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

Vietnam coursework essay 1 - How Useful are Sources A to C to explain why the United States became involved in the war in Vietnam?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Vietnam coursework essay 1 How Useful are Sources A to C to explain why the United States became involved in the war in Vietnam? Historical sources vary in how useful they are, so historians have to analyse them. I have been given 3 sources about the Americans and Vietnam. Source A is more useful than not. It is useful because it does actually tell you many reasons why America joined the war, although not directly. For example, when Johnson says "We fight in Vietnam because we have a promise to keep", he is actually talking about the Truman Doctrine and containment. This is where Truman said that America would help any country fight off the communists if they attacked them. Johnson also talks about many other reasons America joined the war, like The Domino Theory and Political legacy. The source also tells you the reason the American government used with the public, they said their objective was the "freedom of the people of South Vietnam". You would also expect Johnson to lie in this source as he is trying to make the war sound good to the public. However he does not lie at all, it is all truthful although he doesn't tell you everything. However the utility of source A is limited because of the Provenance. Johnson is speaking to the public a month after the war has started so he can not say anything bad about the war or he would sound stupid. ...read more.

Middle

This source is also limited. You don't know who Johnson is speaking to. If he is speaking to another politician he may still not be saying what he really thinks, or he could be speaking to close friend who he trusts and be telling them everything. It could also be made up as we don't know how it was recorded, if it was just a private conversation. Also it still does not cover all the reasons that the Americans got involved in the war. It misses out again that the Americans and Diem never had fair elections and fails to mention that nobody liked Diem and the strong north. This means that it is not perfect as it does not give you all the facts. So overall I think that source B is more useful than source A as it has more reasons to be believable and it is less likely that Johnson is exaggerating. However it is still not perfect as it still has problems with the provenance and the reasons. Together Source A and B are much more useful as they can be used to back each other up. In source A you do not know whether Johnson actually believes what he is saying but because he says it again in what is probably an environment with less pressure it is more likely to be true. ...read more.

Conclusion

I know this to be wrong. The North Vietnamese were assassinating 4000 South Vietnamese government officials a year. And his theory that the war was in fact against the south doesn't make sense as there were millions of bombs dropped on the north as well. However there are some useful things about the source. That it is after the war is useful in some ways as there will not be as much emotion about the war and people will be able to speak with out so much backlash and be able to think more clearly. It is also useful to get an alternative view about the war and see what the other side thought. Noam Chomsky did get some things right like that the "south was devastated". It was. America dropped a lot of bombs on the southern jungle and destroyed a lot of it because it was trying to get the North Vietnamese, who were hiding in the jungle. So this source is really not all that useful as it does not give many facts or fit with the knowledge that I already have. However it does give another view point which is useful So in conclusion I think that these sources do give you quite a lot of information. However even with all three of them together it does not give you all the reasons why America joined the war. There is no mention of Diem or the strength of the North and the weakness of the south and the provenance of all three of the sources makes them not 100% believable. 8/10/05 ...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)

    Secret South Vietnamese commando raids were planned to find this out. South Vietnamese commandos attacked. North Vietnamese set up a series of radar stations along the Gulf of Tonkin, during the night of 31st July 1964. The American destroyer, USS Maddox, assisted in the attack by monitoring the signals sent out by the radar stations.

  2. The Vietnam War – G.C.S.E. History Coursework

    What the father does is simply defend his daughters, and everyone's right to free speech. There is nothing provocative in this source simply a statement and then a few rhetoric questions. The bad points are that the man may be suffering grief because of his daughter's death and saying what he not normally say.

  1. Mao Essay

    the world, only behind the Bible, this shows that even though it has been many years since Mao's death his ideology still lives on.24 A revolutionary hero must also be inspiring, they must be able to inspire others in order to gain followers and become successful.

  2. Cross-referencing of Sources (3.3.2) Vietnam

    Also the source doesn't mention anything about killing the innocent people, the writer tries to sound objective. Another thing is that this source was written in 1990, which is 17 years after the war, therefore this source is considered to be a secondary source.

  1. America In Vietnam, 1953-73

    Diem's government was corrupt, oppressive, very unpopular but US support kept him in power-Diem's family dominated his gov't and South Vietnam to their own benefit - his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu and Madame Nhu(who was First Lady as Diem was unmarried)

  2. The six-day war Coursework

    was Egypt who ordered out the Un troops, and the source says "the departure of UN troops brought war closer" The sources use all of the above evidence to against outside parties (i.e. the USA and Russia), but this is not the whole story, the Middle East countries were also to blame.

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

    It seemed to them that the peasants themselves wanted communism and that they were fighting for no one. When they returned home to America many of them spread these views and feelings among the American people, telling them that the Vietnamese peasants they were fighting for had turned on them

  2. Vietnam Coursework Sources Questions

    This meant America was fighting an unseen enemy. 4. Study Sources F, G and I. How useful are these sources as evidence of the public's reaction in the USA to the Vietnam War in the mid-1960's? Source F shows how the majority of the US public felt about Vietnam.

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