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Among the reasons/causes of the Vietnam War:

  • As for why the US got involved, Americans feared the "domino theory" of expanding communist empires. The Truman doctrine stated that America would assist governments resisting communism.
  • French rule was harsh: only the government was allowed to produce/sell alcohol & salt; rice was exported from huge French-owned plantations while many Vietnamese did not have enough to eat; workers in mines and rubber plantations could be jailed if they tried to leave their jobs; and taxes of every kind multiplied. Then during WW2, the French shared control of Vietnam with the Japanese.
  • In 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam a free and independent country. However, the British and Chinese helped the French to return and the USA did nothing to stop them.
  • In 1954, after a massive Viet Minh victory over the French at Dien Bien Phu, peace talks were held in Geneva and Vietnam was divided at the 38th parallel. Elections were planned for 1956 but the South Vietnamese leader, Ngo Dinh Diem, refused to hold these.
  • The USA was worried about the spread of Communist power in Asia and Ho Chi Minh was a member of the French Communist Party.

The main reason for the war was to stop the spread of communism. There are many other views on this subject so I would suggest reading some books on the subject.

You can find a complete timeline and reasons for actions at

The United States feared that Vietnam would be taken over by communists, so they sent troops there. - arrowbeat

The primary cause of the Vietnam War was the invasion of the French shortly after World War II. By occupying the country, the French created an imbalance in the cultural lifestyle of the Vietnamese. This disruption of the peaceful Vietnamese life was taken advantage of by the communists, who at that time where seeking to spread their political views on small, weak, countries that were unbalanced by the French.

Start of wars in VietnamBeginnings of Vietnam War

You did not indicate which wars you are interested in. The Chinese had control over Vietnam, but in 939, they left and an independent Vietnam was created. In 1407, the Chinese regained control of the area. In 1427, the Chinese were driven out and another Vietnam nation was established. In 1861, the French seized control of Saigon and the rest of the south by 1867. They took control of the north by 1883. In 1940-41, the Japanese advanced into and took control of Northern and Southern French Indo-China, as France had been defeated by Germany at that time. It was during this period, that Ho Chi Minh, a Vietnamese Communist, returned to Vietnam from China and headed a Revolutionary League to regain independence for Vietnam. In 1945, he proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. When the Allies defeated Japan in WWII, the British and Chinese accepted the surrender of the Japanese in Vietnam and the French re-entered the area and took over control again. On December 19, 1946, Vietminh forces attacked the French in Hanoi and the Indochina War--also known as the Vietminh War--began. US Involvement in Vietnam: In 1954, the Vietminh forces of Vietnam defeated the French at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, and the nation was temporarily divided into two sections, north and south. The people of the south chose Ngo Dinh Diem as their ruler and Ho Chi Minh ruled the north. Diem refused to go along with the planned elections in 1956 to unite the nation so the Vietminh members in the south created the Viet Cong and the war between north and south for control of the country began. The government of South Vietnam requested military advisors from the United States to help train the South Vietnamese army. Ho Chi Minh was a communist and during the Cold War of the 1950s and 60s, the aim of the US government was containment of communist power and not to let it spread. The Eisenhower administration provided South Vietnam with money and advisors to help stop the threat of a North Vietnamese takeover. The United States also was pledged by treaty (SEATO) to aid the member nations in southeast Asia, if they were attacked by a foreign (communist) power. Following the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, President Lyndon B. Johnson also believed in containment and the domino theory. If one nation falls to communism, the next nation will fall, and the next, etc. It became the aim of the Johnson administration to prevent a communist takeover in Southeast Asia. In August, 1964, President Johnson reported to the nation that American ships had been attacked by North Vietnam gunboats in the Gulf of Tonkin, in international waters. The Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving the President the power to use whatever force necessary to protect our interests in the area. At the time, the truth was not reported. << Rather than being on a routine patrol Aug. 2, the US destroyer Maddox was actually engaged in aggressive intelligence-gathering maneuvers � in sync with coordinated attacks on North Vietnam by the South Vietnamese navy and the Laotian air force.>>

Money and power is the background of any war

It was an attempt to stop the spread of Communism.

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6y ago
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14y ago

Communist aggression.

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15y ago

Cold war

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Q: What were causes of the Vietnam war?
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