You all know that the United States was involved in a major military conflict during the Cold War ... but why? What was America's "path to war"? Using the resources below and Creating America, your task this evening is to write a description in YOUR OWN WORDS of the causes of American involvement in Southeast Asia. Pretend you are writing it as a summary for on online encyclopedia or textbook. Your description should ...

  • be between two and four paragraphs
  • continue the following terms - France, Ho Chi Minh, communism, Ngo Dinh Diem, military advisors, Gulf of Tonkin
  • be IN YOUR OWN WORDS (remember, it's easy to check this online)
  • contain two images THAT RELATE TO YOUR WRITING
  • Should end with the first Marines landing in Vietnam in 1965

Need some help? How about ...
Creating America
Into Vietnam (Overview) from ABC-CLIO
**Vietnam War** - the **Causes**
Timeline of the Vietnam War
Vietnam Online Timeline
Causes of the Vietnam War video below

Vietnam Path to War

Before WWII France controlled Vietnam. The Vietnamese didn't like the control of the French and a revolutionary leader rose, Ho Shi Minh. His group was communist but the people were behind him, revolting against the French. During WWII Japan took over Vietnam. The US joined with France and Ho Chi Minh's group the Viet Minh to beat Japan because Japan was an enemy during WWII. After Vietnam's independence in 1945, the french wanted to take control again. A war broke out in 1946 between the Frech and Vietnam.

The US wanted to stop the spread of communism in Western Europe by the Soviets. Truman agreed to fight with France against Vietnam becuase we needed their help to oppose the USSR. When Eisenhower became presidenthe continued the fighting in Vietnam. Truman and Eisenhower both belived that if one country fell to communism a domino effect would happen with the surrounding countries. In 1954 the French asked for peace and they decided ont he Geneva Accords which separated the country into the north and the south The north was communist and controlled by Ho Chi Minh. In the south, the ani-communists were led by Ngo Dinh Diem. Eisenhower sent US advisors to aid the south for nation building.

Diem did not create a democracy inthe south and there were commmunist groups in the south, he called them the Viet Cong. The northern government supported the Viet Cong. In 1963 JFK was the president ofthe US. He continued to support the southern vietnamese government fueled by the many cold war crises including the bay of pigs and the cuban missile crisis. Diem would not take the advice of the US to make reforms. They overthrew Diem in 1963 and went against JFK and killed him. Three weeks after this event JFK was assassinated. Lyndon Johnson became president.

Due to the chaos in the southern vietnamese government, the Viet Minh and the northern government controlled most of the south. The military advisors wanted to bomb north vietnam. A shooting off the coast of north vietnam caused congress to support this decision. A US destroyer was torpedoed but was not torpedoed, as was another possible ship two days later. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed, congress agreed, resolution gave Truman permission to fight in Vietnam without declaring war. The US bombed nothern Vietnam in1965.

gulf.jpgexternal image diem.jpg