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Why the US became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam

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Why the US became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam America became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam, mainly because of the domino theory, the fear of the spread of communism. If South Vietnam fell to the communist the US feared that communism would spread throughout Asia and to neighbouring countries. The influence of the previous presidents also caused another main reason for the US to become more involved in Vietnam. But there is one underlining fact; if the 'French had not left, America would not have become involved in Vietnam at all. There are many more reasons for America to increase involvement in Vietnam, and all of these can be listed in long and short-term reasons, such as Domino theory being long term and Gulf of Tonkin being short term. Some of the reasons have higher influence in the increase in involvement in Vietnam, while others being less important (for example the Gulf of Tonkin incident). The most important factor for America's involvement was the Domino Theory, conceived by President Eisenhower, which was originally President Truman's Theory of Containment (Theory evolving into Domino Theory).The theory of containment was the idea of not actually stopping communism but containing it within a country to stop communism from spreading. ...read more.


Diem's failures to stop communism spreading in the South meant that the USA had to get more involved in Vietnam. The USA had another reason to increase involvement in Vietnam to stop the threat of Communism. The American's hoped that the UN (United Nations) would step in and solve the communist problem of Vietnam. But The UN would not do anything because the Russians (who were communist) vetoed the action. America was now unilateral involved in Vietnam. They now saw that they would have to take up a policeman's role to stop spreading of Communism, which led to the President's escalating the War. Another reason for the increased involvement was the influence of the previous presidents. A 'Bitter Heritage' where each President followed on the idea of the predecessor escalating the war. Starting with President Truman's theory of containment, containing communism into one country, which had succeeded in Korea but had failed with China, although the USA did not get involved with communism in China. This theory evolved into Eisenhower's Domino Theory. Both presidents' had put money into South Vietnam to help the French and then the South Vietnamese. By 1961 Kennedy took office and maintained the policy of money being sent some troops to help the South Vietnamese government. ...read more.


This is linked to the French exit; if the French hadn't left then the USA would not have to get involved. America wanted to avoid communism being right on their front door, such as the Cuban Missile crisis. Also each of the President's involved in the Vietnam War all had the choice to not carry on the war, to pull out, but none did. This is due to the influence of the previous president. They got involved by steadily increasing the influence they gave to the Southern Vietnam army. This leading to the failings of the corrupt Diem, leading to the cancelling of the elections, which angered the North, who retaliated by attacking the south, and in response the Americans increased it's troops to try meet the threats of the Vietcong and Communism. But some factors can be linked to other factors, domino theory and influence of the presidents. Also some of the Factors are more important than others, the most important being the Domino Theory, and the French Exit, but the UN not being as important in the reasons why America got more involved. The Domino theory was the justification for the war. The Gulf of Tonkin was only an excuse , French exit was the void that America filled, and Diem's failings, all of which linked to the Domino Theory, which is basically the reason why America got increasingly involved in Vietnam. ...read more.

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