This article is from the New York Times in March of 1953. This time period was a phase of increasing tensions between the democratic United States and the communist Soviet Union. These increased tensions during this time period can be known as the Cold War. The U.S. didn't want the spread of communism, whereas the Soviet Union did, and that can be seen as one of the major causes of the Cold War. This is where the conflict of Vietnam really can be seen clearly. North Vietnam was communist, and South Vietnam was non-communist, and the U.S. didn't want the North to take over the South and have the South become a communist state.
The article chosen presents information on the increased tensions in Vietnam. At this point in time, 1953, Vietnam isn't really seen as a huge threat, but a minimal conflict. The article talks of the conflict beginning to arise in South Vietnam, a democratic state.
Many of the people in South Vietnam oppose the government of the democrats and want the nation to be unified under one communist government. The article begins with an overview of the Vietnam conflict, stating how the two, North and South, have come to be separated. This is due to the Geneva Conference that split the two into a communist north and a non-communist south. The United Front, which was an organization in South Vietnam, calls for reform. In this article, it lays out the conflict. The United Front is giving reasons and allegations that a new government is needed, and this challenged the current leadership, the Premeir, which is backed by the United States. Five days prier to that, the United Front had a declaration that had not specifically attacked the Premier, but the one issued on March 21st directly denounced the Him. The United Front demanded that a new government be installed within five days and to make the Premeir "realize a government of large national union, democratic and healthy." Then the United Front said that if there was no installment, then they would appeal to the people. The Front has an overwhelming amount of influence and they control about 2,500,000 people in South Vietnam, including police in Saigon. The article then states "the Opposition [United Front] is no doubt in a position to cause serious trouble if it chooses to do so." The U.S. knows that if the situation isn't resolved, there will be a major conflict. Another key idea that was addressed in the article is how the Premier in South Vietnam had not done anything in the nine months that he had been in office, no programs or other government movements. They then contrasted it with North Vietnam, saying that it had been developing under the communist rule. There was much criticism of the Premier in this article, saying that he done nothing for foreign policy and "made life impossible for the Army and the population." Again, the U.S., probably because of his implications of a democratic government, was backing the Premier.
There is much significance to be seen in this article. In 1953, this is relatively the start of the conflict in Vietnam. The heightened cold war tensions and the threat of a communist Vietnam can already be seen within this article. Although subtle, the reference to a better communist North Vietnam in the article presents a major conflict. This can be a foreshadowing of things to come. That is the reason I chose this article as something significant in American history. There seems to be an element of things to come and things that needed to be realized. The opposition to the present government is the beginning of the conflict. Before long, the opposition of the government would lead to a full scale war in which the U.S. would send in massive amounts of troops and have a large upscale protest to this "conflict" in this place called Vietnam. This article was found about 10-15 pages in on the front page. At this time, it can easily be seen, that Vietnam was not a major issue. The main conflict that was occurring during this time period was the Korean War, also a fight against communism. Vietnam, in 1953, wasn't really an issue, although the heightened conflict was beginning to be seen as a serious problem at this time. The American public, however, was paying attention to the Korean War, not a small uprising in Vietnam. In 1953, I don't think that anyone could have predicted what was going to happen in Vietnam. However, in this article, the implications are there. It is obvious that there is conflict, and it is also obvious that if it isn't resolved, then there is going to be war. So, the main reason I chose this article was due to the amount of information that is presented and because of the obvious foreshadowings of a conflict during a time period that wasn't really concerned with it.