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

History Coursework - How useful are sources A, B and C in explaining why the USA become involved in Vietnam?

Extracts from this document...


History Coursework - How useful are sources A, B and C in explaining why the USA become involved in Vietnam? Each of these sources gives us some insight into why the USA became involved in the Vietnamese war. However, whilst the sources can be useful on one hand they all have their limitations. Source A is taken from a speech that was delivered by President Johnson in April 1965. Source B is part of a private conversation between President Johnson and an unknown person in May of 1964. The last source, source C is lifted from an interview which Noam Chomsky is being interviewed in October 1982. The first source I will examine is Source A. This is helpful in giving us an idea of what President Johnson wanted the American public to believe about the war that they were fighting in, like the reasons for the USA becoming involved in a matter that was so far away from home. He states that one of the reasons for this was that the USA had a promise to keep. This is made clear as he says "we fight because we have a promise to keep" in the speech. ...read more.


What makes this source more reliable than the others is that it is a private conversation. This indicates that Johnson never intended for what he was saying to be leaked to the media or the public, so what he is saying is surely true as there'd be no need for him to lie. He also sounds informal in the way he is speaking, using colloquial language, for example the word 'damn' is used in one sentence. On the other hand this source has it's limitations as well. He states that he thinks it is not possible to fight the war in Vietnam as it is so far. This is untrue; he knows they can fight the war as he has sent thousands of troops to Vietnam along with US marines and chemical and other weapons. In a way this makes the source unreliable. Source C, the final source, is the only one of the three sources that is not spoken or delivered by President Johnson. It is taken from Noam Chomsky being interviewed in October 1982. Within in this source Chomsky puts forward what he believes are the real reasons for America becoming involved in Vietnam in the first place. ...read more.


Source B displays President Johnson's personal views about the situation in hand. This helps us clarify two things; one - how the President personally felt about what was happening in Vietnam, and two - that President Johnson was either lying in his speech of April 1965, or he drastically changed his views about Vietnam between the time of his speech and the time of the private conversation. Source C gives us unofficial reasons for America's involvement; this is unlikely to be biased about the reasons as he was not involved in the war, meaning he has no motive for lying about them. This makes the source quite reliable, in some ways more so than the other two. Although, Source C does miss out some vital details and doesn't mention a word about Communism, which is the main reason America became involved, not one of the sources mention anything about the policy of containment or the Truman doctrine, which makes them less useful because no opinions about these policies are shown. Overall, I would say theses sources give us some insight into why the USA became involved with Vietnam, however this insight is limited. We are not given the whole story or full reasoning behind the USA's involvement. In some ways Historians would find these sources useful but not explicit enough. ...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. The Vietnam War – G.C.S.E. History Coursework

    It also shows the extent and depth of the propaganda war. Also, because this is a speech Mr. Nixon may be letting is emotions run wild and therefore he may not be thinking rationally. This is an unreliable source because it tells us of the view of the American President but not of the rest of America.

  2. Cross-referencing of Sources (3.3.2) Vietnam

    They didn't care what they destroyed good or bad. By observing these sources and using my own knowledge, I will say the napalm and Agent Orange was hardly effective at all in America's attempt to win the war. I say this because the U.S lost the respect of her own people and that of other countries.

  1. Analysis of Vietnam Renunciation Speech - Lyndon B. Johnson General: ...

    He again uses "I believe" and quotes another great and highly-loved American president John F. Kennedy, who was also willing to "pay the price...burden...hardship...to assure the survival and success of liberty" - the liberty on which the American society is built on.

  2. The six-day war Coursework

    They show that Arabs are the aggressors, not the Jews as source E suggests. They also contradict E on the strength, however with the benefit of hindsight source E is correct on this subject, as we know that Israel was strong, not defenceless.

  1. American History.

    Bill of Rights - Madison also took the initiative here and wrote 19? Amendments for the Constitution, 10 of which were ratified on December 15, 1791 and became known as the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights helped rally support for the new gov't and mitigate AF opposition.

  2. 3 presidents

    Wilson however avoided conflict and kept American status as the 'dad' of the world at large. The Zimmerman telegram made relations worse and the loss of American lives at sea almost made war a certainty. America declared war or Germany with the promise of Wilson being that he would make the world 'safe for democracy'.

  1. Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s?

    As mentioned before, the Vietcong and the NLF used guerrilla military tactics. They avoided all pitched battles because they could not match the American forces. Guerrilla tactics suited the South Vietnamese Communists because they knew the jungle terrain and they knew how to use it to their advantage so that

  2. The aim of this essay is to evaluate if the end of the Cold ...

    The divide was further created when the US bombed Japan in August 1945 which raised the mistrust between the two super powers and marked the beginning of the arms race. The hopes following the end of the World War II to replace the anarchy in the international system was instead filled with antagonism between Communism(the East)

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