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Richard Nixon wanted to use
- · air and possible even Nuclear power against communists in Asia to reinforce the French.
- · Nixon saw that if Vietminh would win it would not be a victory as some Vietnamese over others but a victory of communism
Eisenhower was not keen on using American power in
- · Vietnam. A meeting was held with top advisors, vp, sec of state, along with members of congress. Lyndon Johnson was the leader of Democratic party and he did not want US to intervene in Vietnam.
- · Johnson and Eisenhower knew Churchill had no disire to help the French so US would enter alone.
- · Outcome of meeting was Eisenhower sent John Foster Dulles to UK to see if British were interested. They were not to French ended
As a result
· May 7 1954 French lost battle of Dien Bien Phu
- · 1954 - (France, China, Soviets, US, Cambodia, Laous, Veitnam)
- · American sec of state John Foster Dulles went to Geneva. Did not want to be around the Peoples Republic of China. Hurried home.
Outcome was 2 agreements
- · July 20, 1954 ceasefire between Vietminh and the French. Drew a line and Vietminh went north and French went south
- · July 21, 1954 Final Declaration: All parties agreed that within 2 years there should be a free election in Vietnam. Even though country was divided along 17th parallel by the ceasefire, they would then be reunited.
South East Asia Treaty and Treaty Organization (SEATO)
- · September 8, 1954
- · (Counterpart to NATO, US trying to separate communists from rest of the world.
- Included Australia, Thiland, Phillipines, New Zealand, Pakistan.
- · None of the countries (Cambodia laus Vietnam) of french endo china were in the treaty.
After Geneva in addition to SEATO the gov
· in Saigon was beginning to change. Americans supported Ngo Dinh Diem
He enjoyed some success.
- · Siezed control of Saigon from Binh Xuygen (the mafia French cut a deal with to police Saigon)
- · Staged plebecide in 1955 to allow people of south vietnam to have a republic or oust Bao Dia.
- · Ngo Dinh Diem became the president of the republic of south Vietnam. US during this period gave additional support to him.
Meanwhile the Gov of Ho Chi Minh began to distribute land
· from wealthy peasants to landless peasants. Part of the communist system, but there was not much land. This created a rebellion because they took land from people that didn't really have much to begin with.
Great achievement of Ngo Dinh Diem was
· resettlement of northerners. A number of catholics also moved to the south and other additional Vietnamese. They were resettled in the south and given land. This was the land reform program in the south.
Beyond this about 100,000 peasants got land from the new Saigon government.
Land reform was a bad deal because they basically got a title for land they were already using then charged a fee. This was not beneficial for the government in Saigon.
Saigon was anything from a liberal regime
· All of the elcections (1956, 59, 61, 63) and all of them were rigged.
May 6 1959 a new law provided the death penalty for
- May 6 1959 a new law provided the death penalty for
- · any persons who opposed the government in Siagon led by Ngo Dinh Diem
Saigon gov. like the
· Hanoi gov. was totalitarian.
By end of 1950's more guerilla warfare in the countryside.
· by 1959 there was resumption of the civil war against the Saigon. Gov in Hanoi were giving limited support to insurgents in the south. The insurgents were known as Vietcong. Hanoi gov under Ho ChI Minh gave some assistance to them.
1960 at Communist Party Congress
Ho Chi Minh called for resistance of Saigon Gov. Sept of 1960 Orginazation of resistance was formed. The NLF was basically an import into the south by the north.
How would the
· Americans refused to work with Ho Chi Minh because there were no elections. US showed a firm commitment in Vietnam. The goal after 1956 was a viable new south Vietnam state (violated Geneva convention) because they did not want to allow spread of communism.
Eisenhower made a firm commitment but limited involvement in Vietnam.
· Later made Kennedy wonder whether to drop the commitment or bring more troops.
By end of Eisenhower more than
· 2000 Americans serving as advisors to Army in south Vietnam.
This is where the domino effect came from.
· If you view a country as a domino you reduce the understanding of the country. If south Vietnam fell then many more would too. In actuality countries are not dominos not wooden blocks go figure.
Kennedy came in 1961.
· Sent VP Lyndon Johnson to southeast asai. Toured and visited Saigon. Encouraged Americans to give more leadership and advice.
Later Kennedy sent General Maxwell Taylor and Walter Rostow (deputy national security advisor) went giving report to Kennedy.
· Advised an escalation of assitance to south Vietnam. Kennedy decided to send more troops to serve as advisors. They would train pilots. Some flew the helicopters themselves. In the process they became directly involved. By 1962 Americans were directly engaging combat not just assistance.
Even with assistance gov in Saigon was losing power.
· By 1963, Buddists felt they were discriminated against in favor of catholics. Buddists began to protest. This included students.
To become a student in a university in South Vietnam you had to have some connection to the gov.
· Once the students started protesting this meant new generation was against their parents.
7 buddists monks killed themselves.
· Set themselves on fire. This kind of protest did not particularly move Ngo Dinh Diem or his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu.
Kennedy was assassinated.
· Nov 26 1963