The Vietnam War And Its Subsequent Ties To The Cold War

2789 words - 11 pages

The Cold War was a prolonged period of political and military tension between countries on the side of democracy and those on the side of communism, the major players being the United States belonging to the former and the Soviet Union belonging to the latter (Westad). While the Cold War was known as such because there were no direct wars between the two major powers, there was large scale fighting in Vietnam. The Vietnam War (1954-75) is thought of as a historical consequence of the Cold War and hence a proxy war between the socialist and capitalist blocs, although many historians provide a second perspective, which is that the war was simply a nationalist struggle for national independence and reunification. While the latter argument acknowledges that external factors played a part, it states that the deciding factor that led to the Vietnamese people fighting for their independence was their nationalism and patriotism (Marr). However, it is clear that from the moment after the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was recognized by communist powers China and Soviet Union and America’s subsequent direct intervention in the war in Vietnam that the Vietnam War was no longer a nationalist fight against the French colonialists’ re-conquest, but had become a part of the Cold War.
The Vietnam War started off as a nationalist struggle before turning into a class struggle as foreign powers became involved in the war. However, it is the view of many Vietnamese scholars that see the conflict as mainly a nationalist struggle for national independence and reunification (Marr). Although the role of exogenous factors is acknowledged, it is, according to this view, the force of Vietnamese nationalism and patriotism that motivated and encouraged the participation of the Vietnamese people in their struggle for independence.
In this respect, the nationalist struggles in Vietnam in the early years of the twentieth century were different in nature from the movements of the previous period. The leaders of the new struggles were the radical Confucian intellectuals who were heavily influenced by the Western theories and particularly by the reformist movements in Japan and China. They belonged to ‘the Generation of the Lasts and the Firsts’ as David G. Marr calls them: the generation of the last Confucian leaders and of the first Vietnamese who accepted Western theories (Marr). The defeat of the anti-French movements in the late nineteenth century prompted these patriotic Confucian intellectuals to analyze the reasons for their failure and to find new strategies to wage the nationalist struggle. The development of the reform movement in China, and particularly the successes of the Meiji reform movement in Japan, strongly influenced these Vietnamese intellectuals (Lawrence).
The Second World War (1939–45) radically changed the world order. It also changed the destiny of Vietnam. As war broke out in Europe, Ho Chi Minh left the USSR and quickly moved to south China....

Find Another Essay On The Vietnam War and its Subsequent Ties to the Cold War

The Vietnam War and Vietnam's War History

1012 words - 4 pages World War 2 the French decided that they wanted Indochina back. They did not have enough power though at the time, so they decided to look for help from other countries, such as Britain. Their attempt at retaking Vietnam was an utter failure, and the French retreated from Vietnam following their defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Ngo Dinh Diem was the Premier of South Vietnam beginning in 1954. He was an anti communist, and had his own very

The Vietnam War and Iraq Essay

1261 words - 5 pages During the Vietnam War, between 1955 and 1984, fifty-eight thousand Americans lost their lives, as well as over three-million Vietnamese lost theirs. The financial cost to the United States comes to over one hundred-fifty-billion dollars. The causes of the Vietnam War were derived from the symptoms, components and consequences of the Cold War. The Vietnam War revolved around America’s belief that communism was a threat to expand all over South

Johnson and the Vietnam War

946 words - 4 pages Johnson and the Vietnam War He was determined that he would not be held responsible for allowing Vietnam to fall to the Communists. Johnson believed that the key to success in the war in South Vietnam was to frighten North Vietnam's leaders with the possibility of full-scale U.S. military intervention. In January 1964 he approved top-secret, covert attacks against North Vietnamese territory, including commando raids against bridges

Australia and the Vietnam war

4074 words - 16 pages AUSTRALIA AND VIETNAMOn the 29th of April 1965, Australia Prime Minister Menzies formally announced Australia's participation in the Vietnam War and explained it in the following terms:The takeover of South Vietnam would be a direct military threat to Australia and all the countries of South and Southeast Asia. It must be seen as part of a trust by Communist China between the India and Pacific Oceans.Furthermore, Menzies highlighted that

Canada and the Cold War

1253 words - 5 pages Canada should maintain its opposition on nuclear warheads. The Conservatives had lost the 1963 elections due to the Bomarc issue; the liberals returned to power and made the decision to continue with nuclear warheads. Thus was a great contribution to the war, that helped lead to victory! In conclusion, Canada played a great role in the Cold War and helped contribute to victory in many ways; this includes being part of NORAD, NATO and the Korean

The Cold War and Reagan

1404 words - 6 pages The Cold War and Reagan Topics What was the cold war? What were the causes? The Cold War at Home. -The U.S. involvement. What major roles did President Reagan serve in the cold war? A cold war is defined as "a conflict between nations for national advantage conducted by political, economic, and psychological means instead of direct military action." The Cold War defined by the same source was determined to be "the

Nato and the Cold war

699 words - 3 pages The latter half of the twentieth century has been dominated by the Cold War and the actions and events surrounding it. During this period different alliances and treaties were formed and many of these were institutionalized. One such alliance was the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This organization was set up by the Northern Atlantic Western Powers to combat the Eastern Soviet threat. Today however NATO still exists and plays an

The Cold War And Truman

1363 words - 5 pages preservations about Russia, because his personal agenda and imperial policy where vital to the supremacy of the British Empire. Churchill manipulated Truman and the American public. He caused them to believe that Russia was a legitimate threat to the free world, thus he created the origins of the Cold War. During the Yalta Conference, the United States and Britain were forced to finally confront the diplomatic impact of the Russian military

The Vietnam War

2411 words - 10 pages The Vietnam War was a war between the Capitalist United States and the Communist North Vietnamese army. This war started in 1964 and it ended in 1975, when the US withdrew its soldiers. The US joined the war to stop the spreading of Communism, because they didn’'t want Russia to gain more allies, as they had been in a cold war with them for years. In my opinion, an event is significant if it is still remembered today, meaning that it is used

The Vietnam War

1481 words - 6 pages French colony fighting for its independence. The Vietnam War is the longest war in the history of the United States, so far. The involvement, also called "the Second Indochina War" by some historians, started in the early1950s with economic and military support to French colonial forces until their defeat in 1954 after the battle of Dien Bien Phu; then, the involvement of US military advisors and small special forces in the late 50s and early

The Vietnam War

879 words - 4 pages was threatening to expand all over South-East Asia. Neither the Soviet Union nor the United States could risk an all-out war against each other. The main incentive for the war was to stop the spread of communism, and also the invasion of Vietnam by the French shortly after World War II, as by occupying the country, the French created an imbalance in the cultural lifestyle of the Vietnamese. The Vietnam War was a Cold War military conflict that

Similar Essays

The Vietnam War: Communist Containment And The Cold War

1194 words - 5 pages made an unwise political commitment to Vietnam, which would lead to the longest and most unpopular war in the Nations history. Vietnam represents an important chapter in American history, due to its symbolic meaning of the times in an era where the slogan "make love not war" was prominent, its direct relevancy to internal political conflicts during the cold war; and the amount of commitment the United States was obliged to undertake during that

The Cold War And Its Impact Throughout The World

689 words - 3 pages Throughout the Cold War, Korean War, and Vietnam War the main problem was communism. Although the United States and the Soviet Union were allies in World War Two, during the Cold War the United States and the Soviet Union were known as enemies. The Soviet leaders bragged to other nations that communism would “scrape apart” free-enterprise systems around the world. This attitude angered the capitalists which led into the fifty year Cold War

The Cold War And Its Effects On Airpower Theory

1863 words - 7 pages The Cold War and Its Effects on Airpower Theory Airpower theory prior to and during World War II relied on maintaining the offensive, developing a long range bomber force, and ensuring institutional independence for a separate air force. The Soviet threat, however, dictated the evolution of airpower theory during the Cold War. Following the delivery of the first atomic weapons at the end of World War II, the United States shifted towards a

Opposition To The Vietnam War Essay

1490 words - 6 pages The Vietnam War or “the war that America didn’t win,” was a conflict that took place in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The U.S. got involved in this war because of its policy of containment against communism. This war, however, was about a lot more than about winning or losing, particularly for the American people. During the war and most of the 1960’s, American citizens were protesting several issues. Throughout most of the 1960’s and