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Presentation on theme: "THE VIETNAM WAR."— Presentation transcript:


2 Key figures in the Vietnam War
American commander in South Vietnam who told people in the media that the United States was close to winning the war, even though it wasn’t Key figures in the Vietnam War Ho Chi Minh William Westmoreland Lyndon B. Johnson President of North Vietnam who led the efforts to defeat South Vietnam, hero to most Vietnamese American commander in Vietnam who told American people that we were close to winning the war, even though we weren’t President during much of Vietnam War; greatly escalated the U.S. soldier involvement in the conflict

3 Key figures in the Vietnam War
Robert McNamara Richard Nixon Ngo Dinh Diem U.S. Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War who made the American public feel like we were winning the war President of the United States during the latter part of the Vietnam War President of South Vietnam who whose corruption and harsh standards led numerous people to turn to the Vietcong

4 Vietnam in the ’50s Following World War II, the French controlled southeast Asia (known as Indochina) Ho Chi Minh led a revolt against the French to gain independence for Vietnam By 1954, the French fell to the Vietminh and they withdrew from Indochina, leaving Vietnam a divided country Southeast Asia (aka: French Indochina)

5 Domino Theory The Domino Theory was the belief that if one country fell to communism, the other Southeast Asian nations would eventually fall to communism as well

6 This map from an American magazine published 14th November 1950 shows how much they feared the spread of Communism in the Far East.

7 South Vietnam problems
The people of South Vietnam hated South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem. He was corrupt and did not govern in the best interest of the citizens. Diem was disliked because he discriminated against the Buddhist population Some Buddhist monks protested Diem’s rule by setting themselves on fire A Buddhist monk commits suicide in protest to the harsh policies of the S. Vietnamese government

8 Gulf of Tonkin Incident
In August of 1964, Pres. Johnson announced that North Vietnam ships had fired on two American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin USS Maddox Johnson insisted that the North Vietnamese attack was unprovoked and responded by ordering American airplanes to attack North Vietnam

9 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
After accusing N. Vietnam of attacking the U.S., Johnson asked Congress to give him the authorization to use force to defend American forces When, in August of 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, Congress handed over war powers to the president The President had the power to send U.S. troops into battle without a declaration of war

10 Operation Rolling Thunder
The U.S. bombing campaign conducted against the North Vietnam from 1965 until 1968 The three-year assault was intended to get North Vietnam to stop supporting South Vietnamese guerrillas Operation became most intense air/ground battle waged during the Cold War

11 Vietcong Guerrilla army based in South Vietnam (also known as the NLF) that fought the U.S. and South Vietnamese governments during the Vietnam War The Vietcong were South Vietnamese communists who fought for Vietnamese unification on the side of the North Vietnamese

12 Vietcong Advantages They were familiar with the landscape (rivers, lakes, etc.) They could find a safe haven in Cambodia, Laos or South Vietnam They could often count on the support of the local population

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