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Vietnam. I. France’s involvement in Vietnam From 1800—WWII, France ruled most of Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia) Vietnamese peasants began resisting French rule French rulers began restricting freedom of speech and assembly. Moving Toward Conflict.

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moving toward conflict
I. France’s involvement in Vietnam

From 1800—WWII, France ruled most of Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia)

Vietnamese peasants began resisting French rule

French rulers began restricting freedom of speech and assembly

Moving Toward Conflict
Many revolutionaries fled to China and formed a group under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh
    • Leader of the Indochinese Communist Party
  • Vietminh—an organization whose goal it was to win Vietnam’s independence from foreign rule
  • September 2, 1945—Ho Chi Minh stood in the northern city of Hanoi and declared Vietnam’s independence
    • The French fought back
The US get involved in 1950 backing the French for 2 reasons
    • Strengthen ties with France
    • Fight spread of Communism
  • US provided military and economic support
    • Eisenhower’s Domino Theory—Countries on the brink of Communism are like dominoes waiting to fall one after another
The Vietminh overran the French at Dien Bien Phu in May 1954
  • Geneva Accords—Temporarily divided Vietnam along the 17th parallel
    • Ho Chi Minh and the Communists ran North Vietnam from Hanoi
    • Anticommunist Nationalists ran South Vietnam from Saigon
us involvement in vietnam
US involvement in Vietnam
  • With France gone, the US played a larger role
  • Ho Chi Minh was winning support in the north by breaking up large estates and dividing the land among the peasants
    • He was considered a hero
  • 1956, South Vietnam’s President, Ngo Dinh Diem canceled elections because of Ho Chi Minh’s popularity
    • Knew entire country would become Communist
  • US supported Diem’s government in South Vietnam, which soon became corrupt
Vietcong—Communist group against South Vietnam, began attacking Diem’s government

Supported by Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh Trail—Path Ho Chi Minh used to supply the Vietcong in South Vietnam

jfk and vietnam
JFK and Vietnam
  • Increased financial aid to Diem
  • --Sent military advisers to train South Vietnamese troops (16,000 by 1963)
    • Diem began targeting Buddhists
    • US overthrew Diem on November 1, 1963
    • JFK announced he planned to withdraw from Vietnam, shortly before his death
lbj and vietnam
LBJ and Vietnam
  • After Vietnam’s removal South Vietnam became more unstable
  • LBJ believed a communist takeover in South Vietnam would be disastrous
  • Tonkin Gulf Incident—The USS Maddox claimed to hear enemy fire and began firing back
    • Prompted LBJ to authorize bombing strikes on North Vietnam
    • LBJ asked Congress for powers to take “all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the US and to prevent further aggression” –Tonkin Gulf Resolution
      • Gave LBJ broad military powers in Vietnam
      • By August 1965, 50,000 US soldiers were battling the Vietcong
decreasing public support
Decreasing public support
  • The US economy
    • As the number of troops in Vietnam grew, the cost of the war grew
    • Inflation rate rose
    • LBJ asked for a tax increase
      • Congress agreed after LBJ cut $6 billion in funding for the Great Society
decreasing public support1
Decreasing public support
  • Television
    • “Living room war”
      • People could watch combat footage
      • Listened nightly to body count statistics
        • 16,000 from 1961-1967
  • The Fulbright Hearings
    • LBJ advisers were asked to defend their foreign policies to congress
    • People felt they weren’t hearing the truth about what was really happening
end of the war and its legacy
End of the War and its Legacy
  • 1. Nixon adopts a policy of Vietnamization
    • Vietnamization—Nixon and National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger’s, plan to gradually withdraw US troops so the South Vietnamese could take a more active combat role in the war
  • Silent Majority—Moderate, mainstream Americans who quietly supported the US efforts in Vietnam
2. My Lai massacre shocks Americans
    • 200 innocent Vietnamese were killed by US soldiers
  • 3. Nixon orders invasion of Cambodia
    • Wanted to remove Vietnamese and Vietcong supply centers from Cambodia
4. First student strike in US history occurs
    • 1.5 million students closed down 1,200 campuses protesting the invasion of Cambodia
  • 5. Congress repeals the Tonkin Gulf Resolution
    • To protest Nixon’s bombing and invasion of Cambodia without notifying Congress
    • To gain greater Congressional control over US policy in Vietnam
6. The “Christmas bombings” take place
    • Nixon bombed North Vietnam cities, Hanoi and Haiphong, as one last push to force a negotiated peace
7. South Vietnam surrenders to North Vietnam
    • North Vietnam’s full-scale invasion of South Vietnam and the capture of Saigon
    • No US troops there to prevent the North’s victory
8. Vietnam veterans receive a cold homecoming
    • Americans were very torn and bitter about the war
  • 9. Cambodia erupts in civil war in 1975
    • Caused by the US invasion of Cambodia in 1970
    • 1 million Cambodians died
10. Congress passes the War Powers Act
    • A president must inform Congress within 48 hours of sending troops into a hostile area without a declaration of war
    • Curbs the president’s war-making powers
  • 11. The draft is abolished
    • Due to much caused anti-war sentiment