involved In The Vietnam War

    It gives the official reasons and the ones he wants the public to hear. This suggests that these aren't President Johnson's real feelings about going to war. President Johnson stated as another reason for engaging in civil war with Vietnam.

  1. How Useful are Sources A-C to explain why the United States became involved in ...

    Operation Plan 34A involved the sending of Asian mercenaries into North Vietnam to carry out acts of sabotage and the kidnapping or killing of communist officials. As part of this plan, it was decided to send US destroyers into North Vietnamese waters to obtain information on their naval defences.

  2. How Useful are Sources A to C to Explain Why the United States Became ...

    They thought this as they felt it was what god would have wanted, (protection from evil). To add to that, the people of Vietnam felt that they should stick up for what they believe in and fight for the right to keep Vietnam independent.

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

    The military 'advisers' they had so far sent had done little to quell the support for communism in the North and the South of Vietnam. The USA was expecting this to be an easy war thanks to their vast array of technology and specifically trained soldiers.

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

    to stop it falling and communism spreading. The Soviet's had already expanded through Europe, the whole of Eastern Europe falling to communism, Churchill said, " An Iron Curtain has drawn over Europe". This gave a reason for America to increase involvement in Vietnam, to stop another domino falling.

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

    The French General Navarre set a trap by tempting General Giap into attacking the heavily fortified French positions, where they would be obliterated by superior French firepower. The French made a fatal mistake however, they didn't think the Vietminh could put heavy artillery on the surrounding hills, but they managed it, using manual labour.

  2. Assess the importance of the Viet Cong in the Communist victory in the Second ...

    However the anti-war movements, highlighted by the Kent State University killings as well as the ongoing debate between the ?doves? and the ?hawks?, did not permit the stable and devout home front that was required to achieve victory. The final, and in a sense the most crucial, factor highlighting the

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