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

Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam? Vietnam is a country in South-East Asia which has borders with Cambodia, Laos and China. In the 1880's they were attacked by the French and by 1883 were under the control of the French as were Laos and Cambodia. These countries were known as the French Indochinese Union. In 1885, the Emperor of Vietnam, Han Nghi, started a revolt against the French and by the beginning of the 1900's political parties were formed and they began to demand independence from them. During the Second World War the Japanese took over the French Indochinese Union and although they allowed the French to stay in power, they controlled the country, freely using the roads, railways and airfields. The Japanese were only interested in what Vietnam could provide for them during the war and forced the people to grow food for them. In 1941, a communist resistance group, the Vietminh, were formed by Ho Chi Minh and they fought for independence. During the years of the war, the Vietminh were provided with weapons and supplies by the OSS (the American Office for Strategic Services). ...read more.

Middle

Although Vietnam was over 9,000 miles away from the USA, the Americans were afraid that communists were taking over the world and that they should be stopped. The USA followed a policy of containment where they were not going to allow any more countries to turn communist and were going to 'contain' the expansion of communism. In 1954, President Eisenhower put forward the 'Domino Theory' where he believed that, as the countries of South East Asia were closely linked together that if one country fell to communism, then the others would also fall, like a row of dominos. This is why the USA supported the leader of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem. He was not a communist but a catholic and he hated everything that communism stood for. Along with his brother, Nhu, he ruled South Vietnam as a dictator. He tried to find all the members of the Vietminh and get rid of them. He treated the Vietnamese peasants with contempt and had little respect for their Buddhist religion. One example of this was when a Buddhist protest about flying flags on Buddha's birthday ended with South Vietnamese Civil Guards opening fire on the protesters. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Americans became increasingly involved in Vietnam for a number of reasons. They were afraid that communists were going to take over the world and wanted to stop them. They had spent billions of dollars in an effort to stop communism, with over 500 million dollars being spent in Vietnam in the early stages of the fight against communism in that country. Once the Americans had shown support in South Vietnam, by sending money, equipment and troops, it would have been very difficult to just pull out of the fight. Also, once American troops began to be killed and injured by communists, the Americans had to fight back. I think that the most important reason for the increasing US involvement in Vietnam was the amount of money it had spent on fighting against Communism. If they had left Vietnam to sort out its own battles then it could have become a totally communist country. If this had happened, then the American people would have complained about the amount of money that had been spent fighting against communism, only for a country where a lot of money had been spent to come under communist rule. ...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. A Divided Union? The USA, 1941-80

    In this respect the war was a big boost to the civil rights movement. By 1946 the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, had 460,000 members. Nevertheless there were riots against blacks in many cities in the USA in 1943 and more than 30 blacks were killed and more.

  2. Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam?

    You knock over the first one and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly." President Lyndon Johnson was also a strong supporter of the domino theory, he said, "If we quit Vietnam, tomorrow we'll be fighting in Hawaii and next week we'll have to fight in San Francisco."

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

    shower the North Vietnamese with heavy artillery, whereas the Vietcong in the South used guerilla tactics; making quick attacks and then disappearing fast before the Americans could catch them, they also used booby traps. The first operation that the Americans started was "Operation Rolling Thunder" which was the bombing of

  2. Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam?

    The doctrine helped launch containment and Marshall Aid strengthened Western Europe against the threat of communism. This reason is linked to the Domino Theory as Truman supported the French in the hope that communism would not spread into Vietnam and hence preventing it from spreading to the rest of the world.

  1. Why did the USA become increasingly involved in Vietnam?

    Fortunately, at the same time as this the French were trying to win back French Indo-China (which included Vietnam), which they had lost during the Second World War. If France won back French Indo-China then the USA would not need to take any military action as the French would not allow Communism to spread into their controlled zones.

  2. 1920's USA.

    People began to care more and more about their own wealth, and found that they had more money at their fingertips. This ties in with the words easy money, which refers to the Stock market. With more money in their pockets, Americans were always on the look out for ways in which they could invest it and even increase it.

  1. 'To what extent had the USA become two different societies by the eve of ...

    Between 1830 and 1860, 5 million people from Europe immigrated to the USA, with the vast majority of these immigrants settling in northern towns such as New York and Boston. By 1860, 1 in 6 northerners were foreign born, compared to 1 in 30 in the south5.

  2. America In Vietnam, 1953-73

    in VC areas were actually targeted for spraying with the lethal Agent Orange. The use of Agent Orange isolated the Vietnamese people from the Americans even more, putting the people against the Americans. 1962 - 5 130,000 acres of crops were blighted.

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