Presentation on theme: "Nixon's Challenges: Vietnam and China. The Path of War A 1969 memorandum from Henry Kissinger to Nixon indicates the firm resolve of the administration."— Presentation transcript:
Nixon's Challenges: Vietnam and China
The Path of War A 1969 memorandum from Henry Kissinger to Nixon indicates the firm resolve of the administration to stay on the course they had originally set in Vietnam. In the memo, Kissinger's notes that despite growing criticism, Hanoi must not see a wavering in US policy in Vietnam. Such sentiment set the stage for the impending waves of protest which began spread throughout the US.
Interview Date: March 12-1, 1969 What do you think the United States should do next in regard to the Vietnam situation? Escalate war, go all out 25% Pull Out, let South Vietnamese Take Over 21% Continue Present Policy; negotiate & stay as long as necessary 15% End the War as soon as possible 15% Other options (volunteered by respondent) 3% No Opinion 21% Interview Date: January 22-28, 1969 In view of the developments since we entered the fighting in Vietnam, do you think the United States made a mistake sending troops to fight in Vietnam? Yes 52% No 39% No Opinion 9% From Gallup Poll on Vietnam (1969)
MOBE The anti-war movement became particularly active during the Nixon administration. The Vietnam Moratorium Committee (known as the Mobe) formed in 1969. The organization called for a national day of protest to be held on October 15th, 1969. In an effort to keep the cause alive, the Mobe also called for continued days of protest on the 15th of each month.
The Silent Majority Speech Aware of the growing public discontent with the war in Vietnam, Nixon addressed the nation. The “Silent Majority" speech was delivered on November 3, 1969. The President attempted to bolster public support for his policy of "Vietnamization". The speech was regarded highly, yet skepticism continued to grow.
From the Silent Majority Speech Let historians not record that when America was the most powerful nation in the world we … allowed the last hopes for peace and freedom of millions of people to be suffocated by the forces of totalitarianism. And so tonight -- to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans -- I ask for your support. I pledged in my campaign for the presidency to end the war in a way that we could win the peace. … The more support I can have from the American people, the sooner that pledge can be redeemed; for the more divided we are at home, the less likely the enemy is to negotiate at Paris. Let us be united for peace. Let us also be united against defeat. Because let us understand: North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that.
The My Lai Massacre In March 1968 a massacre took place in the My Lai region at the hands of an American military unit. This unit, angered by a Viet Cong attack that killed an American soldier, attacked the village, raping and killing women and children before burning it down. Many soldiers were horrified, particularly due to the fact that it appeared to be sanctioned by the unit's command.
Nixon's Historic Trip to China Repairing Cold War tensions was among the greatest challenges facing Nixon during his presidency. Relations had been strained since the onset of the Cold War. The US upheld an economic embargo against China for over 20 years. In 1971 Nixon's lifted the embargo in an effort to begin repairing relations with China. The Chinese invited him to visit.
Nixon’s Historic Trip to China Nixon's visit to China was hailed as a monumental event. The visit lasted just a week, yet had profound implications. The meetings tended to be brief, yet discussions ranged from China's relations with the United States to the United States' views on Taiwan. The Shanghai Communiqué was a document released jointly by the Chinese and the Americans outlining the success of Nixon's visit to China. The countries pledge their desire to work together peacefully toward shared goals. Nixon meets with China’s Community Party Leader, Mao Tse-Tung