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

Escalation of American involvement in Vietnam

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the escalation of American involvement in Vietnam from 1960 to 1968. Why did the USA ultimately fail to defeat the North Vietnamese and Vietcong. In 1960, Kennedy was elected as the new president of the United States. As the Cold War raged, Kennedy had ascended to power with the attitude that Americans would "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and success of liberty." Kennedy was not one to back down from a fight or to allow the name of his country to be soiled. After a failed attempt at invasion in the Bay of Pigs, the movement of Laos from capitalism to communism, and the creation of the Berlin wall, Kennedy decided to use Vietnam to prove the strength of the United States. Kennedy and his young advisers believed that not to resist communism in Vietnam would be another example of weakness. The American involvement had 4 main stages: Indirect involvement, financial support, political involvement and military involvement. In 1961 military advisers were sent to South Vietnam to train the South Vietnamese army. American involvement developed through a series of escalations, as the South Vietnamese regime proved increasingly unable to defeat the Viet Cong by themselves. ...read more.

Middle

When the French exited Vietnam by 1954, the U.S. was quick to step in to begin taking control of South Vietnam. As an excuse to justify American intervention in Vietnam, President Dwight D. Eisenhower introduced the Domino Theory. This theory explained that if South Vietnam fell to communism, this would result in all of Southeast Asia doing the same. As we know now, the Domino Theory turned out to be false and inaccurate. The U.S. government also feared that the eventual spread of communism could potentially lead to the United States and influence Americans. USA thought that if they help South Vietnamese, it would help to defeat communist North Vietnam. They chose Ngo Dinh Diem to be president of South Vietnam. However, choosing Diem as the ruler was one of the biggest mistakes made. His religious persecution against Buddhists, who were the majority of civilians, quickly alienated the population. A devout Catholic, Diem's self-righteous outlook caused him to do more harm than good. His destruction of several ancestral graves of Buddhist enemies, for example, ignited the flame for mistrust in the government and only furthered the Vietnamese view of Americans as selfish imperialists. ...read more.

Conclusion

The government did not stop the showing of images of the war to the people USA, yet this led to the creation of anti-war movements. A lot of people started to doubt the tactics of US in Vietnam. As more dead bodies came back to US, people stopped believing that US has a chance to win this war. People were worried, that it's not worth sacrificing so much for a small, unknown country like Vietnam. The soldiers that came back from Vietnam felt guilty about the damage they did and the number of people they had to kill. US government was under the pressure from people, yet couldn't do anything to stop the war quickly. It failed to further keep the reasons for US intervention justified. The US involvement in Vietnam grew between 1961 and 1968 through military involvement and the increasing number of troops that were sent to Vietnam. Despite the technology and size of army that US had, they lost the war for a number of reasons. US was using wrong tactics, soldiers were not prepared to fight in the jungle, supply routes were too long and eventually there was a strong opposition to war in USA. US troops fought against an enemy that simply refused to lose. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 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 GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 essays

  1. History Controlled Assesment- Success' of USA military

    the Vietnam War were forced to join the war against North Vietnam and the Viet Cong. More on this "draft" will be incorporated into the next few paragraphs. Representations one, shows John Filo's Pulitzer prize winning photo of a student at Kent state university who has been shot dead (Jeffery

  2. Australia's Involvement in the Vietnam War

    Australia's alliance with Brittain no longer provided strategic security in the Asia Pacific region and as a result the US became out strongest ally. In order to ensure Australia's security the government signed treaties with countries in the region; these included ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand and United States)

  1. Explain why the United States became increasingly involved in the war in Vietnam

    were not likely to turn against the NLF, who offered them land and communal living without the harsh realities of tax and so on, under Diem in the south - making possible the increase of communist sympathisers in Vietnam. Later in 1962, Senate Majority Leader, Mike Mansfield, reported to JFK

  2. How useful are the sources A to G for explaining why there was an ...

    - it's clear that the media used an en masse approach to their reporting of the Vietnam War, ensuring that the readers of their reports were to be influenced by their ideology on the subject; whether it was because the papers' were more left-leaning or were simply against the war

  1. Why was there opposition to the Vietnam war?

    From source B, we can see that Heren felt that too many media attention was given to the Anti-war movement and draft dodgers, and not enough to the 'overwhelming amount that did what was required of them.' Heren tells of when he watched a many farewell scenes of young men going off to fo their duty.

  2. How was the opposition to the Vietnam war protrayed in contemporary literature, film and ...

    The Chaplin supports their bravery and courage. He lies on the bed and thinks of the men and hopes to God that they have found some sort of courage from his speech before the war. In one of the last verses it talks about the soldiers having the fate of their country in their hands.

  1. Why did Americas involvement in the Vietnam War become increasingly unpopular with the American ...

    Particularly significant in undermining support for the war at home was the growing realisation of the brutality of the war. US troops were trained to see the enemy as not human so that they felt able to kill them. The tactic of ?Search and Destroy? were intended to help find

  2. How was opposition to the Vietnam War portrayed in contemporary literature, film and popular ...

    Another artist was Loretta Lyn who wrote the song, "Dear Uncle Sam". The song is strong opposed to the Vietnam War the whole way through. The song is about a mother writing to Uncle Sam about her son's death. Throughout the song the mother seems to still be in favour

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