Vietnam and the policies of the 60s 70s
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Vietnam and the Policies of the ‘60s & ‘70s. Eisenhower and Vietnam -1954 = Vietnam was divided at the 17th parallel until elections could be held -From 1955-1961 = U.S. gave over $1 billion in economic and military aid to South Vietnamese -Goal = build a stable, anticommunist state

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Vietnam and the Policies of the ‘60s & ‘70s

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Vietnam and the policies of the 60s 70s

Vietnam and the Policies of the ‘60s & ‘70s

Eisenhower and Vietnam

-1954 = Vietnam was divided at the 17th parallel until elections could be held

-From 1955-1961 = U.S. gave over $1 billion in economic and military aid to South Vietnamese

-Goal = build a stable, anticommunist state

- “domino theory” = if Vietnam fell under Communist control other nations would fall


Vietnam and the policies of the 60s 70s

Kennedy Intensifies the Cold War

-Flexible Response = increased spending on conventional (non-nuclear) arms and special forces

-Buildup in Vietnam = military advisors sent to train the South Vietnamese army

-1963 = 16,000 U.S. troops in South Vietnam in non-combat role

-Assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem = South Vietnamese leader was overthrown, further destabilized the region

New Frontier Programs

-called for aid to education, federal support for health care, urban renewal, and civil rights

-economy stimulated by defense spending for defense and space exploration

-Johnson = promised to continue Kennedy’s programs


Vietnam and the policies of the 60s 70s

The self immolation of Thich Quand Duc in protest to the Diem

government’s policies against Buddhist religious freedom, 1963


Vietnam and the policies of the 60s 70s

Southeast Asia and the Vietnam War


Vietnam and the policies of the 60s 70s

Escalation of the War in Vietnam

-Tonkin Gulf Resolution (1964) = president was given authority to send forces into Vietnam to protect U.S. interests

-Operation Rolling Thunder (1965) = bombing campaign of North Vietnam

-March 1969 = escalation peaked at over 540,000 soldiers

-critics claimed that the escalation was an illegal war because it was not declared by Congress

-critics argued that billions spent in Vietnam should be used to combat poverty and urban problems at home

-until 1968, others supported the effort as necessary to contain communism in the region


Vietnam and the policies of the 60s 70s

U.S. troop levels in Vietnam (as of Dec. 31 of each year)


Vietnam and the policies of the 60s 70s

LBJ’s Great Society Reforms

-with Democrats in control of both houses of Congress, LBJ focused on economic and social reforms

-Medicare = health insurance program for those 65 and older

-Medicaid = health care for the poor and disabled

-Education Act = aid to poor school districts

-immigration laws abolishing the discriminatory quotas based on national origins from the 1920s

-increased funding for higher education

-increased funding for public housing and crime prevention

-LBJ’s peaceful “war on poverty” was undermined by the real war in Vietnam = higher taxes and inflation


Vietnam and the policies of the 60s 70s

Hawks vs. Doves

-Hawks = supported the war and viewed it as larger conflict against Communist aggression

-“Silent Majority” = name for moderate Americans who quietly supported Nixon’s Vietnam policies

-credibility gap = misinformation, combined with LBJ’s reluctance to explain the costs of the war led to distrust

-Doves = opposed the war and viewed it as a civil war by nationalists and Communists to unite their country

-greatest opposition to the war came from college students who would be come eligible to be drafted


Vietnam and the policies of the 60s 70s

Tet Offensive (1968)

-attack and destruction demoralized the public

-LBJ announced he would limit bombing, negotiate peace, and not seek another term as president

Nixon’s Vietnam Policy

-Goal = reduce U.S. involvement in the war and avoid the appearance of a defeat, “peace with honor”

-Vietnamization = provide South Vietnamese with money, weapons, and training to take over full combat

-Nixon Doctrine = Asian allies would receive support but not extensive use of U.S. forces

-Invasion of Cambodia (1970) and Kent State shootings

-Pentagon Papers (1971)

-War Powers Act (1973)


Vietnam and the policies of the 60s 70s

Evacuation of personnel from the CIA station, Saigon, April 29, 1975


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