The Vietnam Conflict And Its Effects.

1447 words - 6 pages

The Vietnam conflict began in the late nineteenth century. TheFrench conquered Vietnam and made it a protectorate. For nearly fortyyears, Vietnam had not experienced settled peace. The League for theIndependence of Vietnam ( Viet Minh ) was formed in 1941, seekingindependence from the French. On September 2nd,1945, Ho Chi Minhproclaimed it independent of France. The French opposed theirindependence from 1945 to 1954. The first representatives of deGualle's government landed by parachute in Saigon and Hanoi on August23rd, 1945. The French wanted to reestablish their rule in Vietnam butwere beaten at the battle of Dien Bien Phu on May 7th, 1954. TheFrench Expeditionary Force tried to prevent the Viet Minh fromentering Laos and Dien Bien Phu was the place chosen to do so. TheFrench were not very careful and this allowed the Viet Minh to cut offtheir airway to Hanoi. After a siege that had lasted for fifty - fivedays, the French surrendered. Ho Chi Minh led the war against Franceand won.After the war there was a conference in Geneva where Vietnam wasdivided into two parts along the seventeenth parallel. North Vietnamwas mainly Communist and supported Ho Chi Minh, while the south wassupported by the United States and the French were based there. Therewas still some Communist rebels within South Vietnam. These were theViet Cong. The South Vietnam ruler was Ngo Dinh Diem who was anti -Communist. At the conference, Laos and Cambodia became independentstates.North Vietnam wished to unify North and South Vietnam throughmilitary force. Since the United States feared the spread of communismin Asia, John F. Kennedy provided economic and military aid to SouthVietman to prevent the takeover by North Vietnam. At this time, thiswas still a civil war. The United States were not yet officiallyinvolved.The North Vietnamese resented the little intervention by theUnited Sates and so, three Vietnamese torpedo boats fired on theU.S. destroyer, " Maddox " on August 2nd, 1964. The " Maddox " hadbeen in the Gulf of Tonkin ( international waters ), thirty miles offthe coast of Vietnam. On August 3rd, 1964, Johnson gave the right " toattack with the objective of destroying attacking forces " ( Pimlott1982, 36 ). Retaliation air attacks began on August 3rd. Their aim wasto destroy North Vietnam's gunboat capability. As two more UnitedStates destroyers were supposedly sunk, more air and sea forces weresent ( Wicker August 5, 1964, 1 ). Up until now, the U.S. hadrefrained from direct combat. This is when the United States formallyentered the Vietman War. The U.S. did this for two reasons. We wishedto maintain the independence of South Vietnam and we had to prove toallied nations that we would help them resist Communist overtaking. AsCongress was about to vote whether or not to allow the combat to moveinto North Vietnam, the North Vietnamese attacked a major U.S. airbaseat Bein Hoa. On February 7th, 1965, Johnson ordered retaliationbombing on North Vietnam. Rolling Thunder was...

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