Why did the US get involved in Vietnam in the years 1954-64?

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  • Why did the US get involved in the years 1954-64?
    • Fear of communism
      • Domino Theory
        • The idea that if one country was to fall to communism, others would follow
          • China became Communist in 1949, Vietnam was near China - could be next to become Coummunist
      • Containment
        • Preventing the spread of communism
    • Dien Bien Phu
      • Geneva Agreement
        • Vietnam to be temporarily split along 17th parallel
        • Vietminh take North, South becomes Capitalist
        • Elections scheduled in 1956 to unite Vietnam
      • 1954
        • 50,000 Vietminh on hills
          • 13,000 French in valley
            • Vietnamese fired down on French using heavy artiliery
              • French defeated
                • Since French defeated, no Western influence in Vietnam
                  • Raised risk of fall of Vietnam to Communism
                    • Thus USA got involved so Western influence present to reduce risk
    • Gulf of Tonkin Incident
      • 1964
        • Two US ships sunk by North Vietnamese navy
          • Caused Gulf of Tonkin resolution to be passed
            • This effectively meant USA had declared war on North Vietnam

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