The Vietnam War

Powerful Essays
The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War was caused by many factors that contributed to the warfare in Vietnam during the years of 1959 to 1975. Most factors were the beliefs held by people who wanted to change or to prevent Vietnam becoming an Independent Country. Many people suffered due to these beliefs and policies and that the Vietnam War is now considered as one of the most distressing moments in the 20th Century. So why did the US become involved in the Vietnam War? What was Ho Chi Minh thinking when he was fighting for Nationalism? Who was Diem? And why was the Vietnam War have such a devesting impact on both the US and Vietnam.

The civil war between the French and Viet Minh was a major cause of the war. It is said that the Vietnam War, or the Second Indochina War, was just a continuation of the First Indochina War. The First Indochina War started because of Vietnam’s demand for independence from French colonial rule and France’s refusal to allow it. The battle continued from 1946 to 1954 until the French suffered a humiliating victory at the hands of the Viet Minh at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. The French then assented to the demands of Vietnam and called for a Geneva conference with other world leaders as well as representatives of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. They drafted the Geneva Accords, which were a set of agreements that the Vietnamese and French would adhere to. The Accords stated that the country would be temporarily split at the 17th Parallel with Ho Chi Minh ruling the north and the Emperor Bao Dai decreeing the south until elections could be held in July 1956 to decide on the government for the re-united Vietnam. However the peace brought about by this Accord was short-lived as the agreements was broken by Diem and South Vietnam who refused to call for elections. Consequently, war was declared between the north and south of Vietnam and the Second Indochina War took place.

One of the most important feature when describing the Vietnam War was why the United States became involved in the war, and their reasons for conflict amongst the Vietnamese in the North of the 17th Parallel. It is known that the US was involved for many reasons, particularly their belief in the Domino theory where if one country fell to Communism, the rest of South-East Asia would fall along with it. Yet there are many other reasons why the US became involved. Howe...

... middle of paper ...

...ernal political force. After Diem's success against Communist bases in the South, however, southern Communists convinced the Party to adopt more violent tactics to guarantee Diem's downfall. On January 1959, the Communist Party finally approved the use of violence to cause the downfall of Diem's government. In May 1959, and again in September 1960, the Party confirmed its use of revolutionary violence and the combination of the political and armed struggle movements. This led to guerrilla warfare against South Vietnam civilians and US troops. Therefore, another set of reasons why the Vietnam War happened that marked the history of both Vietnam and America.

As you can see, many factors caused the Vietnam War from the US Involvement with the South Vietnamese troops, to many ideologies, to Vietnam’s involvement in the Indochina war, and to the charismatic leader of Ho Chi Minh and his Viet Minh. All, and many others, help cause the war and form what is known to be one of the most daunting and unforgettable wars in the 20th Century.


World Book 2005, World Book Publishers, Author Unknown

Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation.
Get Access