Class Notes

In 1954, Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnamese were able to push the French out of Vietnam. With the French out, the nation was divided into northern and southern halves.  The plan was for an election in 1956 that would unify the nation.  The issue for America was that Minh would probably win the election and so Vietnam would go communist through democracy.  The US response was to suspend democracy.  Instead they installed Ngo Dingh Diem, a pro-western Christian as the leader of the south and call off the election. When they did allow an election, it is completely rigged for Diem to win.  Diem governed as a tyrant and turned many of his own towards Minh and the Vietcong.  He was not be able to handle Minh’s forces and so eventually the US was forced to get involved.

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