Publication Date





Barry Keenan


In the five years immediately following the end of World War II, the US government pursued policies which placed its own security interests above the democratic aspirations of the people of both Vietnam and Korea in an attempt to contain what it saw as Soviet- inspired Communism. The language used in statements of policy by the State Department in Washington, the US embassies in Vietnam and Korea, and other policymakers spoke of Asian self-determination and prosperity. The resulting political realities in both countries, however, differed markedly from the conditions which the policies sought to create. The US government actively participated in the suppression of the political freedoms of the Korean left which was nationalist with Communist undertones; and the US knowingly assisted the French who were doing the same to the Vietnamese. This suppression was executed militarily and politically. This paper will analyze US government policy in Vietnam and Korea, including US responses to the actions of European powers in Korea and Vietnam, and the reactions of indigenous peoples in both countries to foreign political influence in the years 1945-1949

Document Type



Denison University Senior Project