WHOA! Guys can't we just let the people decide?!?
Well we aren't going to give it to you without a fight!
In 1945, Ho Chi Minh gives a speech declaring Vietnamese independence, citing abuse of human rights and unfair treatment of Vietnamese by the French Imperialists.
We must not let the dominos fall in Asia!
Hostilities continued between Ho Chi Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the French controlled Vietnam. This led to a formal division of Vietnam along the 17th Parallel.
Booooooo! We hate you!
You will do as I say!
We want a vote!
In 1954, the Geneva Accords set out to help bring peace to Vietnam by calling for free elections to unify the Vietnams once more.
I sacrifice myself for the future of this country!
Also during the 1950s, the U.S. had major concerns about the possibility of many Asian countries falling to Communism. In order to prevent this from happening, the government would often back anti-communist leaders, even if they weren't supported by the people in those countries.
U.S. Backed Ngo Dinh Diem takes control of the government of South Vietnam and refuses to carry out Geneva Accords, instead creating an autocratic regime. Diem became very unpopular among the Vietnamese.
In an act of protest of Diem's government, a Buddhist monk lit himself on fire. The growing unrest and discord in Vietnam would ultimately lead to a U.S. backed coup, ending with Diem's assassination.