Why did the Vietnam War start?

Similar questions:
  1. what caused the Vietnam war?

  2. what started the Vietnam war?

  3. causes of  the Vietnam war

  4. 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 democracies 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 until 1954 when they signed a treaty at Geneva conference, which temporarily separated the North communists from the South anti-communists, after the Battle of Dien Bien Phu.

The French lost control in 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 US 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.


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  • Cora Roche

    im doing a research paper and this was SO HELPFUL!!!!!!! thnx :)

    • The Vietnam War

      We’re revamping the website soon to serve you guys better. A lot more interesting things are on their way too. Hope to continue to receive your support. Thanks!

    • missy1234emily


  • Cora Roche

    all 3 of my dads uncles were in the war and they wont talk about it. this war changed many many people and the fact that people in the US actively protested against the troops was definitely a red stain in our countries history

    • The Vietnam War

      Hi Cora, We’ve been through. We empathize that!

    • James Knox

      the protesting was a stain? the entire war happening was a stain. and people didn’t protest against the troops alone, they were protesting against the entire effort, the reason it happened and all. war is a disgusting and terrible thing that should be avoided, and vietnam was just one of several awful and unnecessary wars that america didn’t need to have. i empathize with troops for being put in the situation, but am against the event itself.

      • DenZel29

        I think that Cora didn’t mean to say that the protesting was the “red stain”The fact that there were protests against the actual troops themselves was only further proof that the Vietnam War was a red stain on our countries history. I think Cora tried to sum it up with bad grammar and his/her response was not well thought out or written. I base this on the fact that Cora mentioned his/her Father’s Uncles wouldn’t even talk about it due to the fact that it was unjust and wrong or whatever. IDK. What Cora wrote KIND OF made sense to me but when read in word for word the way it was written it would be very easy to interpret it the way you had.

  • missy1234emily

    i am donig a school report about the vietnam war this was so help fully thx :) XD

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  • Melodi Beckford

    Hello, I don’t mean to be rude at all. But I’m doing a research paper on this war &the effects it had on the soldiers. I really want to use this site, but how do I know you guys are reliable, or a worthy site? Again I’m sorry if I’m coming of as rude, but is just don’t want to have any beef with my professor (college student)

    • The Vietnam War

      Hello Melodi. Thanks for your comment.
      It’s a good question! Actually we don’t really know how your “reliable &worthy”site is like. It’s better to leave it up to our readers to evaluate, isn’t it? ;)

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  • Devin O’Brien

    reading Cracker, by Cynthia Kadohata. very good book and its about the vietnam war and i didnt know how it started and thats helpful.

  • bob

    thanks for the info really helped