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Why did the USA become involvedin Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s?

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Introduction

Question 1: Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s? Before the Second World War, Indo-China was occupied by the French, however, during the war; South-East Asia was under Japanese control. In 1945, the French decided that they wanted Indo-China back. The Vietminh (a Vietnamese communist group) decided they would rather have independence, so they tried to drive out the French. In 1954, the Vietminh surrounded and wiped out the French army at Dien Bien Phu. The French realised that they needed help, and over the next two decades, America was dragged into a costly and disastrous war in Vietnam. The first reason that the USA got involved in Vietnam was because of the USA's fear of communism. After the Second World War, there was an emergence of two superpower countries, America and Russia. America was a capitalist country, and Russia was communist. America hated the idea of communism because they knew that it would change their whole way of life if the USA became a communist country. The citizens of America, especially the rich, did not want communism at all. ...read more.

Middle

There were going to be elections held in South Vietnam, so America sent money and a small number of advisors to Diem to help him prepare for them. However, the elections never happened because Diem was becoming increasingly corrupt. He threw all socialists, communists, journalists, trade unionists and religious leaders into jail. Because of this, opposition groups formed the National Liberation Front. They started to control parts of the countryside, and some people, especially peasants, were happy to support him because they did not like Diem. Ho Chi Minh agreed to send supplies to the NLF which promised to: * Represent all religions and classes * Join Vietnam back together again * Promote economic and land reform In 1960 President Kennedy was elected. He did not like communism, but at the same time he did not want to be seen supporting Diem's corrupt routine. By the time Kennedy was assassinated, there were more than 16,000 American advisors who trained the ARVN (South Vietnamese Army). This shows that American involvement is rapidly increasing. However, the amount of NLF (also known as the Viet Cong) ...read more.

Conclusion

By bombing this, the US was hoping to cut off the Viet Cong's supply of weapons and equipment. This was successful for a while; however, Ho Chi Minh had thousands of people working on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, ready to repair it. So really, 'Operation Rolling Thunder' only delayed the Viet Cong and Ho Chi Minh, it did not stop them. So, in March 1965, Johnson sent 3,500 US marines to Da Nang. America was now at war. In conclusion, I would say that the main reason that America became more and more involved in Vietnam was the USA's fear of communism. The idea of a communist America scared the USA so much. They new it would completely change their way of life, and that scared them. Especially the rich, as they would lose all their money. However, I think the other factors, such as the attack in the Gulf of Tonkin, are also very important. You could argue that if the North Vietnamese never attacked USS Maddox, then it is most likely that Johnson would never have sent in the marines. Each factor, the fear of communism, the domino theory, financial aid, advisors and the military all greatly influence how much America got involved in Vietnam. ?? ?? ?? ?? Charlotte Allen Vietnam ...read more.

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