Vietnam: The Eisenhower and Kennedy Years
Post World War II
The years following World War II were a time of economic boon and prosperity for most Americans. At the same time, the Iron Curtain was firmly in place, the cold war was heating up, and the fear that communism would take over the world like a zombie apocalypse was almost palpable. In international politics during the post-war years the United States sought to establish itself as the leader of the free world. We no longer took the isolationism position that had been established as far back as George Washington and generally maintained until December 7, 1941.We began to consider ourselves the “world’s policemen”. President Eisenhower
In 1953, after assuming the presidency, Dwight Eisenhower tried to encourage the French to finish what they had started and take control over the Vietminh in Vietnam. He felt the French failed because they had not fought hard enough or long enough and they did not have enough resolve or military capability to defeat the determined soldiers of North Vietnam (Moss, 2010 p.43). During a press conference in 1954 the president spoke about the “domino theory” and the spread of communism: Finally, you have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the "falling domino" principle. You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly. So you could have a beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences. (As cited by National Park Service). Eisenhower and his aides believed in military power over political influence in preventing the spread of communism. Eventually Eisenhower became the first U.S. president to be directly involved in Vietnam. Eisenhower felt that American forces had the wealth, weaponry and determination to help build and support a modern democratic state. It was decided at the Geneva accords that Vietnam should...
References: Moss, G. D. (2010). Vietnam: An American Ordeal (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
National Park Service. (n.d.) The Quotable Quotes of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Press conference, April 7, 1954. Retrieved from http://www.nps.gov/features/eise/jrranger/quotes2.htm
Please join StudyMode to read the full document