In the early 1900’s the French controlled a section of Southeast Asia known as French Indochina. Independence movements began in a section of French Indochina known as Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese man who became a leader of an independence movement. In the 1930’s Ho Chi Minh turned to the Communists for help. The French threatened Ho Chi Minh with death so he left the country.
Now Ho Chi Minh went to the mountainsFar away across the ocean, And he trained a determined bandFar beyond the seas eastern rim, Heroes all, sworn to liberate the Indo-Chinese peopleLives a man who is father of the Indo-Chinesepeople, Drive invaders from the land.And his name it is Ho Chi Minh.From VietBac to the SaiGon Delta Fourteen men became a hundredFrom the mountains and plains below A hundred thousand and Ho Chi MinhYoung and old workers, peasants and the toiling Forged and tempered the army of the Indo-Chinese peopletenant farmers Freedoms Army of Viet Minh.Fight for freedom with Uncle Ho.Now Ho Chi Minh was a deep sea sailor Every soldier is a farmerHe served his time out on the seven seas Comes the evening and he grabs his hoeWork and hardship were part of his early education Comes the morning he swings his rifle on his shoulderExploitation his ABC. This the army of Uncle Ho.Now Ho Chi Minh came home from sailingAnd he looked out on his native land From the mountains and the junglesSaw the want and the hunger of the Indo-Chinese From the ricelands and the Plain of Reedspeople March the men and the women of the Indo-Chinese ArmyForeign soldiers on every hand. Planting freedom with victry seeds. From VietBac to the SaiGon Deltahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TO2oCO-njHU Marched the armies of Viet Minh And the wind stirs the banners of the Indo-Chinese people Peace and freedom and Ho Chi Minh.
During World War II the Japanese took over Indochina (1941 – 1945). Ho Chi Minh returned and began reuniting his party. Many believed Vietnam would become independent after the war ended and Japan lost.
All Vietnamese people wanted to have an independent Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh wanted Vietnam to be independent and communist. Many Vietnamese people agreed, but not all. Some Vietnamese people wanted to be independent, but not communist. These people were called Nationalists.
After World War II Vietnam didn’t become independent. Instead the French returned. The Communists and Nationalists joined forces to fight the French and become independent. The movement had spread to the peasants in the countryside.
In 1954 the French suffered ahumiliating defeat at DienBien Phu and gave up.America had been supportingFrance. We were not ready togive up, and did not wantVietnam to becomecommunist.
With France gone the Vietnamese people still had a lot of problems to sort out. There was still a disagreement between the Nationalist and Communists about what type of government they would have. America stayed involved because we wanted to contain communism.
North Vietnam wasmostly communistand under control ofHo Chi Minh. SouthVietnam was mostlyNationalist, andwould come undercontrol of a manbacked by the US.
Many Americansbelieved in dominotheory – the beliefthat once a countrybecomes communistthey will spreadcommunism to theirneighbors.
The US gave support to NgoDinh Diem an unpopular leaderof South Vietnam who ruled likea dictator, but wasn’tcommunist.He was hated by many andoverthrown and killed in 1963.This made Ho Chi Minh andcommunism even moreappealing to the Vietnamesepeople.
Diem’s unpopularity increased the support for Ho Chi Minh and the Vietcong – communist guerilla fighters, in the south. The US had already been helping Nationalist leaders in the south, now we sent more planes, tanks, and military.
The US had many difficulties in fighting theVietcong:1. Unfamiliar terrain and fighting against guerilla tactics.2. South Vietnamese government was rapidly losing popularity.3. North Vietnamese communists were getting weapons from the Soviet Union and China.
During our involvement Laos and Cambodia were bombed to kill any Vietcong hiding there. The American public didn’t understand why it was necessary for us to be involved in this conflict. Due to the unpopularity of our involvement and the controversy over our tactics President Nixon withdrew our troops officially in 1973.
The use of napalm and Agent Orange, chemicals to clear large portions of forest in Vietnam caused great damage.Agricultural wasruined for decades andmany birth defectsresulted from the useof Agent Orange.
After the US left the communist north overran the south. Vietnam became communist. Vietnam is still communist today, and has a good relationship with America.
Vietnam War demonstrates how US became involved in foreign affairs to prevent the spread of communism due to our belief in domino theory. Containment in action – was it successful or worth it? The outcome of this war impacts later foreign policy decisions – President Nixon will works towards a better relationship with the Soviet Union and China.