The Domino Theory

Topics: Cold War, Vietnam War, Vietnam Pages: 5 (1164 words) Published: October 24, 2012
Prompt: Assess the role of the domino theory in us/soviet relations.


1. What is the Domino Theory?

a. “The domino theory, which governed much of U.S. foreign policy beginning in the early 1950s, held that a communist victory in one nation would quickly lead to a chain reaction of communist takeovers in neighboring states.”

MLA Citation:

“Domino Theory.” 2012. The History Channel website. Oct 16 2012, 11:04

2. Role of Domino Theory:

a. “Some critics have charged that the theory was used as a propaganda scare tactic to try to justify unwarranted intervention policies. b. This theory can be further bolstered by the rise in terrorist incidents by left-wing terrorist groups in Western Europe, funded in part by Communist governments, between the 1960s and 1980s”

MLA Citation:

Frost, Martin. "Domino Theory." N.p.. Web. 16 Oct 2012.

3. What is the Domino Theory?

a. “Hardly a theory at all, since it had little or no intellectual content, the "domino theory" argued that if one nation (Vietnam) fell to the communists, neighboring nations would fall as well--like dominos.” b. "Domino theory"--again, a "theory" which shows no awareness of the history, culture and politics of other nations”

MLA Citation:

O'malley, Michael, and. The Vietnam War and the Tragedy of Containment. History 122. Web.

4. What is the Domino Theory?

a.“The Domino theory stated that if one nation fell to Communism, then another nation would be affected and falls to Communism, eventually resulting in the spread of Communism throughout the whole world.”

MLA Citation:

Nosotro, Rit. The Cold War, Hot Battles of the Cold War. Web.

5. The role of the Domino Theory during the Cold War

a.“One major construct behind US policy was known as the ‘Domino Theory’. Although the term was not coined until the early 1950’s the ‘Domino Theory’ was the most influential US political policy in terms of US-Soviet relations. It was believed that if one state became communist, it would influence the surrounding states and nations and a domino effect would be created, with an accumulation of nations falling to communism. This sparked the adjoining theory, the policy of containment (Lippmann. 1947). Articulated in July 1947, it outlined the importance of creating policies to contain the Soviet sphere of influence and halt the spread of communism so as to avoid the ‘domino theory’ occurring in practice. This exemplifies the US fear of Soviet communism and explains the actions taken to contain communism.”

MLA Citation:

Egan, Isobel. The Causes of the Cold War. 2011. Web. Causes of the Cold War.

6. Role of the Domino Theory

a. “The domino theory was the basis for the United States strategy of containment, and the reason for entering the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War was a result of the national strategy of containment. The national strategy of containment demanded the U.S. stop communist aggression into the countries of Southeast Asia.” “After the election of Richard Nixon, the context of the war changed radically. North Vietnam's relationship with China had cooled while the United States had improved relations with both China and the Soviet Union. Successful strategic arms limitation talks between the United States and the Soviet Union isolated the North Vietnamese from their key supporters.”

MLA Citation:

The Domino Theory. Web.

7. The Domino Theory in Hindsight

a.“In hindsight, the domino theory failed to take into account the character of the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong struggle in the Vietnam War. By assuming Ho Chi Minh was a pawn of the communist giants Russia and China, American...
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