Chapter 8 Lafeeber Analysis

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LaFeber starts his introduction by stating that America and Russia did not initially come into conflict because one was capitalist and the other was communist. LaFeber does not believe that the Cold War began because of two different ideologies at war with each other. He suspects that the Cold War did not start because of opposing views but because of different spheres of influence. His view is that America was expanding westward while Russia was expanding eastward into Asia and because of this they both were competing for markets to influence and have a stake in. One of LaFeber’s main arguments is that the Cold War was inevitable due to the competition arising through these spheres of influences. LaFeber states that the Cold War did not start…show more content…
LaFeber starts his discussion with the missile gap and its effects on the American people. The mission gap also leads to his views about Eisenhower and how Eisenhower understood “the costs and causes of the Cold War better than most of the post-1945 presidents.” (pg 204) LaFeber then moves on to the breaking of relations between the Soviet Union and China and how this impacted the Cold War. Next, he then explores the conflicts that develop in the Middle East and in Europe during the end of the Eisenhower Administration. LaFeber then explains the differences in the Kennedy Administration and how disastrous the year 1961 was for the administration. He ends the chapter by discussing how 1961 impacted the Kennedy Administration and the Cold War going…show more content…
At the core of the push into Vietnam was the domino theory. The domino theory was at first rejected by the Kennedy Administration but later accepted due to a change in views. The Kennedy Administration believed that losing Vietnam to communism would cause there to be no open market in Southeast Asia for raw materials and markets. If there was no open market in Southeast Asia, America was afraid that Japan would then turn to its traditional market in China. Since Japan was essential to America’s entire strategy in the Pacific, the loss of this open market would impact America’s sphere of influence in Japan. Misleading rhetoric was used in the push into Vietnam as well. Kennedy “viewed his first eleven months in office as a period of international crisis, and it was in this context that he made two of his most fateful decisions.” (pg 225) One of these decisions was the increased American commitment in Vietnam. Kennedy wanted to show the American public a victory of his and because of this he implemented a policy of pushing America into Vietnam that would soon intensify Cold War

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