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THE IMPACT OF THE COLD WAR ON THE USA 1945-63 POLITICS ECONOMY SOCIETY McCarthyism Red Scare Causes? Consequences? Fear of Nuclear War Changes in Industrial.

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Presentation on theme: "THE IMPACT OF THE COLD WAR ON THE USA 1945-63 POLITICS ECONOMY SOCIETY McCarthyism Red Scare Causes? Consequences? Fear of Nuclear War Changes in Industrial."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE IMPACT OF THE COLD WAR ON THE USA POLITICS ECONOMY SOCIETY McCarthyism Red Scare Causes? Consequences? Fear of Nuclear War Changes in Industrial geography Military-Industrial complex Garrison State Changing power balance between President and congress ‘Imperial Presidency’

2 Eisenhower & Vietnam Introduction to Eisenhower/context French failure at Dienbienphu Geneva Accords 1954 Eisenhower’s legacy

3 Dwight D. Eisenhower 20 th Jan 1953 – 20 th Jan 1961 Inherits Truman’s commitment to the French in Vietnam. As a result supports ‘puppet’ emperor Bao Dai. UNPOPULAR. Continued to fund the French and their involvement in Vietnam. Nov 1946 Vietminh (Communist) declare war on the French and Bao Dai.

4 Failure at Dienbienphu Vietminh – smaller army, Vo Nguyen Giap trained the army in guerrilla tactics. By 1952 army of nearly 2 million. Vietminh strategies exasperated the French. Losing support at home. Great military struggle at Dienbienphu – French and USA believe this is the end of the war leading to a victory for the French. USA provided $385 million of armaments to the French. JUST HOW IMPORTANT WAS VIETNAM TO USA? Should they get involved?

5 Was south east Asia vital to US security? Should the US get involved? What form should this involvement take? Did the US army have enough troops? Was victory possible alongside the French? Were the US willing to clash with China? How much was US willing to do without allied support? How might the USA react to the crisis at Dienbienphu?

6 Eisenhower believed south east Asia was vital to US security. Communism threatened the USA – French were fighting Communism and it was easier to fund the French that send in American troops. Dienbienphu – French request US involvement. Eisenhower concerned as he needs the French to stay strong – Sends 200 American technicians. FIRST USA PERSONNEL PUT INTO VIETNAM. Why get involved?.. ‘rollback’ policy – complete eradication of Communism (as opposed to containment) Did not want to ‘lose’ in Vietnam. Loss of Vietnam would impact upon the global balance of power – domino theory. HOWEVER – decided to not offer support. French doomed to failure.

7 Vietminh attacked and the French suffered a humiliating defeat. GENEVA CONFERENCE ON INDOCHINA 1954 Trying to end the fighting in Indochina. Stalin died – resolve Cold War tension. Included: France, Bao Dai, Vietminh, Cambodia, Laos, US, USSR, People’s Republic of China and GB. DIFFERING INTERESTS! Nobody could agree!

8 Geneva Accords 1954 New French government. Determined to settle situation. Agreed by Vietminh and France = Communist rule in North (Vietminh) and Bao Dai and Diem in South. 17 th parallel = divide. 10km demilitarised zone. Democratic elections in 1956 where Vietnam would be reunited.

9 Eisenhower – A recap Inherited a limited involvement in Vietnam. Truman = financial aid as important to the Cold War. Eisenhower administration agreed that Vietnam was important. Greater importance of Vietnam – expanded. Offered great deal of support to French. USA gave diem billions of dollars worth of aid and 1500 military advisors = obligation to see it through? A short step away from putting soldiers into Vietnam.

10 What problems did Eisenhower leave behind for Kennedy? What can we predict will be the initial issues for Kennedy? How might he react to these? Beat that loser!!! It’s YOUR problem now


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