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United States' Involvement In Vietnam Essay

3671 words - 15 pages

United States' Involvement in Vietnam

In World War Two, Japan captured Vietnam, situated in South-East Asia,
and part of the old French colony Indo-China, from the French. When
they did the Vietminh, a Vietnamese resistance organisation, led by Ho
Chi Minh was formed to fight against the Japanese. At the end of the
Second World War Ho Chi Minh, who was a Communist, announced the
formation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Yet, at the Yalta and
Potsdam Conferences it was decided to split Vietnam into two. North
Vietnam was to be under Chinese control, and the South would be under
British control. However, in 1946 it was agreed that the French would
be allowed to take over again. This led to a guerrilla war started by
the Vietminh, against the French. The French were struggling to win
this war, and found it even more difficult in 1949 when the Chinese
decided to help the Vietminh after becoming communist under Mao
Zedong, after the USA had spent $2 billion dollars supporting
anti-communists. This was also the year in which the USSR exploded its
own atom bomb, which meant the USA was no longer the only nuclear
power. The French asked the USA for help but were refused it, as they
first disapproved of the French. After China became communist the USA
put $500 million a year into the French war effort and helped them set
up a non-Communist government in South Vietnam. In 1954 the French
were defeated at the decisive battle of Den Bien Phu.

At the Geneva conference in April 1954, the foreign ministers of
Britain, France, the USA and the Soviet Union decided to meet and try
to bring peace in Vietnam. They decided that Vietnam would be divided
into two halves, North Vietnam would ruled by Ho Chi Minh and South
Vietnam by a strong opponent of communism, Ngo Dinh Diem. It was
decided that the French troops would withdraw from Vietnam and the
Vietnamese people would be allowed to choose whether to live in the
North (Communist) half or in the South (Capitalist) half. In 1956
there would be a general election to choose whether the country should
be united, and who, out of Diem and Ho Chi Minh would rule Vietnam.

Although Vietnam was over 9000 miles away from the USA they were
threatened by the fact that Ho Chi Minh was the most likely winner of
the 1956 election in Vietnam. This would mean Vietnam would be a
communist country. Communism went against all of the USAÂ’s political
ideas, and they felt endangered by the way it was spreading, in the
Soviet Union, China and from the Korean War. America first became
involved, after the communist victory over the French in Vietnam.
This, frankly, scared America, who felt that the world would
eventually been taken over by communism, and something had to be done.
By supporting the South Vietnamese government, the US felt as if they
were helping...

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