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

What can you learn from Source A about the reasons for US involvement in South Vietnam?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Vietnam Coursework 1. Study source A. What can you learn from Source A about the reasons for US involvement in South Vietnam? Source A is an extract from a book written in 1956 by the then US Senator, John F Kennedy, who later became President of the USA. Kennedy refers to the "red tide of communism, overflowing into Vietnam", which is principally the Domino Theory. Kennedy also implies that he thinks communism is negative and that he considers it a menace, stating that; "Cambodia would be threatened" by it. Kennedy emphasises that Vietnam is "the cornerstone", and "crucial", to the "free world", Kennedy states that Vietnam's "political liberty" is an inspiration to all parts of Asia. This shows us that Kennedy believes Vietnam to be very important, and indicates that he would be willing to protect it. When he became President, Kennedy initiated the Vietnamese war, so his comments about it are significant as to why America became involved in South Vietnam. 2. Study Sources B and C. In what ways does the evidence of Source B and C help you understand the reasons for US involvement in South Vietnam? Source B is a statement made by the US State department and so is the official opinion of the American government concerning Vietnam. In Source B, the US government stresses that the war in Vietnam is a planned and calculated attack on the "sovereign people". It also says that South Vietnam is a neighbouring state, when in fact it was still part of Vietnam and the war that was going on was a civil war. The statement also compares Vietnam to what happened in Korea in 1950, proclaiming that the determination of the Vietcong is no greater than that of North Korea. This helps us to understand the main reason why America became involved in Vietnam, because they thought that they as would be successful, as they had previously been in Korea. ...read more.

Middle

The information in the article is too vague and so it is not very useful as an indication of public opinion. Source G, is a table showing the public view of the most important problems facing the USA. From the years 1965 to 1968, it shows the main problem the people thought was facing the USA was Vietnam. The information in Source G is from a 'Gallup Pole', which is an respected, independent survey and a range of different groups of people are questioned. We do not know how many people were questioned for the pole, but because the information is from a 'Gallup Pole', we know that this source is reliable. However, this source is not that useful, as it is not very detailed about what the people think. The source tells us that from 1965 to 1968 American people recognised Vietnam as an issue, but it does not tell us what particular aspect of Vietnam people thought was important. Source I is an article that describes what happened at My Lai, although My Lai occurred in 1968, this article was published in 1970. Because this article was not available to the public until 1970, this source is not terribly appropriate to this question. However, because the government concealed the events of My Lai, it does indicate that the government was weary of public opinion and reaction to Vietnam. It also shows that they wanted support of the people and that they knew that people were capable of reacting in a negative way. This highlights the fact that the public was not as informed, as they should have been, and so makes public opinion less valuable as evidence. 5. Study Sources G, H, I, J, K and L. Use the evidence of these sources, and your own knowledge, to explain why public opinion about the war in the USA changed between 1967 and 1970. ...read more.

Conclusion

The more facts a reporter could give, the more popular the story would be. This resulted in a much greater informed public. Television made the events in Vietnam seem nearer and more relevant. Previous wars had been removed from the general population and they did not feel a part of it, nor did it affect them in any way. However, now the war was being broadcast straight into their homes, they could do little to keep away from it. Footage from the front line was broadcast repeatedly and this had the effect of drilling events into the public. The war became a part of their lives and they knew exactly what was going on. This must have had an effect on their opinions as to whether what they were seeing should be happening. There are of course other reasons for the changing attitudes but in I think that they were played a less significant role. Magazines and newspapers, had been around during previous wars, and were uncensored for the most part. Therefore, they reflected similar events as television but they also put across various opinions, particularly in cartoons such as the one in Source L. To a lesser extent, radio also informed people of what was happening in Vietnam. There was also the growing pop culture in the US. Protest singers such as Bob Dillan influenced other people's opinions by putting across theirs in such a creative medium. Songs such as the one in Source K effectively put across their opinions in a poignant manner that made people stop and think about whether the war was right or not. In conclusion, I would say that there were definitely other reasons for the change in the public's attitudes to the war but I think that television was the most important. Television allowed the public to actually see what was happening right at the front line. I think television raised public awareness enormously and provided the public with hard, uncensored facts, facts that had never been open to the public, in previous wars. ...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. To what extent can it be argued that the use of guerilla warfare tactics ...

    The VC would always try and avoid conventional battles with US troops; rather they favoured picking off stragglers or as mentioned before springing surprise attacks and then disappearing. The troops could not see their enemy and could therefore not use their weapons to destroy them.

  2. To what extent was involvement of USA in Korean War Different from its involvement ...

    supported by UN, Russia rejected to do so in the North. The South became the independent Republic of Korea and the North adopted the name of Democratic People's Republic of Korea, very much in the lines of Chinese system. The tension now remained very high at either sides of the line.

  1. The Vietnam War was a war of communism against Capitalism. The North of Vietnam ...

    They could see what America was doing in destroying Vietnam and they wanted to do something o stop this from happening. The US were fed up with the criticism that they were receiving so they decided that something needed to be done that would win them the war built still avoid criticism.

  2. Post-Cold War Realities

    Iran is now stronger and more powerful than its new neighbours and no longer vulnerable to conventional intimidation or threats from that direction. A result of the fact that it is now an autonomous middle power, capable of permeating the power vacuum in predominantly Islamic central Asia and the Caucasus,

  1. Vietnam - reasons the US lost the war.

    With the aid of the United States, still there was no victory possible. By 1954, the Vietminh defeated the French. The French decided to return back home by the United States decided they couldn't leave. Vietnam decided to make Ho Chi Minh their president.

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

    but tells me that there are other ways the United States public found out about the tactics used by the United States soldiers in this case, newspapers and books but as the statement suggests, colour television would be more effective and images of the My Lai Massacre would have still been shown on television during the war.

  1. Hiroshima Coursework This piece of coursework will concentrate on three questions, all source based.

    On February 11th 1945, Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt met up to sign a treaty stating that the Soviet Union had to invade Japan after Germany had surrendered. (VE day - 8th May). The military equipment was available and cost $2,000 million.

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

    The train has also got an engine which is being powered by the US economy which shows that the American public are funding the government which are trying to create the 'great society' in Vietnam. However, the train is also showing that American policies are wrong and going to get

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