Cause & Effect
The causes of the Vietnam War trace their roots back to the end of World War II. A French Colony, Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, & Cambodia) had been occupied by the Japanese during the war. In 1941, a Vietnamese nationalist movement, the Viet Minh, was formed by Ho Chi Minh to resist the occupiers. Before World War Two, Vietnam had been part of the French Empire. During the war, the country had been overrun by the Japanese. When the Japanese retreated, the people of Vietnam took the opportunity to establish their own government lead by Ho Chi Minh. In October 1946, the French announced their intention of reclaiming the north which meant that the Viet Minh would have to fight for it. The war started in November 1946, when the French bombarded the port of Haiphong and killed 6,000 people. The French tried to win over the people of the north by offering them independence. However, the people would not be allowed to do anything without French permission! A new leader of the country was appointed called Bao Dai. The Russians and Eastern Europe refused to recognize his rule. They claimed that Ho Chi Minh was the real ruler of Vietnam.
North Vietnam had a population of 16 million. It was an agricultural nation. The Viet Minh trained guerrillas to go to the south to spread the word of communism. Their weapons mostly came from communist China. To the surprise of the South Vietnamese, those Viet Minh who went to the south helped them on their farms and did not abuse them. They had become used to fearing soldiers. Instead, the Viet Minh were courteous and helpful.
During the 1950's, America had developed her Domino Theory. This was the creation of John Foster Dulles, America's Secretary of State. He believed that if one country was allowed to fall to communism, the country next to it would be the next to tumble just as when one domino falls the rest go with it if they are connected. In view of the fear in...
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