Did Containment of Communism Work?
By: Angela Canales
What is Containment of Communism?
Containment of communism is the idea of having communism stay in one area and avoid the domino theory. What is communism? Communism is the idea of having everyone be equal, no matter how hard they work or how lazily they work, they will all be the same. The domino theory was the prediction of if a country turns communist the countries surrounding it will fall into communism as well, this is what the U.S. was trying to prevent.
Mao Zedong is known as the father of communism. He had used his communist ideas to get many citizens to understand how his communist ideas were beneficial to the country of China. He had studied communist writings earlier at Beijing University. He then had became leader of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). He had then built an army whom supported his communist ideas and were named the Communist Red Army of 100,000 troops. Mao was legendary to the Chinese.
The Great Leap Forward & Cultural Revolution
Mao wanted China to become strong, powerful at most. He decided that China needed to be more advanced in industry. Many Chinese citizens lived in rural areas where they would farm and produce food for the country. Zedong wanted the farmers to work in factories to produce goods such as steel. This caused the shortage of farmers in China (China is a very large country), and millions of citizens starved and died due to this. This was called The Great Leap Forward. The Cultural Revolution was when Mao banned many freedoms of the Chinese. He did not want any anti-communist traditions practiced, any arts representing anything against the government, and banned many religions. If anyone had mocked the government they would've been punished or even killed. Mao also required teachers to teach high school students the good of Mao and communism which were soon to become Red Guards.
Tiananmen Square Protest and Massacre
This historical moment took place in 1989 when about a million of Chinese university students wanted democracy. Obviously, this didn't work out since a peaceful protest had turned into a horrid massacre of thousands of Chinese students. The government had abolished the protest using military attacks in Tiananmen Square. Many student leaders were arrested and this protest remains a big moment in Chinese history.
The Korean War
The Korean War was where the country of Korea fought for different government systems. On June, 1950, North Korea wanted to unite all of Korea under communist ways. They had captured Seoul in no more than a week, however, the United Nations and The United States had sided with South Korea and their democratic rule. They kept going back and forth with taking land until U.S. troops had gotten further and further to capturing all of a North Korea. This was until the Chinese showed, the Chinese began to think that once the U.S. captured all of North Korea, they would try and take on China, spreading democracy. The sides continued to fight on the 38th parallel. After 2 years of this, on July 27, 1953, there was an agreement signed stating that Korea would be divided at the 38th parallel. North Korea remains communist, suffering of economic problems, while South Korea continues being democratic. This was all to avoid the Domino Theory.
The Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was similar to the Korean War. Instead, Vietnam actually won the war against the U.S. troops and the countries of North Vietnam and South Vietnam were united under communist rule. The reason why the United States had gotten involved with this war was to prevent the domino theory from happening. The Northern Vietnamese had used the Ho Chi Minh trail to invade democratic Southern Vietnam. This trail lead the communist party through Cambodia and Laos, which they had turned into communist countries thanks to Northern Vietnam. Eventually, in 1975, the war had come to an end. Many of the U.S. citizens ended up supporting the war less and less until the U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam. Vietnam had won the war and had become united and is led under communist rule to this day.
Did Containment Work? MY OPINION!
Containment of communism did not work since it remains in the world, sure, the opposition may include that there are only 5 communist countries standing in the world today. But are we really safe? Some countries may not stay democratic or whatever they are forever. Communism cannot fade either. There could always be a chance that any communist country could invade a non-communist government. The idea of communism and how supposedly "good" it is may spread and how could we control that? Contain it so it can happen again? Many communist countries suffer of economic problems, as said in the Korean War article. We have done a good job at containing it for a while. But will it last?