What conditions existed in Vietnam before U.S. involvement? 19 th Century France annexed Indo-China 1945-1954 war between Vietminh and France (Dien Bien Phu) 1954 Geneva Accords divide Vietnam North Vietnam (Communist) Hanoi South Vietnam (Anti-Communist) Saigon
Why was there a debate over US involvement in Vietnam? U.S. politicians feared parts of SE Asia might fall to Communism Reasons: 1. Prevent the spread of Communism 2. Protect our position as a superpower 3. Defender of democracy
What was the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution? 1964 August 1964 USS destroyer Maddox was allegedly attacked by a North Vietnamese gunship. Gave the President power to take “all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the US and to prevent further aggression”
How did the Vietnam War shape the U.S. during the 1960’s? US divided Hawks vs. Doves Tet Offensive (1968) changed public opinion of the war. Guerrilla War 1968 549,000 troops Draft Student Protests – SDS, draft card burnings Kent State (1970) 4 students killed during a campus protest.
Summary By the 1968 Presidential elections, the nation was divided. Counter-culture – young people became disillusioned with traditional values.== hippies, flower children. Assassination of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King heightened emotions.