FinalQ1_Solutions

FinalQ1_Solutions - Choose one key turning point in the...

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Choose one key turning point in the early period (i.e. 1945-1965) of American involvement in Vietnam and describe its significance. Be sure to contextualize this turning point by describing events leading up to and following it. In framing your answer, remember to consult the Jacobs and Merrill/Paterson books and your lecture notes. Key Turning Point: “The Diem Experiment” Overall Claim: The US was initially responsible for the “Diem Experiment” which removed French occupancy of Indochina and placed the responsibility on the US and their experiment. Throughout Diem’s rule, he was funded and supported by the US. Finally- the US supported the guerilla overthrow of Diem when his leadership did not align with American aims – this entire experiment was a key turning point of American involvement in Vietnam because it solidified the US’s investment in Vietnam and committed the US to continuing war- ultimately there was no turning back after this point. Events Leading Up: First American to take interest in Diem = Wesley Fishel – professor of political science o Fishel = advocate of “third force” theory – called for Washington to support 3 rd force, neither communist nor colonialist, in former colonies undergoing struggle for independence o Thought Diem could be this “third force” b/c Diem was anticommunist & anticolonialist and had good track record w/ French, Bao Dai, and Viet Minh o If Diem could be nationalist alternative to Ho Chi Minh and to Paris the appeal of communism would evaporate o Therefore, Fishel urged Diem to seek support for his cause in US Korean war shifted Truman focus from Europe to Asia o Truman increased forces assisting FR in battling Vietminh o Also recognized Bo Dai regime as government of Vietnam – but realized he had lack of popular support and was responsive to talk of looking for a replacement Diem = initially ill received by US but was persistent o 1951- Diem met w/ State Dept. officer Hoey Diem portrayed Ho Chi Minh & Mao Zedong as working together to
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