The Vietnam War

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, Undergraduate December 1996

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The Vietnam war started after the disagreements between the French, who had ruled Indochina before World War 2, and the communist Vietminh, founded and led by Ho Chi Minh. The communist Vietminh were determined to fight the French rule and make changes of their own.

After the Americans had made the Japanese surrender in August of 1945, Vietminh soldiers took over the capitol city, Hanoi, forced Emperor Bao Dai out of power and replaced him with Ho Chi Minh. On September 2nd they declared themselves independent and announced the creation of North Vietnam. The French recognized the new state, but the French and Vietminh's disagreements eventually led to armed fighting in December 1946. With the French behind Bao Dai, they created South Vietnam and made a new capital, Saigon, on July 1st 1949.

In 1950, the United States officially recognized the Saigon government, and to help out, President Truman sent troops over to train the South Vietnamese on how to use U.S.

weapons while the French and North Vietnamese were building up their forces. In the spring of 1954, the North Vietnamese attacked a French fort, after 55 days of fighting for the fort, the French surrendered. On the day this happened representatives from North and South Korea met with France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States. After the talks, France and North Vietnam called a truce, and the northern half of Vietnam went to the communists and the southern half went to the Saigon government.

On October 23, 1955 south Vietnam was made a republic and Ngo Dinh Diem was president. One of the first things Diem did was announce that they would not hold reunification elections because he thought that the North Vietnamese people would not be able to...