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

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Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam during the 1950's and 1960's Throughout the 50's and 60's the USA became steadily more and more involved in the Vietnam conflict in a bid to halt the spread of communism and pursuing their belief in 'The Domino Theory". Vietnam had been under French colonial rule until the late forties when the Vietcong started a campaign that they hoped would end in Vietnams independence which meant the French had to be defeated. The struggle came to a head at the battle of Dien Bien Phu where the Vietcong defeated the French. The French soon left leaving Northern and Southern Vietnam separated, the north ruled by Ho Chi Minh the South by the dictator Ngo Dinh Diem from Saigon. ...read more.


These strategic hamlets were fortified villages that the Vietnamese were expected to leave their homes and move into. Although the peasants were offered safety, food, more adequate shelter and advanced farming methods many refused to leave their homes. The Americans aim was to get the peasants on their side by offering them these hamlets but it had the opposite effect, they did not want to leave their homes so hated the 'yanks'. Gradually the US brought in more and more troops to hold back the Vietcong but the remaining Vietnamese felt they were getting too involved so more joined the VC and it became a vicious cycle. Politically Vietnam had been very unstable, it had been split in two following the French departure. ...read more.


Lyndon Johnson took over the vacancy and immediately supported the 'domino theory' but was reluctant to pour money into South Vietnam. He pledged that a great society was being built back home but soon the first television pictures were broadcast that showed the full horror of the conflict and his pledge was made a joke. He did not like being made a joke of, especially so early in his term so wanted to prove himself by acting quickly. Johnson was provoked further into greater involvement when the US surveillance ship, USS Maddox was attacked whilst on exercise in the Gulf of Tonkin without warning. The domino theory was the main reason for US involvement but $3 billion invested in France and the increasing threat of communists in Vietnam gave further reason for involvement. By Oliver Robertson Oliver Robertson ...read more.

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