Vietnam and Woodrow Wilson

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What lead up to the Vietnam War?

In 1919, Woodrow Wilson (D) was in Versailles attending the Paris Peace Conference when he got a letter from a young socialist asking to meet him. Wilson had a busy schedule; he ignored him—and set in motion a chain of events that led to the Vietnam War. The young man was Ho Chi Minh, and at the time, he was still quite open to different ideas. All he wanted was independence for Vietnam. He had been inspired by the American Declaration of Independence, and hoped the American President would sympathize with Vietnam’s plight, and help them win independence from France. Wilson ignored him, because like many progressives of the day (and to this day) he was arrogant, racist, and helping wouldn't help him get elected. Thus Ho Chi Minh started to get disillusioned with America and went to the Soviet Union instead, where he studied Marxism, met with Trotsky and Stalin, and became a dyed-in-the-wool communist.

When Vietnam won independence from France, Ho Chi Minh led the Communist group that split Vietnam in half. The Vietnam War began—but it might never have happened if Woodrow Wilson had just given a young man the time of day.


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