In the late 1800s, the area that is now Vietnam was colonized by France and called French Indochina. It remained under French control for many years, but in 1945, Communist leader Ho Chi Minh defeated the French. The country was divided into two parts: North and South Vietnam.
After World War II, Communism spread through much of Eastern Europe and Asia. American leaders viewed Communism as a threat to freedom and democracy and wanted to contain its growth. They did not want Communist North Vietnam to take over South Vietnam, further enlarging Communist territory. In the 1950s, the U.S. began sending money and providing military training to South Vietnam.
In 1964, President Johnson asked Congress to approve a resolution that would allow him to take more aggressive action against Vietnam. This resolution led to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
Questions and Answers:
Question: What happened after the Vietnam War?
Answer: After World War II, troops received a hero’s welcome home. After Vietnam, troops were often blamed or humiliated for not winning the war. Many soldiers had been tortured or endured horrible experiences. They suffered from “post-traumatic stress disorder.” Some used drugs and alcohol to forget. Others had difficulty finding jobs. Some committed suicide.
At the same time, the American people felt confused, betrayed, and angry. They began to distrust their leaders, a problem that continues today. They were horrified to learn of American soldiers killing innocent women and children in Vietnam. One example is the My Lai massacre. Troops opened fire on a Vietnamese village believed to be held by Communists. At least 400 villagers were killed.
Visit KidsConnect for lesson plans about the Vietnam War.
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Declan, Tobin. " Facts for Kids about the Vietnam War ." American History for Kids, Aug 2021. Web. 24 Aug 2021. < https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/the-vietnam-war/ >.
Tobin, Declan. (2021). Facts for Kids about the Vietnam War. American History for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/the-vietnam-war/