The Vietnam War and Events Leading up to the War Essay

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The Vietnam War has roots from ancient Vietnam's rule by colonial and imperial powers. In 1407 China ruled ancient Vietnam, then in late 1800s France took control and established Indochina. In the late 1800s, Nationalist movements began. They wanted more self governance and less French rule. The main movements were held by the communist leader Ho Chi Minh, the founder of the militant nationalist organization the Viet Minh. During WWII when France was occupied by Nazi Germany, it lost its hold in Vietnam, and Japan took control of Vietnam. The Viet Minh resisted the Japanese and extended its power throughout Vietnam. When the Japanese surrendered at the end of WWII, Ho Chi Minh took the capital of Hanoi and declared Vietnam an …show more content…
The new leader ended up being just as corrupt and ineffective. JFK’s, successor Lyndon B. Johnson, promised to fulfill JFK’s commitments and keep the USA fighting in Vietnam to a minimum. After North Vietnamese forces allegedly attacked US Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, Johnson began to send troops to Vietnam. After Johnson's “Americanization” of the war, there were nearly 400,000 US troops in Vietnam by the end of 1966.
As the United States became increasingly caught up in Vietnam, it followed the strategy of wearing away at the communist forces, attempting to bury them under a storm of casualties, however, the Viet Cong’s guerilla tactics, such as booby traps and mines, demoralized the USA troops, leading to the use of unconventional weapons like napalm and the Agent Orange. Napalm is a very flammable gel that burns the skin and rapidly deoxygenates available air, causing suffocation. Agent Orange is a herbicide defoliant. A defoliant is a chemical sprayed on plants to cause its leaves to fall off. Agent Orange’s primary objective was to reduce the dense jungle undergrowth to prevent the Communist forces from using it as cover. The secondary objective was to drive civilians into Southern Vietnam controlled areas. About 4.8 million people were exposed to Agent Orange, resulting in about 400,000 deaths and 500,000 children born with birth defects.
Running through Vietnam’s neighboring
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