Eisenhower and 2 Vietnams

View mindmap
  • Vietnam
    • Bao Dai was never popular in Vietnam. French puppet emperor.
      • BD and his French puppet experts were too unpopular to remain in power.
    • HCM seen by many Vietnamese as a patriot who cared about the ordinary people.
      • His fairer redistribution of land, educational and health care programmes helped to win over the Vietnamese peasantry.
    • The French had more men and materials.
      • BUT Vietminh guerrilla tactics utilised the physical geography of the country.
        • Made surprise attacks then retreated to WV's jungle.
          • Giap was the Vietminh military commander. Loathed French colonialism.
            • Felt that the Communist emphasis on co-operation and sharing fitted in with V traditions.
    • The Chinese supplied HCM.
      • The Vietminh fought for a free and more egalitarian Vietnam.
    • Giap
      • By 1944 he commanded the Vietnamese Liberation Army, 5,000.
    • Mao's 1949 triumph transformed the situation.
      • Mao gave Giap and Ho diplomatic recognition.
        • More armaments, advice and sanctuary in China if V soldiers were in trouble.
    • Vietminh strategy exasperated the French.
    • In France, many were beginning to lose interest in V.
      • The French seized DBP intending to cut off Vietminh supply lines into Laos.
        • French and Americans failed to anticipate that Giap's forces would be able to bombard the fortress from the surrounding high ground.
          • French arrogance and Vietnamese ingenuity was key in French failure.
            • Why did the French fail in Indochina?
              • Ho and Giap worked hard to win the hearts and minds.
              • Unpopular  French puppet emperor Bao Dai.
              • Vietnamese rebels exploited geography, fighting for a cause.
    • Eisenhower gave the French $385 million worth of armaments for an offensive against the Vietminh.
      • In return, the French promised to grant Indochina greater independence.
      • Many questioned whether SE Asia was vital to US security.
        • Eisenhower continued and increased American involvement in  VW.
          • Continued Truman's policy of helping the French to fight communism in Vietnam.
          • Believed that SE Asia was vital to US security. But was more moderate than many in his views on what the US should do there.
      • Considered it easier and cheaper to pay other countries to help defend America.
    • Arguments for U.S intervention at DienBienPhu.
      • Eisenhower continued to invest more money in Vietnam.
        • Communism had to be stopped, Eisenhower talked of rollback and dominoes.
          • France's help was needed in NATO - must support France in Vietnam.
    • Arguments against U.S intervention at DienBienPhu.
      • Losing a small country full of peasants to Communism wouldn't greatly affect the balance of power.
        • Only just got out of an unpopular Korean War.
          • The French were 'hopeless'.
            • Impossible to win in Vietnam with French imperialists.
              • Might lead to WW3 with China.
    • John Foster Dulles
      • Expert in foreign affairs.
        • 1941: "The great trouble with the world today is that there are too few Christians."
          • Important figure in the early years of the Cold War.
            • Effectively contained the USSR.
              • Helped to ensure that the U.S. rejected the Geneva Accords and supported Diem.
    • The Geneva Conference on Indochina, 1954.
      • Stalin had died, new Soviet leaders wanted to show they were keen to decrease CW tension.
        • China favoured negotiations because it wanted to forestall U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
      • Diem feared and distrusted the French and HCM.
        • Wanted the French out of Vietnam to concentrate on defeating communists.
      • May 1954, the Vietminh raised their red flag over DBP.
        • HCM: aimed to take over as much of Vietnam as possible.
          • Bao Dai: sought Vietnamese independence and an easy life.
            • Chinese: aimed at peace in Vietnam. Wanted to appear impressive and gain diplomatic recognition.
          • French: wanted to end their colonial war but still wanted some influence on Vietnam.
            • U.S.: sought to contain communism in SE Asia and avoid elections. Knew HCM would win.
    • In the GA, the Vietminh agreed to give up territory they occupied south of the 17th parallel.
      • Why did HCM accept a settlement that forced the Vietminh to retreat?
        • Wanted to forestall U.S. intervention in Vietnam.
          • Needed time for consolidation in the North. Peace would give him time for that.
            • Needed Soviet aid, and Soviets wanted peace.
    • 1955, Diem defeated Bao Dai in a gov. controlled referendum.
      • HCM asked him to join his Gov. Diem rejected this.
        • Mansfield.
          • Played a vitally important part in the continued support of Diem after 1955.
        • Diem rejected the idea of nationwide elections - knew HCM would win.
      • From the beginning the U.S. weren't entirely happy with their new SV ally.
        • Nixon thought that the problem was that the SV lacked the ability to conduct a war by themselves.
        • Dulles admitted that America supported Diem 'because we knew of no one better'.
          • He was 'the best of a bad bunch'.
            • Leaders of America's armed forces were unenthusiastic about involvement with Diem.
            • General Collins reported that Diem's regime was hopeless.
              • Spring of 1955: Diem's effective action against Bao Dai halted them.
    • Diem visited America in 1957.
      • Eisenhower praised him as the 'miracle man' of Asia.
      • Diem never appealed to the ordinary people as HCM did.
        • Saw the Vietminh as rebels.
      • In many ways HCM's regime in the North was as unpleasant as Diem's in the South.
    • From 1960, HCM's southern supporters called them the NLF (VC).
      • NLF emphasised national independence
    • Diem relocated peasants to agrovilles.
      • Peasants hated this.
      • Dissatisfaction with the regime of 'American Diem' was increasing.
        • In 1960, 18 Vietnamese nationalists petitioned Diem for moderate reform.
          • He became even more repressive in response.
      • U.S. ambassador Elbridge Durbrow.
        • Suggested that Diem introduce political and social reform rather than concentrate on the use of military fore.

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Cold War resources »