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

How useful are Sources A to C to explain why the United States became involved in Vietnam

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How useful are Sources A to C to explain why the United States became involved in Vietnam? All 3 sources give different point of view on why America entered the war in Vietnam and they all have value, however there are limitations as well. Together they help us to explain why America got involved in the war. Source A is an extract of a speech made by President Johnson a month after Operation Rolling Thunder therefore it is a contemporary source. Because of this, the source is more than likely to be bias as Johnson has already made his decision about Vietnam therefore he is going to be defending that decision. Johnson is addressing the public thus the speech becomes rhetoric and persuasive. This is a limitation and does not provide accurate understanding. Johnson is speaking to defend his actions and this is clear from the content of the source. He talks about an 'Even wider war' which links in with the domino theory and the spread of communism to neighbouring countries of Vietnam. We know that free elections were not allowed in South Vietnam however Johnson says one of their objectives was 'freedom of the people,' this was clearly not one of them. ...read more.

Middle

President Johnson doesn't mention why he wants to 'contain' Communism and why he does not like this system, which is partly because it means that the country cannot be as productive. In addition, he does not mention the Truman Doctrine or what his opinions are on it when he explains the only reasons they should go into war. This makes it less useful because historians will not be able to see whether Johnson thought it was worth sending supplies into Vietnam, because from what he says, he does not appear to think that Vietnam is a worthwhile country to get involved with. Johnson does not explain how he would feel about going into war against Vietnam if the Vietnamese caused a threat to America, other than the spread of Communism, like they did in the Gulf of Tonkin. Therefore, historians cannot justify whether he is saying Vietnam is not worth fighting for because they have been no real threat to America yet and whether he would actually change his mind if they became a threat. Johnson does not comment on why the public and politicians agree to get involved in Vietnam, which makes this statement less reliable because there is no evidence to back up this point. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, historians don't know what he is a professor of, and he could be a Professor of Science for example. Therefore he may not have studied the war in great depth, which makes the source slightly less trustworthy, and many US intellectuals were opposed to the war anyway so this source will not be as useful, as he will be making the same points as a lot of other US intellectuals. The source is trustworthy because Chomsky would have had access to more sources due to the interview being after the war. He will have been able to look at sources like a private conversation President Johnson was having, as well as photos of the destruction that was caused to South Vietnam. However Chomsky is anti-war and is known to be an extreme radical. Chomsky refers to these sources as being 'official' and includes quotes around the word, which might suggest they are not. Nevertheless there is same justification in believing that the USA were not just defending the South Vietnamese against communism but protecting its own interests in the Far East. Chomsky states 'The U.S. did not want an independent South Vietnam.' This is justified by the fact that South Vietnam did not have free elections. ...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. How Useful are Sources A-C to explain why the United States became involved in ...

    When we study the source itself we can see it is not bias because it is the president speaking in private so he would be expressing his true feelings. The source being a private conversation therefore has no purpose. This source is not meant to give direct facts but as it is a private conversation we can obtain them.

  2. How useful are sources A to C to explain why the United States became ...

    the bombing and attacks on Vietnam, and he could just be identifying reasons that will help receive most support from the public for the war. He is speaking after the Gulf of Tonkin incident where two American ships were attacked so he is speaking in the 'heat of the moment'

  1. Coursework on discussing whether television was an important reason why the United States lost ...

    Source J is a photograph showing an anti-war demonstration at Kent State University in 1970. This tells us that the United States public was against the war in Vietnam. I know from my own knowledge that they would have found out about the war through the media and in particular television.

  2. Why Did the United States of America Become Involved In Vietnam?

    This speech has biased views "we are also there to strengthened world order, around the world-from Berlin to Thailand-there are people whose well being rests on the belief that they can count on us if they are attacked". This also tells us if Vietnam is left alone to its fate,

  1. Vietnam coursework essay 1 - How Useful are Sources A to C to explain ...

    There are also other reasons that he mentions, the domino theory and the containment policy are both mentioned and the source also shows that the Americans were scared of communism.

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

    However, the source also has its limitations, as the speech was spoken by President Johnson and so is going to be biased in order to get all of the American public to support his ideas. President Johnson is talking to the public and as a result of this is going

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

    Between 1962 and 1964 the USA doubled the amount of troops in Vietnam, but President Kennedy said he would not "blunder into war, unclear of aims or how to get out again." But whether they realised it or not the USA were becoming increasingly involved in the conflict, they rapidly

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

    They did this because America knew that anti-communist France would prove an extremely valuable ally against their fight against worldwide communism. The French, financially supported by the United States, invaded Vietnam in 1946 to bring it under their control once again.

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