Essay # 1 question: How and why did America come to be so involved in Southeast Asia [“Indochina] in the years after the Second World War?
You may want to consider these and other factors below as you think about, read/research and write your essay: these are not point by point questions to be answered, but are, rather thinking points.
We have seen that Ho Chi Minh founded the Vietnamese Communist movement, and the Second World War gave the Communists their chance to try to make Vietnam an independent country. In 1945, with a Declaration of Independence, the Communists established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. What does Truong Chinh, The August Revolution, have to say about this time and the communists?
What was the First Indochina War? Who won? Why did USA leaders not help at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu?
President Truman had sent the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) to help the French in the fall of 1950. Why?
What did the Geneva Accords do? What did America do about those accords?
Who was Ngo Dinh Diem and what was his government like? What was ARVN? “Nation building?”
Another war began in the period 1959-60, in South Vietnam and in Laos. Why do you think the insurgency started in South Vietnam?
U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) was set up in February 1962, and it demonstrates an increase in United States military involvement in South Vietnam.
Who were the American “advisors” in South Vietnam? What did they do?
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