The Vietnam War Essay

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Vietnam was so significant to the United States partly as it would be the first war they would lose. It also had a tremendous financial impact on the country and the casualties were also more in the public eye than ever before due to the media. They learnt that:

"a long war for limited objectives, with its steady stream of body bags, will not be supported by the American people" (Martino, 1996, p37).

Some suggest that the US should have avoided any involvement in the war. However, it is important to consider the political climate of the time when passing judgement. The aim of this analysis is to explore
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Ho was determined to achieve independence for the region. The French wanted to regain power and took badly to Ho's proclaiming the former Indochina as 'The Democratic Republic of Vietnam' in September, as the British had persuaded the allies to return power to the French in October (Palmer, 1984).

At this time bi-polarity was not yet fully entrenched and Ho appealed to the U.S. in his September speech to the masses, drawing on The American Declaration of Independence (ibid.). America influenced the celebrations and professed its friendship to the new state. However, this did not last and reasons for America's turnaround are many. During WW2 the US had viewed Indochina as of limited importance but they began to reassess the situation (Herring, 1986).

France responded to Ho's proclamation by enlisting Britain's help in expelling the Vietminh from the south of the country, creating a division between Ho's North Vietnam and French South Vietnam. This was followed by fruitless attempts to negotiate an agreement between the French and Vietminh that lasted over a year. For the Vietminh, unification was vital for the country's survival as food production was mostly in the south, but the French refused to budge. Hostility increased until, in November 1946 France shelled Haiphong killing 6000 civilians, tragically beginning the Vietnam War (ibid.)

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