Presentation on theme: "Vietnam War and the 1960s. French Indochina was made up of – Vietnam – Cambodia – Laos Ruled by France from the late 1800s until WWII Controlled by Japan."— Presentation transcript:
Vietnam War and the 1960s
French Indochina was made up of – Vietnam – Cambodia – Laos Ruled by France from the late 1800s until WWII Controlled by Japan during WWII
Ho Chi Minh – Communist leader who tried to unite the Vietnamese peasants – Formed the Viet Minh to free Vietnam from foreign rule – Fought against Japan during WWII with the assistance of the USA – Fought against France and the USA after WWII
The Geneva Accords, after WWII, divided Vietnam into a communist North and a free South This was to be a temporary division, until elections in 1956 Ho Chi Minh led the North. Ngo Dinh Diem led the South.
Ho Chi Minh was very popular and Diem was afraid Ho would win Diem refused to hold elections This was supported by President Eisenhower – Remember containment? This increased military involvement was called brinkmanship
The fight against communism continued around the world In Cuba – The Bay of Pigs – Cuban Missile Crisis In Germany – Berlin Airlift – The Berlin Wall – “Ich ben ein Berliner.”
Eisenhower sent in “advisors” to assist the South Kennedy increased the numbers of these advisors to 16,000 men On November 1, 1963 Diem was overthrown and assassinated Three weeks later, Kennedy was also assassinated
The North sent small bands of fighters into South Vietnam They were called Viet Cong They fought using guerilla warfare – They mixed with the general population and could not be readily identified – When the Viet Cong attacked, they disappeared into the countryside
There was no front like there was in WWII When the Viet Cong escaped across the border into Laos and Cambodia on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, US troops did not follow. The US fought this limited war because they were afraid of bringing in the Chinese.
President Johnson escalated the war, increasing the number of troops to 538,000. Techniques that were used included the massive bombing of the North – Tonkin Gulf Resolution – Defoliate the jungle with a chemical called Agent Orange – Use napalm to burn off the jungle
A turning point of the war was the Tet Offensive, carried out by the North Vietnamese Infiltrated southern cities Came during the Vietnamese New Year celebration – January 30 and 31 Surprise attack on over 100 cities and towns They went after and killed not only the military but also teachers, doctors and priests
Militarily was a failure for the North 45,000 North Vietnamese were killed No cities captured BUT Following this statement by a US major, “ It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it”, many Americans began to believe the war was senseless.
The average age of most soldiers was 19. If they were drafted, as most were, they were expected to serve one year. This meant most were very inexperienced.
Young men could avoid the draft if they were enrolled in college This was viewed as a civil rights issue as this meant that the majority of soldiers were poor and were often minorities, as they were the ones who could not afford college.
The country was deeply divided into hawks (those who supported the war) and doves (those who opposed the war)
Protests began spreading across the US 50,000 people staged a protest in front of the Pentagon in 1967 A demonstration at Kent State University in Ohio in 1970 became a symbol of the anguish over the war: National Guardsmen fired on demonstrators, killing four students
President Nixon was elected in 1968 on a promise to end the war “with honor” Nixon increased bombing into Cambodia On January 27, 1973 the US and South Vietnam agreed to a ceasefire. On March 29, 1973 the last American troops left South Vietnam
The United States continued to send money but no troops. The war for the Vietnamese continued until 1975 when the North Vietnamese captured Saigon, which was renamed Ho Chi Minh City. Many Vietnamese fled to the United States following the war. Estimates are that approximately 1.2 million Vietnamese now live here.
President Nixon became increasingly paranoid and had to resign after having burglars break into Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate hotel. Vice-President Agnew also resigned due to tax fraud On August 9, 1974 Gerald Ford became President.
There were some far reaching effects of the war, including lowering the voting age to 18. The War Powers Act limits the amount of time troops can be sent into action without permission of Congress Americans came away with a distrust of government