The Vietnam Conflict The Vietnam War was a long and

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The Vietnam Conflict The Vietnam War was a long and frustrating experience for the American people. Even before the United States involvement began, North and South Vietnam were in conflict with each other. ?When Vietnam was divided in 1954, many Viet Minh who had been born in the southern part of the country returned to their native villages to await the 1956 elections and the reunification of their nation?(Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99). When the elections did not take place as planned, these Viet Minh sought to overthrow Diem?s government (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99). ? The Viet Minh were greatly aided in their efforts to organize resistance in the countryside by Diem?s own policies, which alienated many peasants? (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99).

Beginning in 1955, the United States created the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in South Vietnam. Although Diem was not liked by the U.S. he was the only man that the United States had out there, so they had to back him (Karnow 214).

Using these troops, Diem took land away from peasants and returned it to former landlords, reversing the land redistribution program implemented by the Viet Minh. Many villagers were moved from their homes to controlled settlements in order to stop Communist activity. Diem also drafted their sons into the ARVN. ?By the late 1950s police-state measures directed against anyone who disagreed with the prevailing edicts of the Diem Regime forced all opposition into the agonizing choice of self-imposed exile (if rich), total silence (if less fortunate and thus forced to remain in Vietnam) or armed 2 resistance? (Fall 138). By 1959, however, opposition to Diem was so widespread in rural areas that the southern Communists formed the National Liberation Front (NLF), and in 1960 the North Vietnamese government gave its formal sanction to the...