The Subversion Of Peace: America In Vietnam The American Government Went To Great Lengths To Insert Itself Into A Place It Did Not Belong.

1306 words - 5 pages

The Geneva accord was signed on 21 July 1954. The decisions made there determined the fate of IndoChina to this day. What was agreed upon had the potential to rectify the harm done by colonization. Unfortunately, none of what was decided upon in Geneva was upheld.In May of 1954 representatives from France, Great Britain, The United States, China, The Soviet Union, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam were several weeks into a session in Geneva discussing issues of Berlin and Korea. At the same time of the conference, the Viet Minh fought the French to a standstill at Dien Bien Phu, leading to the surrender of French command on 7 May 1954. The focus of the conference quickly became the fate of IndoChina. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam presented many demands to the group. They wanted "international recognition of the full sovereignty and national independence of all three IndoChinese states; the withdrawal of all foreign military forces; and elections to be held under local supervision"(Duiker 89). The major powers had their own interest and agenda, and a united Vietnam was not something that they supported entirely. The United States was the biggest opposition to the Viet Minh demands. They wanted the French to keep fighting. But the French did not have the means or domestic support to continue the war. Even Vietnams allies were discouraging of the DRV demands. The Soviet Union and China, afraid of intervention by America, encouraged Vietnam to negotiate and compromise. Even though the Viet Minh had power in Vietnam, they lacked global power, so they agreed to give in. After two months of negotiations, it was decided that Vietnam would be temporarily divided into two zones, the North and the South. Representing the Viet Minh and the Bao Dai government. The country would be unified into one Vietnam after an election of all Vietnamese people was held. Where would the dividing line be, and when would the elections take place was now the question at hand. The Viet Minh wanted the line drawn at the 13th parallel, and the French wanted it drawn at the 18th. The French agreed to compromise and have the line at the 17th parallel, but the Viet Minh refused. That is until large pressure from China convinced them otherwise. And so it was agreed upon that the line separating the North and South would be at the 17th parallel. The date of elections was also finally decided, two years after the Geneva conference in July of 1956. Each zone was to also meet in July of 1955 to prepare for the coming elections. Also decided upon was the barring of remilitarization of the conflict. There would be "no troop reinforcements, no augmentation of weapons, no military bases, and no foreign military alliances on the part of the administration of either zone"(Young 41). To supervise the terms of the agreement an International Control Commission made up of Canadian, Indian, and Polish representatives was established. Representatives at the conference agreed to and signed the Geneva...

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