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Vietnam is 8,000 miles away from America, yet they became involved in a war that lasted 8 years. Watch this video to discover why.

How the US got involved

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Key points

  • Treaty of Geneva 1954 - Indo-China was divided into Laos, Cambodia, North and South Vietnam.
  • Ngo Dinh Diem was the ruler of South Vietnam.
  • Ho Chi Minh was the ruler of North Vietnam. He was a communist.
  • 1956 - there were meant to be elections to unite Vietnam, but Diem refused to hold them.
  • 1960 - Ho Chi Minh set up a communist army in South Vietnam, called the National Liberation Front (NLF). They started a guerrilla war.
  • The Americans called the NLF the Vietcong and supported Diem.
  • By 1963 most of South Vietnam was under Vietcong control.
  • 1965 - President Johnson declared was on North Vietnam.
  • The Americans ended up at war for 4 main reasons: containment, domino theory, the weakness of South Vietnam and as retaliation for being attacked.

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