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Remembering Vietnam Essay

1362 words - 5 pages

United States involvement in the Vietnam War was based on the foreign policy of containment, which was adopted after World War II. Containment is the prevention of the spread of communism. The involvement of the United States started during the year of 1954. The political, social, and economic effects of this war are still prominent, even over fifty years later.Since the beginning, the Vietnamese have been fighting for self determination. Fighting for the ability to self-govern and fighting wars, internally and externally, have dominated Vietnamese history. Beginning in 111 B.C., the Chinese first gained control of Vietnam. Between 939 and 946 A.D., the Vietnamese finally regained control of their land. After defeating the Chinese, the Vietnamese looked to neighboring lands to conquer. During this expansion, a civil war was going on. The North and South began fighting in the sixteenth century, and lasted for the following two centuries, for control of Vietnam. Two protective walls were built by the North, near the 17th parallel. Portuguese, Dutch, and French merchants and missionaries were the only connections the Vietnamese had to the West, until the Industrial Revolution reached Vietnam. In 1954, with France leaving Vietnam, some force had to step in and prevent the trigger that would cause Southeast Asia to fall to communism from being released.There were many causes of the Vietnam War. One was France's previous control of Vietnam which they wanted to regain. France left Vietnam in 1954, their surrender following the fall of Dien Bien Phu. Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy sent economic and military aid to South Vietnam after France left. Another cause was our policy of containment. President Truman adopted the policy of containment in 1946 as his foreign policy, which resulted in our involvement in many countries, including Vietnam. A third cause of the Vietnam War was the domino theory. This theory is the belief that if one country fell to communism, then the neighboring countries would do the same. We believed that if Vietnam fell to communism, then that would be just the beginning of the domino trail of Southeast Asia, which would lead to India.In the Vietnam War, there were many influential people. Some were for communism, others nationalism. Some were American, others Vietnamese or Soviet. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon had a large affect on the war. Although Presidents Truman and Eisenhower did not have as much involvement in the Vietnam War, they both believed in the domino theory. Truman and Eisenhower sent economic and military aid to help France regain Vietnam as a colony. Ngo Dinh Diem received aid from the United States of America for a short while, but it stopped when he failed to keep his end of the bargain of a stable reform government in South Vietnam. President Kennedy sent over 15,000 military advisors and removed Ngo Dinh Diem from power. President Johnson ordered air strikes on North Vietnam and proposed the Tonkin...

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