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

"In its intervention in South East Asia in the years 1950-1964, the USA was more concerned with defending its economic, than its ideological, interests"

Extracts from this document...


"In its intervention in South East Asia in the years 1950-1964, the USA was more concerned with defending its economic, than its ideological, interests" The Cold War is infamous as an ideological battle ground, in relation to American beliefs, the clashes of ideology could be seen to an extent as economic in nature; communism Vs capitalism and thus the two reasons are inextricably linked. Yet as America's longest war, it follows that the conflict was a complicated one. The contributing factors of American involvement changed as the war progressed. The initial reasons the U.S.A became involved were not the reasons that kept them there over 15 years later and thus the reasons America entered Vietnam changed over time. America primarily became involved out of fear of communism and the domino effect, having 'lost' china to communism, and observing the U.S.S.R as a monolithic threat, the U.S believed they could not afford to allow another area in the region to turn communist. ...read more.


Truman did not want to appear 'soft' on communism. And so the original reason for entering the conflict was the polarised ideologies and a matter of geopolitics combined with fear, paranoia and the need to not look weak on the world diplomatic stage. Yet to an extent the intervention in Vietnam was economically motivated as Kolko believed; Eisenhower himself stated in 1954 that South East Asia should not be lost due to the wealth of natural resources there such as tungsten and rubber If the nation became communist America could then not trade with them, and so would not have access to these resources. Japan was also of key importance as an area of trade; coined 'the rice bowl of Asia' the island had an American base and would be a large blow to America if it became communist. America had also poured millions of dollars worth of money into the Vietnamese and South East Asian economy in a bid to stop the conditions which they believed cause communism. ...read more.


This began as early as the 1950s; after deciding not to support the decisions made at Geneva and splitting Vietnam literally down the 17th parallel, America were committed to upholding and maintaining the situation they had helped create, withdrawing aid and advisement would make the nation look weak and unfair, as Westmoreland later stated they had become 'Morally locked into Vietnam'. This idea of being morally accountable progressed the further in America got, the more troops that were sent, the more damage, the more lives lost and the worse America would seem internationally. No president wanted to be seen as the one who 'lost Vietnam' and so the quagmire theory has been propounded by many historians; each president was obligated by the actions of those before him and this graduated commitment made it harder to get out of the 'quagmire'. Prestige and credibility played a huge role, not only international but within their own country. Domestic pressure International pressure Fear of embarrassment Situation by 1964 conclusion ...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 History of the USA, 1840-1968 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 History of the USA, 1840-1968 essays

  1. Revision notes - the USA 1945 to 1980

    23,000 troops were needed when rioting broke out. In 1962 Robert Kennedy started the Voter Education Project to encourage blacks to register to vote. The Voting Rights Campaign was the result. The NAACP conducted campaigns to increase the number of blacks who were registered to vote.

  2. Why did the US get involved in Vietnam in 1965?

    Leading up to the invasion of Vietnam tension was rising in the cold war the Berlin Wall and bay of Pigs in 1961, Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and the stand off at checkpoint Charlie in 1963. This tension made the US get involved in Vietnam as they felt that

  1. Was it domestic pressures or events in Asia which caused US intervention in Korea?

    Due to the fact that America had failed to help the nationalists in China, it meant they had to redeem themselves and the main way they could do this was by stopping the Soviets from spreading communism any further. Japan also had a major part to play in why the US intervened in Korea.

  2. Assess the reasons why American military intervention in Vietnam increased from 1954

    Between 1953 and 1957 over $1 billion of US economic and military aid was put into South Vietnam but Diem failed to achieve stability in a confused Vietnam. Much of the problem rested with Diem himself, a vain and corrupt leader whose rule was characterised by nepotism, persecution of certain religions, bribery, corruption and a lack of reform.

  1. Discuss the influences on Malcolm X and how they helped form his ideology in ...

    After leaving prison he spent his time and energy on this new found faith to help propagate the teachings of the co-founder of this movement, Elijah Muhammad2. By 1958 Malcolm X became minister of Muslim Mosque number 7 in New York.

  2. Assess the importance of the President in the expansion of the USA from 1815-1917

    Overall it can be seen that the Manifest Destiny influenced Polk?s ideas for expansion that led him to declare war on Mexico and make subsequent land gains. President Lincoln took a different approach to the expansion of the USA. The Emancipation Proclamation was an order by Lincoln in 1863 to

  1. 'Johnson alone bears the responsibility for the escalation of war in Vietnam in the ...

    LBJ also had an over the top nature; he would use a sledge hammer to crack open an egg. He would always try to get things over quickly and show his ruthlessness over everything. He would get really short advisors to make himself look big and scary, to give himself some sort of satisfaction.

  2. To what extent did the Domino Theory cause continued US support for South Korea ...

    To a certain extent, it could be suggested that Domestic politics in the USA transformed and altered Truman?s decisions in South Korea. President Truman?s popularity had fallen sharply in domestic polls, and Republicans accused him of losing China to the communists.

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