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The origin of American involvement in Vietnam.

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Middle/High School Level America first became involved in what would become Vietnam during World War II (French Indochina then). When the French fell to the Germans in 1941 in Europe, its colonies in Indochina were taken over by Japan. Japan allowed the France to keep control over Indochina's government. With the U.S. fighting the Japanese but Japan took control of the mineral resources and ports for their own uses. Because the U.S were at war with the Japanese, there was an occasional plane shot down and as the French were peace with the Japanese there the only organization that these downed American flyers could look to for help was a non-governmental organization called the Viet Minh, lead by a man called Ho Chi Minh. During the war, the Viet Minh helped the U.S. fight the Japanese and helped rescue a number of American flyers. The U.S. thought so much of the Viet Minh's help, even though Ho Chi Minh was a communist, help that they sent them a lot ...read more.


By 1954, the U.S. was giving France over $1 Billion a month to help in their fight in Vietnam. It was a losing battle. The French were fighting a people who were fighting for their freedom, for their independence, and the French eventually lost. In 1954, after the decisive French defeat at Dien Bien Phu, the French finally surrendered. In the peace treaty that was signed in Geneva Switzerland in 1954, called the Geneva Accords, France agreed to gradually remove all their troops from Vietnam. The U.S. by this time, however, was not willing to accept a French surrender that would mean that another Asian country would fall to the communists, so they agreed to not fight on the basis that the Americans took responsibility for the southern part of Vietnam while the Viet Minh took responsibility for the northern part. Originally, the Geneva Accords, recognizing that there were two completely different political systems involved (communism and capitalism) ...read more.


When this didn't happen, he, first, encouraged the communists still living in SVN to actively combat the Diem government. This was the start of the guerrilla war in South Vietnam with the southern communists, Viet Cong, fighting the ARVN troops. Americans were not yet involved in the day-to-day fighting except as advisors. In 1959, North Vietnam started infiltrating Northern Vietnamese Army troops into South Vietnam. And the government of South Vietnam started to fall apart at the seams. To keep the south Vietnam government from collapsing, the U.S. had to keep increasing its aid to SVN. When his own generals in a coup assassinated Diem in November 1963, South Vietnam was very close to falling to the Viet Cong and NVA forces. In short order, the U.S. government decided that if South Vietnam was to be saved, it would have to be done through the use of American troops, thus, in March, 1965, Lyndon Johnson sent the Marines into South Vietnam, which began our military part of the war. ...read more.

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