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

Why Did America Get Involved In Vietnam In the 1950’s and 1960’s?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

WHY DID AMERICA GET INVOLVED IN VIETNAM IN THE 1950's AND 1960's? In order to understand America's involvement in Vietnam it is necessary to comprehend the depth of their obsession with stopping the spread of Communism. This lead them to assist France in their struggle to uphold their empire in Indochina of which Vietnam was a part. The reason that America has developed such a hatred for Communism as the 20th century progressed is that they became enemies with the most powerful Communist country in the world, Russia. Being the most powerful capitalist country in the world America felt it was in their interest to prevent further spread of Communism around the world. This confrontation became known as The Cold War. In 1949, the Cold war spread to Asia, as China became a Communist country, followed by a Communist threat in Korea soon before the Vietnam war started. America failed to prevent Korea becoming Communist and lost 30,000 men in the process. ...read more.

Middle

Senator Joseph McCarthy was responsible for completely ridding the USA of Communism. He made it his duty to make America see Communists as the enemy within, and to seek out all Communists and Communist sympathisers in the USA. Once found they would most probably lose there jobs and never become employed again. Prior to the Vietnam War, part of the French empire, Indochina, had become unstable due to Nationalist forces fighting for independence for the French colonies, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The US government found it necessary to support France and its empire so that it remained one of the most influential capitalist countries in Europe. They had also already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in supporting France so they felt they should carry out what they had already started. Unfortunately for the USA, the Nationalist forces, The Viet Minh (a Communist dominated movement), led by Ho Chi Minh, succeeded in their battle for independence and the Geneva Conferences were held in 1954 to decide what would happen to Vietnam. ...read more.

Conclusion

They gradually increased their forces by way of what was later called the Ho Chi Minh trail until in 1964 they had over 100,000 Vietcong guerrillas in the South. Meanwhile US assistance to the South was increasing. Later that year there was an attack on the US destroyer, the Maddox, in the Gulf of Ton Kin, by the North Vietnamese. Partly because President Johnson felt the need to take tough action due to the forthcoming Presidential election, this triggered direct American military involvement. Johnson asked for a resolution expressing US determination to support freedom and protect peace in Southeast Asia. Congress responded with the Ton kin Gulf Resolution, expressing support for "all necessary measures" the President might take to repel armed attacks against US forces and prevent further aggression. In addition it was becoming clear that without direct US military involvement the South Vietnam government would be incapable of defeating the Vietcong. To summarise, America's determination to contain Communism and its linked support for France and Indochina, led to their involvement in Vietnam, which gradually escalated to a full scale war. Daniel Allan 11GS ...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. Many peoples have contributed to the development of the United States of America, a ...

    At this violent expression of hopelessness the northern white community drew back rapidly from its reformist stance on the race issue (the so-called white backlash). In 1968, swinging rightward in its politics, the nation chose as president Richard M. Nixon, who was not in favor of using federal power to aid the disadvantaged.

  2. Why did America get involved in the Vietnam War

    They still retained the more conservative attitudes of the 1930's and 40's. But, young people were playing an increasingly more important part in public opinion on the war at that tmie. Youth culture came to the forefront during the 60s.

  1. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    The Lebanese Army was ripped into sectarian pieces. Army officers and troops entered into combat alongside the warring factions, while others remained under the nominal command of Army Chief Hanna Said. The latter commanded little authority even before the break-up of the army. Still others went home and did not take part in the fighting.

  2. Armed forces.

    First of all, she could immerse herself into European politics and economics. However, the competition on this front was particularly fierce; French, Italians, Austrians and a myriad of other powerful nations would ensure that England would only be one player in a field of many.

  1. Explain why there were such different reactions in the USA to the country’s involvement ...

    Back home in America, the people began to realise that the war was now becoming serious, and Vietnam was voted as the most important problem for the country for the following 5 years. As the number of US soldiers in Vietnam increased so did the death rate.

  2. Explain why there were such different reactions in the USA to the country’s involvement ...

    There was no proper discussion or decision taken as to whether or not America should commit itself to fighting in Vietnam. President Johnson had to decide whether to intervene in a more decisive manner than either of his predecessors. He was ambivalent and viewed Vietnam as 'a raggedy-ass fourth rate country', undeserving of American blood and dollars.

  1. Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam in the 1950’s and 1960’s?

    The Vietnamese organise resistance groups against foreign rule, the Vietminh being a communist group led by Ho Chi Minh. After the Japanese surrendered on August 15th 1945, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed Vietnam as an independent republic. The French however were reluctant to relinquish their empire and sent troops to Vietnam.

  2. Describe the Military Tactics used by both the USA and the Vietcong Forces In ...

    They also then redistributed the land equally between people; landowners were also punished for previous crimes. This meant that peasants would feed and hide the NLF soldiers from the ARVN and the Marines. They motivated the people telling them that if retaken by the Americans or ARVN then the land would be taken back and given to the previous landowners.

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