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Why did the USA become increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam?

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Introduction

Why did the USA become increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam? The Vietnam War lies within the period of history known as the cold war. It was not a war as such, but a war of words, propaganda and threats. During this time the USA feared one thing above all, communism. They felt threatened, and anxious with communist beliefs. The USA dreaded what was called the "domino theory" this was the idea that if one country fell to communism those surrounding it would fall too, like a row of dominoes. In 1949 communists took over in China and began to give help to Ho chi Minh, the leader on North Vietnam. The Americans now saw the Viet Minh as the puppets of Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese communists. They feared a communist plan to dominate all of South East Asia. ...read more.

Middle

However France were not succeeding against the experienced guerrilla fighters and their tactics. The experienced guerrilla's attacked and then disappeared into the dense jungle, France was unable to keep control of territory it had conquered. The Viet Cong were also fighting for a cause they strongly believed in and had a much stronger morale than the French. Another reason the French were failing was lack of support; locals didn't want the French to be there, they wanted an independent country. A meeting was held in Geneva, later named the Geneva peace conference. Britain, France, China, the Soviet Union, USA and Vietnam met in May 1954. This was held the day after the infamous battle at Dien Bien Phu, where the French had suffered a magnificent defeat and were forced to surrender in their thousands. Eisenhower wanted the French to carry on fighting but they refused, Dien Bien Phu had been the last straw. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 1965 it seemed the South's government was about to collapse; the USA now decided to get directly involved, and started sending thousands of troops into Vietnam. I believe that America tried very hard not to get too involved in the war. They tried to help from the sidelines, but it was inevitable. There were several long and short-term reasons for why the USA became involved however it seemed communism was the leading factor for why they first felt the need to get involved. The fear of communism spreading and how one man having so much control over a country could have disastrous effects was what sparked American interest. After the Geneva peace conference, the attitude of the Americans had to change as they realised France could not win the war on its own, and as one of the super powers of the world they had to step in to help. It was a gradual process where Americans involvement was to become more and more significant. Houdah Al-Hakim 11C ...read more.

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