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

Why did the U.S.A. Become Involved in the Vietnam War in the 1950s and 1960?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why did the U.S.A. Become Involved in the Vietnam War in the 1950s and 1960? The Vietnam War was one of the biggest humiliations in American history. The small forces of North Vietnam and the threat of world communism humbled the most power full country in the world. The reason for U.S.A.'s involvement stemmed back to the end of world war two. Throughout the Second World War the forces of the communist Russians and the western democratic powers united to fight against the great common enemy, Nazi Germany. Shortly after, world war two ended the two allies broke apart and the world was divided in to two completely appositive group, these groups were the western capitalist democracies and the eastern communists. When the Russian's red army (communists) advanced over Eastern Europe and onto East Berlin all the countries that they had liberated from the nazi oppression, were forced in to a communist regime. This meant that almost the whole of Eastern Europe had been forced in to communism. This then created great concern among the western democracies especially America, which saw Communism as a plague which needed to be stopped by whatever needs necessary before it contaminated and took over the world. These feelings from the western democracies towards the eastern communist created a rivalry and cold atmosphere between the two Super powers (Russia and USA), which led these two very different ideas. ...read more.

Middle

said, "If the red tide of communism overflows into Vietnam, then Burma, Thailand, India, Japan, the Philippines and obviously y Laos and Cambodia would be threatened". Nevertheless USA involvement in Vietnam began soon after the Japanese surrender in 1945 when it was decided that Vietnam along with Laos and Cambodia would be returned to the French empire. This decision came as a shock to the Vietnamese And on 2nd September 1945 Ho Chi Minh the leader of the communist group the Vietminh declared Vietnam's independence. However the French refused to leave Vietnam because of its rich minerals, and made a decision to engage themselves in war against the Vietminh. By 1952, 90,000 out of the 500,000 soldiers fighting for French rule where either killed, wounded or captured and the French had already spent several hundred million francs on war and were looking defeated. This left them with one option, to ask the USA for financial aid. Which led to there first intervention Despite there initial disagreement with the recreation of the French empire, president Truman decided to give US $ 3 billion to help the French. Despite the USA's financial aid the French suffered a major defeat at Dien Bien Phu in May 1954 that led them to withdraw there troops, and hold a peace conference at Geneva to decide the future of Vietnam. ...read more.

Conclusion

As a counter act to this the US government began patrolling the coast of Vietnam in an approach to prevent the North Vietnam from sending aid to the Vietcong. In Augsut1964 North Vietnam attacked a US patrol ship in the gulf of Tokin. This offence was seen as an act of war by the US and in 1965 the Americans openly decided to declare war on North Vietnam. When president Johnson said "we are in Vietnam to fulfil one of the most solemn pledges of the American nation. Three presidents over eleven years have promised to help defend this small and valiant nation. We cannot now dishonour our word". After this statement the US sent one and half million troops to South Vietnam and began intensive bombing over North Vietnam in order to destroy bridges and supply routs to the Vietcong. As a result of this Russia and China began supplying North Vietnam with weapons. Some of these weapons where used by North Vietnam in their defence against the US but the majority where smuggled to the south through hidden rail tracks known as the Ho Chi Minh trail and many other ways of travel. By this time it was very clear that the USA where more than involved in Vietnam they where now officially at war. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. Why did North Korea invade South Korea in June 1950, and why did USA ...

    And they also learnt that containment and intervention works. Therefore, these events increased the likelihood of USA paying close attention to anything that occurred in their part of Korea, the South. The location of Korea was important to the USA in their mission to stop the spread of communism.

  2. Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam?

    On July 30th, the Destroyer Maddox was sent to Tonkin with orders to stay eight miles away from the coast. On August 2nd, the Maddox reported that it had had an exchange of fire with three North Vietnamese torpedo boats.

  1. Source A is an extract from a book written by John F Kennedy, before ...

    In some respects, you could say that some of the Vietnamese saw the US as foreign invaders, and the Vietcong as the defenders of Vietnam's land and people. This did not help the US either. Then there were the military and strategic reasons.

  2. Free essay

    Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam in the 1950's and 1960's

    war, the fact is that they became 'obsessed' by stopping communism and banded together other countries to set up an organisation, so an event such as the Korean War could never happen again (contradicting the fact the Vietnam War happened).

  1. America In Vietnam, 1953-73

    the view of developments since we entered the fighting in Vietnam, do you think the US made a mistake in sending troops to fight in Vietnam? Yes - 45% No - 46% No Opinion - 9% Directly after Tet - March 10 The same question was asked.

  2. Why was there a fear of communism in America in the 1950s

    The airlift continued until May 1949, when the USSR lifted the blockade. Western forces immediately pulled out of Germany and approved the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany, or West Germany. The USSR responded by creating the German Democratic Republic, or East Germany.

  1. Why Did the USA become involved in Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s

    The next reason why I believe the USA got involved with the Vietnam War was because of the South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem. The next reason why I believe that the USA had become involved in Vietnam was because of the South Vietnams leader, Ngo Dinh Diem.

  2. Why Did the United States of America Become Involved In Vietnam?

    Following the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, Lyndon Johnson, who was up for re-election that year, launched retaliatory strikes and went on national television on August 4, 1964. Although the USS Maddox had been involved in providing intelligence support for South Vietnamese attacks at Hon Me and Hon Ngu, Johnson's Secretary

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