what caused the Vietnam war?
what started the Vietnam war?
causes of the Vietnam war
why was the Vietnam war fought?
In short, the Vietnam war started as a result of U.S. strategy of containment during the Cold War, which aimed to prevent the spread of communism throughout the world.
After the Second World War, the Soviet Union (USSR) with its major role in the war emerged as a superpower with strong influence over Eastern Europe, including Bulgaria and East Germany, and parts of Asia, including China and Korea. The U.S. and its Western allies considered communism in form of the USSR as the greatest rival and post-war threat to their democracy and capitalism.
The turning point in Asia came in 1949 when China became a communist country after Chinese communist rebels, led by Mao Zedong, won the civil war and took control of the mainland China. From 1950, the U.S. started to support South Korea in the war against the Communist North backed by China and USSR as well as send military aid to France in its war effort in French Indochina with the goal of containing communism spread.
Vietnam was a French colony from mid-19th century until 1954 when they signed a treaty at Geneva conference, which temporarily separated the North communists from the South anti-communists at the 17th parallel north, after the Battle of Dien Bien Phu.
The French lost control of Vietnam was about the time the Korean war ended which had left the country partitioned into North and South Korea with China and USSR actively supported the North communist government. Then U.S. President Eisenhower regarded Vietnam as Korea all over again and feared the whole Southeast Asia including Laos, Cambodia, Thailand would fall to communism in a domino effect as similar as what had happened in Eastern Europe (Domino theory). The loss of that essential regional trading area would encourage Taiwan, Japan, Australia and New Zealand to compromise politically with communism. Therefore, the U.S. intervened in Vietnam trying to keep the South Vietnamese “domino” from falling.