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O RIGINS OF THE V IETNAM W AR Chapter 25, Section 1.

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Presentation on theme: "O RIGINS OF THE V IETNAM W AR Chapter 25, Section 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 O RIGINS OF THE V IETNAM W AR Chapter 25, Section 1

2 O RIGINS OF THE V IETNAM W AR In the 1800s, the French controlled Indochina– today’s Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh wanted to end French colonial rule starting in the late 1800s. WWII put the conflict on hold, but afterwards France tried to assert their dominance again. Ho Chi Minh was communist, and although the U.S. supported de-colonization, they supported communism less. Both Truman and Eisenhower sent military aid to the French with the goal of containing the spread of communism. This would hopefully stop the ‘domino effect’ started by China.


4 A MERICA AND THE W AR IN I NDOCHINA At Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the French held up for 56 days of attacks by the Vietminh. The Vietminh were supporters of Ho Chi Minh and his communist ideals. The next day, a peace conference was held in Geneva, Switzerland. Under the Geneva Accords, the French granted independence to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia; North and South Vietnam were divided at the 17 th parallel; Anticommunist government instilled in South Vietnam, with elections to be held in 1956.

5 A MERICA O PPOSES C OMMUNISM IN V IETNAM The United States supported the South Vietnamese government led by Ngo Dien Diem. Diem was appointed as the leader in South Vietnam, rather than elected. A group of rebels known as the Vietcong emerged. Kennedy sent in special forces to support the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam), and when Diem’s leadership lapsed, Kennedy had him removed from power.

6 J OHNSON L EADS THE N ATION INTO W AR On August 2 nd, 1964 the U.S.S. Maddox was patrolling the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of North Vietnam. It was caught amidst N. Vietnam torpedo boats, and although it was not hit, it was seen as an act of aggression. Shortly after, Johnson asked Congress to authorize the use of force to defend American troops. This became known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. This act gave Johnson broad war powers, such as the ability to commit troops to combat without asking Congress for a declaration of war. Sound familiar?

7 U.S. I NVOLVEMENT G ROWS Chapter 25, Section 2

8 “A MERICANIZING ” THE W AR In response to a Vietcong attack, Johnson initiated Operation Rolling Thunder. It was a sustained bombing campaign against North Vietnam. Its goal was to persuade North Vietnam to stop reinforcing the Vietcong in the South. U.S. troops commanded by General William Westmoreland used napalm and Agent Orange against the Vietminh and the Vietcong. Napalm was dropped to set fires; Agent Orange was a plant herbicide to kill the crops of the Vietnamese, causing starvation.

9 “A MERICANIZING ” THE W AR Both the Vietminh and the Vietcong proved elusive and very determined. Their troops traveled light with very little food. Their biggest advantage, though, was the underground networks of tunnels and attacked using guerilla warfare tactics.


11 P ATRIOTISM, H EROISM AND S INKING M ORALE Over time, American troops began to wonder whether or not a non-communist government in South Vietnam was important to the U.S.’ interests. Johnson’s Great Society was using a lot of money domestically, but so was the Vietnam War. Heavy government spending; Rising prices; Inflation These led Johnson to enact tax hikes and ultimately cut back on his Great Society.

12 D OUBT G ROWS ON THE H OME F RONT Hawks, those who are pro-war, felt that U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War was necessary to help contain communism. Doves, those who favor peace, saw the Vietnam War as a localized civil war that the U.S. and its troops should not be involved in.

13 Chapter 25, Section 3 T HE W AR DIVIDES A MERICA

14 A NTIWAR PROTESTS I NCREASE By 1965, most of the soldiers who were serving in Vietnam had been drafted, and not volunteers. The number of African Americans drafted also increased, causing many to see the process as unfair. Growing disdain for the war stemmed from the growing number of deaths seen in Vietnam. As more people died, the end seemed further away. This, combined with a growing disparity between government and journalist reports (known as a “credibility gap”), angered many Americans.

15 T HE T ET O FFENSIVE Early in 1968, the U.S. knew a communist attack on South Vietnam was going to take place. The only question was when. On January 30 th, 1968, the North Vietnamese launched an attack on strategic locations across South Vietnam to encourage SV citizens to rebel against the ARVN and US forces, which became known as the Tet Offensive. Although the plan did not work, and U.S. forces held off the north Vietnamese and Vietcong, it demonstrated that there was no end in sight for the war.

16 1968 P RESIDENTIAL ELECTION Ultimately, growing disapproval for the war led Johnson not to run for re-election in 1968. One viable candidate was then NY senator Robert Kennedy– JFK’s brother. However, after a campaign speech in California, he was assassinated by a Jordanian immigrant. A few months before, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had also been assassinated in Memphis. These assassinations coupled with violence at the Democratic National Convention demonstrated a need for a strong leader in November, 1968.

17 1968 P RESIDENTIAL ELECTION At their national convention, the Republicans chose Richard Nixon as their candidate. He promoted “peace with honor” regarding Vietnam, meaning he intended to remove U.S. troops, but for the peace terms not to discredit the U.S. In another close election, Richard Nixon won the election, beating Democratic candidate Hubert H. Humphrey.

18 R EVIEW T ODAY ’ S T OPICS 1) What effect did the TET Offensive have on public opinion in the United States? A. increased support for United States involvement B. Gen.Westmoreland’s popularity grew C. increased protests against United States involvement D. ended draft riots 2) Powers granted by which document allowed President Johnson to escalate the conflict in Vietnam? A. Tonkin Gulf Resolution C. New Frontier B. Warren CourtD. 25th Amendment

19 R EVIEW T ODAY ’ S T OPICS 3) Which of the following was most responsible for the failure of the Great Society? A) The assassination of JFK B) The assassination of MLK Jr. C) Lack of funding because of the Vietnam War D) The decisions of the Warren Court Ticket-out-the-door: Why did many Americans feel disdain (dislike) towards the Vietnam War?

20 Chapter 25, Section 4 T HE W AR ’ S E ND AND I MPACT

21 V IETNAMIZATION Nixon began removing troops from Vietnam shortly after becoming president. He promoted a policy of removing troops from Vietnam and turning control and combat duties over to the South Vietnamese, known as Vietnamization. However, Nixon was still committed to ending the communist threat in SE Asia, and ordered a secret bombing of the Ho Chi Minh Trail in neighboring Cambodia.

22 K ENT S TATE M ASSACRE Peace negotiations with the Vietnamese were moving too slowly for Nixon, so he turned his attention to helping pro-American Cambodian government against the Khmer Rouge. Nixon ordered an invasion of Cambodia, where many college-aged students reacted by organizing protests. Two campuses were rocked by violence– Kent State and Jackson State when armed police and National Guard members opened fire against the protestors. Four students died at Kent State, 2 at Jackson State.

23 M Y L AI M ASSACRE AND THE P ENTAGON P APERS In 1971, two events increased American pressure to remove troops from SE Asia– the My Lai Massacre and the Pentagon Papers. The My Lai Massacre occurred in 1968 and was an attempt to eliminate North Vietnamese presence in the SV village of My Lai. However, U.S. troops ended up killing unarmed civilians, thinking they were in cahoots with the NV. The American public found out about the massacre in 1971, and were enraged by the inadequate military investigation. Shortly after, the Pentagon Papers were published– outlining U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Nixon tried to block their publication in the NY Times, making the public even more distrustful.

24 P ARIS P EACE ACCORDS In January 1973, the Vietcong, U.S., North Vietnam and South Vietnam met to negotiate peace. These were the terms of the agreement: Cease-fire (no more fighting); U.S. would withdraw troops from SV and exchange POWs; NV would be allowed to stay in SV; Noncommunist government would remain in SV until there was a political settlement. However, neither side honored their terms of the agreement and in 1975, the SV capital of Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese.

25 W AR ’ S L ASTING E FFECTS There were many effects of the Vietnam War, very few of them positive: Communism did spread in SE Asia, but not to the extent that many believed; Vietnam veterans were not granted the same fanfare as the troops returning from WWI and WWII; Congress passed the War Powers Act– required the prez. to consult Congress within 48 hours of committing troops to a conflict; Johnson’s Great Society was never completely fulfilled due to lack of available funds.

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