Vietnam is one of the most famous wars that America has taken place in. It is also considered by some to be the most controversial. Many say that America did not belong in the fight and that it was a waste of money, man-power, and time. Others say that it was important to show that the U.S. will not stand by and let a country or territory be taken in the wrong way.
Vietnam lasted from 1959 to 1975. It involved the North Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front or NLF. It also included the U.S. and the South Vietnamese forces. From about 1946 to 1945 the Vietnamese had struggled for independence from the French during the first Indochina War. When the war ended the country was split into two creating North and South Vietnam. North Vietnam soon came under the control of Vietnamese Communists who really hated France and were looking to unite Vietnam under Communist rule. South Vietnam was controlled by Vietnamese leaders who favored the French.
The reason that the U.S. entered the Vietnam War was fear of the "Domino Effect”. The Domino Effect is the term used to explain that if one country falls under Communist rule than soon after the countries in that area will soon fall also. If Vietnam became a Communist state than it was likely that more could fall also. This is also why the U.S. supported South Vietnam. The U.S. didn't send troops in until 1965. They were sent in to keep the South Vietnamese government from collapsing but in the long run they eventually failed.
When Ngo Dinh Diem came into power he used very repressive measures. These measures led to growing organized opposition within South Vietnam. Another problem was that Diem's government represented a small minority of Vietnamese who were mostly businessmen, Roman Catholics, large landowners, and others who were pro-French. At first the United States helped South Vietnam military advisors and financial assistance. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was what eventua...