• 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 in the 1950's and 1960's?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

GCSE History - Vietnam Coursework 1) Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam in the 1950's and 1960's? The USA became involved in Vietnam in 1949, under fear of communism spreading further into South East Asia as Mao Ze Dong had won a communist victory in China in the same year. The USA and USSR were the two most powerful nations in the world at this time and were both involved in a Cold War with each other. Each had opposed the way in which the other country was run, with USA being Capitalist and USSR being Communist. When the USSR exploded its own atom bomb in 1949, it became clear to the US that they were on equal level with the Soviet Union, as it appeared that they were no longer the only country with nuclear power. Every time a nation fell towards communism, the USSR became stronger, weakening the USA and other capitalist nations. Vietnam at this time was a French colony, which was occupied by the Japanese during World War Two. ...read more.

Middle

He said, "You have a row of dominoes set up. You knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly". They thought that if Vietnam would fall into the hands of communism, then other countries that used to belong to Indo-China would also follow suit, in the same way as a row of dominos. With the US determined not to let the 'Domino Theory' take affect, they decided to increase involvement in Vietnam in order to fight back the spread of communism. The USA first got involved in Vietnam with financial aid. The USA sent money to France first to help fight against the Japanese. They then sent money to South Vietnam in order to help fight back the Vietcong, which were also given a helping hand by China. In 1954, the USA began to greatly fear the spread of communism and therefore prevented elections taking place as they felt that Ho Chi Minh in the North supporting communism would win. ...read more.

Conclusion

This lead the US congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin resolution on the 7th August 1964, which gave Lyndon the freedom and power to "take all necessary measures to prevent further aggression and achieve peace and security" in Vietnam. This meant that Lyndon could take the USA into a total war in Vietnam, and lead to Operation Rolling Thunder to begin in 1965. This was a gigantic bombing raid in North Vietnam where 8 millions bombs fell to the ground killing thousands of people over 8 years. Military involvement increased further and by 1969, there were half a million US soldiers present in Vietnam. With all the military involvement in Vietnam, it shows the commitment the USA had in stopping Communism and the USSR from getting stronger, and giving them the 'one-up' in the Cold War. Therefore the USA became involved in Vietnam to stop the spread in communism, and to stop the USSR from getting stronger as China had fallen into communism back in 1949. The USA did not want the 'Domino Theory' to take affect, and firmly believed in maintaining Capitalism, so consequently had no choice but to get involved in Vietnam. ...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. Did the power of television force the US to leave Vietnam?

    As we already know there were elections held in 1964. President Johnson knew that a tough Vietnam policy would go down with the voters. On his election he declared; "I am not going to be the president who saw south East Asia go the way China went".

  2. Why was USA involved in Vietnam War?

    That is when the American involvement increased. The Gulf Tonkin Incident occurred in 1964, the name was given after two American ships were attacked by North Vietnamese gunboats while they were in international waters. In response to this, the American Senate gave Johnson the power to give armed support to

  1. The Vietnam War - why the USA became involved and how the media covered ...

    He simply could not afford both of them. The strain it would put on America's finances would be unacceptable and so he broke his electoral promise and axed the Great Society in favour of the war and Source H is an interpretation of this.

  2. Escalation of American involvement in Vietnam

    This was not the case in American front. As the war continued US troops started to doubt more about the need to be involved in Vietnam and cared more about their own survival rather than the fight itself. North Vietnamese were more experienced than young US troops, who lacked the moral.

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

    It is therefore useful for giving us some idea why there was a contra-militaristic viewpoint in the U.S. and why people were prepared to act upon that. Source C Source C, an extract from the publication of personal memoirs in 1982, gives us a personal perspective to an individual soldier's

  2. Why was there opposition to the Vietnam war?

    He says there were people getting upset, but above all there was acceptance. He states he's never seen a TV camera covering these, that they are all covering stories of men being drafted. Alot of the media focus went to things like the March on the Pentigon in 1967, which was the first big anti-war demonstration.

  1. question two vietnam

    because the troops had risked their lives fighting in that war and should have been treated with respect not treated as lepers. The human cost of the war also had a great impact on the American people, 58,000 soldiers lost there lives and 153,000 were severely injured.

  2. How coverage of Vietnam in the USA led to demands for peace

    Previously the year before in September, the communists had launched a sequence of attacks on American garrisons causing the Americans to think that the communists were finally engaging in conventional warfare. The Americans were sure to crush the communists in open combat and sure enough they did resulting in the loss of 90,000 men on the communist side.

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