Born on the Fourth of July Historical Context

Ron Kovic
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The Vietnam War

The French, who had a long history of involvement and colonization in Indochina, were defeated by the Vietnamese at the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. This victory ended French occupation, and divided the country of Vietnam in two—the communist North and the anti-communist South—sparking a civil war. As part of the United States's cold war policy of containment, which aimed to prevent the spread of communism, the United States supported South Vietnam. The North was supported by China and East Germany, and led by Ho Chi Minh.

President Kennedy began the U.S. involvement in Vietnam with a small number of troops. However, after the controversial Gulf of Tonkin incident on July 27, 1964, in which U.S. airmen mistakenly thought they were under attack from North Vietnamese forces, President Johnson signed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which elevated the number of U.S...

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This section contains 820 words
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Buy the Born on the Fourth of July Study Guide
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