History: Vietnam War 1
1. Study source A.
What can you learn from Source A about the reasons for US involvement in South Vietnam?
Source A is an extract from a book written by Senator John F Kennedy in 1956 (four years before his presidential election). The source outlines the American domino theory, a label given to the American foreign policy in South East Asia, in which it was believed that because of the countries geographical closeness the communist influence in china would increase and conquest neighbouring countries Burma, Thailand, India, Japan, Philippines, Laos and Cambodia,.
The source is intended for public use; therefore we are able to learn what the US government wanted the public to believe.
The main reason given for America's involvement in Vietnam is the domino theory. This shows firstly that the reason for American involvement is the spread of communism. Although this reason is speculation, the documents blunt and abrupt words give the impression that it is fact.
This shows us that America's reasons are not absolutely politically justified and are in part based on theory, worried about what may happen in South East Asia. The short sharp words also indicate that the US government is confident that they will succeed making confidence and arrogance another reason for American involvement.
The document uses several ploys. Firstly the document is leading, stating that the threat of Laos and Cambodia "obvious".
The document is also manipulative when it uses the phrase "wave of red communism" as it played on peoples existing fears of communism. This shows us that America is using subtle propaganda as it needs the support of the public; the main drive of the document is to promote their decision. The support of the public is important for the government to enter the war.