Arguably, the Truman doctrine occurs as one of the most widely discussed topics in the field of History. Amicably, this doctrine was solely initiated to curb the spread of totalitarian communism, which was advocated considerably by the Soviet Union. To be precise, this doctrine was initiated in the period preceding the Second World War, which had seen the emergence of the United States and Soviet Union as the major superpowers. After the war, the Soviet Union propelled its quests in advocating for communism across various states. This was not received warmly by the United States, and this prompted the establishment of the Truman doctrine, which streamlined the United States foreign policy towards assisting different countries to resists communism (Goldfield et al., 2005). While it is true that the first two countries to be assisted to resist communism were Greece and Turkey, it is of immense significance to note that Vietnam was soon to be influenced by this doctrine in a number of ways.
After its initiation, the Truman doctrine worked successfully in Korea, Greece, and Turkey. However, these effects had not been felt in other states such as Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos that stayed frozen as they were in the late 1940’s. As at the 1890’s, Vietnam was under the colonial rule of France, nevertheless, the Second World War experienced a turn of events as the Japanese empire defeated the French and took over Vietnam as its colony. This did not last long as the Japanese empire was defeated after the Second World War and the French renewed its quests to have Vietnam become under its colonial rule. This was resisted by the Vietnamese, and this is where the Truman doctrine came in as a factor that played an immense role that precipitating an armed struggle for control of Vietnam (Goldfield et al., 2005). In retaliation to the French’s quests to colonize them, the Vietnamese instigated armed resistance, which prompted France to seek aid from the United States in order to counter the resistance. The French was able to convince the United States that the Vietnamese resistance was precipitated by communism.
Guided by the Truman doctrine, the United States resolved to assists the French. While it was thought that the French would triumph over the Vietnamese as they received support from the United States, the contrary was the result as the French was defeated and ended up losing colonial control over Vietnam. The period preceding this experience the division of Vietnam into two; communist North and non-communist South (Goldfield et al., 2005). This did not offer an adequate solution as the communist North with the aid from communist China, and Soviet Union was quick to launch a campaign aimed at overthrowing the non-communist South. Since the Truman doctrine had the sole intent of containing the spread of communism, it became logical for America to send its troops to defend non-communist South Vietnam, which resulted in the Vietnam War. This analysis depicts the manner in which the Truman doctrine had an immense influence on Vietnam.
As the Vietnam War progressed, it dawned on many Americans that participation in this was of not beneficial and was not worthy cause. In fact, it became inherently clear to American’s that the war was destructive. The political will to support the war also dwindled as president Johnson Lyndon failed to enhance the commitment of different political players and the public to the war. This led to the development of anti-war movement. Instead, peaceful movements advocating for the cessation of American participation in the war became imminent.
Certainly, the Vietnam War had an immense influence on both the domestic and political realms in the United States. Above all, the war resulted in the need to apply caution in sending of the military into the war fronts. This was evident when President Kennedy was reluctant to send ground forces to South Vietnam. In conclusion, the Truman doctrine evolved ti influence various issues in Vietnam.
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Goldfield, D., Abbott, C., Anderson, V., Argersinger, J., Argersinger, P., Barney, W., and Weir, R. (2005). The American Journey: A History of the United States; Brief Edition. Boston: Pearson College Division.