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10 th American History Unit V – A Nation Facing Challenges Chapter 19 – Section 1 – The War Develops. Overview of the Film from the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial [02:42]. The War Develops. The Main Idea

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10 th american history unit v a nation facing challenges chapter 19 section 1 the war develops
10th American History

Unit V – A Nation Facing Challenges

Chapter 19 – Section 1 – The War Develops

the war develops
The War Develops
  • The Main Idea
  • Concern about the spread of communism led the United States to become increasingly violent in Vietnam.
  • Reading Focus
  • How did Southeast Asia’s colonial history produce increased tensions in Vietnam?
  • What policies did Presidents Truman and Eisenhower pursue in Vietnam after World War II?
  • What events and conditions caused growing conflicts between North Vietnam and South Vietnam?
  • Why did Presidents Kennedy and Johnson increase U.S. involvement in Vietnam?
southeast asia s colonial history
Southeast Asia’s Colonial History
  • France gained control of Vietnam by 1883 despite fierce resistance from the Vietnamese.
  • The French combined Vietnam with Laos and Cambodia to form French Indochina.
  • Ho Chi Minh led a growing nationalist movement in Vietnam.
  • During World War II, the Japanese army occupied French Indochina.
  • A group called the League for the Independence of Vietnam, or the Vietminh, fought the Japanese.
  • After World War II, the Vietminh declared independence, but the French quickly moved in to reclaim Vietnam.
colonial vietnam
Ho Chi Minh

Real name is Nguyen That Thanh; Ho Chi Minh means “He Who Enlightens.”

Participated in tax revolts against the French.

Joined the French Communist Party.

Believed that a Communist revolution was a way Vietnam could be free of foreign rulers.

World War II

Japan occupied French Indochina.

Ho Chi Minh organized the Vietminh to fight the Japanese.

Japan surrendered to the Allies in 1945, and the Vietminh declared Vietnam to be independent.

Ho Chi Minh hoped for U.S. support of their independence.

The French reclaimed Vietnam after World War II.

Colonial Vietnam
vietnam and world war ii
Vietnam and World War II
  • By 1940 Japan had conquered French Indochina.
  • The Vietnamese resistance leader by 1945 was Ho Chi Minh
  • Ho would lead the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945
  • However, the French began to demand the return of their former colonies and replace Ho with a puppet government
  • In 1948, the French re-installed Bao Dai as head of state of Vietnam, which now comprised of central and south Vietnam.

Ho Chi Mihn

Emperor Bao Dai

what policies did presidents truman and eisenhower pursue in vietnam after ww ii
What policies did Presidents Truman and Eisenhower pursue in Vietnam after WW II?
  • Saw Vietnam in terms of the Cold War struggle against communism
  • Supported France; unwilling to back the Vietminh because many were Communists


  • Communists seized China in 1949.
  • Communist North Korea invaded South Korea in 1950.
  • Communist-led revolts in Indonesia, Malaya, and the Philippines


  • Believed in the domino theory
  • Sent arms, ammunition, supplies, and money to the French forces in Vietnam.


colonial vietnam1
Colonial Vietnam
  • How did Southeast Asia’s colonial history produce increased tensions in Vietnam?
  • Recall – By what name do we know Nguyen That Thanh?
  • Analyze – How did the experience of the Vietminh during World War II prepare it for war with France?
  • Evaluate – Why did Ho Chi Minh expect the United States to support Vietnam’s bid for independence?
french indochina war
French-Indochina War
  • Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh begin to fight the French.
  • The U.S regard Ho Chi Minh as communist and move to support the French
  • The French struggle was going badly. The turnover of French governments left France unable to prosecute the war with any consistent policy. France was increasingly unable to afford the conflict in Indochina.
  • Chinese communists meanwhile increased help to Viet Mihn
vietnam after world war ii
The Domino Theory

Domino theory—the belief that communism would spread to neighboring countries if Vietnam fell to communism

To avoid this, the United States supported the French during the Vietnam War.

By 1954 the United States was paying more than 75 percent of the cost of the war.

The French continued to lose battle after battle.

Vietminh used guerrilla tactics effectively.

France Defeated

French soldiers made a last stand at Dien Bien Phu.

French forces hoped for a U.S. rescue, but Eisenhower did not want to send U.S. soldiers to Asia so soon after Korea.

The French surrendered on May 7, 1954.

After eight years of fighting, the two sides had lost nearly 300,000 soldiers.

The Vietminh had learned how to fight a guerilla war against an enemy with superior weapons and technology.

Vietnam after World War II
dien bien phu 57 days of hell
Dien Bien Phu- "57 Days of Hell".
  • Began March 13, 1954
  • Fought near the village of Dien Bien Phu in northern Vietnam and became the last battle between the French and the Vietnamese in the First Indochina War.
  • But contemporary military tactics were unable to defeat successive human wave attacks and the subsequent siege of the base; the French were defeated with devastating losses
  • At least 2,200 members of the 20,000-strong French forces died during the battle. Of the 100,000 or so Vietnamese involved, there were an estimated 8,000 killed and another 15,000 wounded, almost half of the attacking force.
the geneva conference
The Geneva Conference

The goal of the Geneva Conference was to work out a peace agreement and arrange for Indochina’s future.

According to the Geneva Accords, Vietnam was temporarily divided at the 17th parallel.

Vietminh forces controlled the North and the French would withdraw from the country.

General elections were to be held in July 1956 and would reunify the country under one government.

The United States never fully supported the peace agreements fearing that Ho Chi Minh and the Communists would win the nationwide election.

vietnam after world war ii1
Vietnam after World War II
  • What policies did Presidents Truman and Eisenhower pursue in Vietnam after World War II?
  • Recall – What events in Asia after World War II increased American fears of communism?
  • Make Judgments – Was the domino theory a good basis for American policy?
vietnam after world war ii2
Vietnam after World War II
  • Identify – What happened at Dien Bien Phu?
  • Make Inferences – What useful experience did the Vietnamese take away from Dien Bien Phu?
  • Evaluate – Why did the United States not support the Geneva Accords?
growing conflict in vietnam
Vietnam’s Leaders

Ngo Dinh Diem became the president of South Vietnam in 1954.

Diem’s government was corrupt, brutal, and unpopular from the start.

He favored Catholics and the wealthy.

Diem cancelled the 1956 election that would unify Vietnam under one government.

Ho Chi Minh’s leadership in North Vietnam was totalitarian and repressive.

He gave land to peasants, which made him popular.

A Civil War

Diem’s opponents in South Vietnam began to revolt- 1950’s.

North Vietnam supplied weapons to Vietminh rebels in South Vietnam.

The Vietminh in South Vietnam formed the National Liberation Front and called their military forces the Vietcong.

The Vietcong assassinated many South Vietnamese leaders and soon controlled much of the countryside.

In 1960 Ho Chi Minh sent the North Vietnamese Army into the country to fight with the Vietcong.

Growing Conflict in Vietnam
growing conflict in vietnam1
Growing Conflict in Vietnam
  • What events and conditions caused growing conflicts between North Vietnam and South Vietnam?
  • Identify – Who was the South Vietnamese leader?
  • Explain – Why was Ngo Dihn Diem so popular with the American Government?
growing conflict in vietnam2
Growing Conflict in Vietnam
  • Recall – Why did Ngo Dinh Diem refuse to allow the 1956 elections?
  • Analyze – How did Diem Catholicism affect the South Vietnamese?
growing conflict in vietnam3
Growing Conflict in Vietnam
  • Identify – Who were the Vietcong?
  • Evaluate – do you believe that Eisenhower’s decision to send U.S. troops to Vietnam was wise?
u s involvement in vietnam
U.S. Involvement in Vietnam
  • Began sending money and weapons to South Vietnam
  • Military advisors sent to train South Vietnamese army


  • Believed in the Domino Theory
  • Increased the number of military advisors and army special forces, or Green Berets
  • Advisors were not to take part in combat, but many did


  • Believed an expanded U.S. effort was the only way to prevent a Communist victory in Vietnam
  • Asked Congress to pass the Tonkin Gulf Resolution


u s involvement in french indochina war eisenhower
U.S Involvement in French Indochina War- Eisenhower

Former General Dwight D. Eisenhower became President of the United States and first advanced the so-called domino theory, warning that if America did not support France in stopping the Communists in Indochina, all of the Eastern, India and Southeastern Asia would fall to the "Communist Bloc".

  • 1950- U.S. begins to help the French with money and arms.
  • 1953- Eisehower asks for $60 million in aid to French.
  • 1954- The U.S. is paying for 80% of the war between the French and the Vietnamese communists.
kennedy and indochina
Kennedy and Indochina
  • Laos and the coalition government (Pathet Lao)
  • Problems in Vietnam
  • 1956 National Elections- Geneva Accords
  • Civil War
  • President Diem
  • Government Opposition- many groups, Buddhists, Communists all joined the NLF- National Liberation Front (“Vietcong” nicknamed by Diem)
  • Overthrow of Diem- “Coup”, and military junta.
  • Kennedy sending supplies, money and advisors (16,000 by 1963.)
increasing u s involvement
Diem’s Overthrow

Diem’s government continued to grow more and more unpopular.

He arrested and killed Buddhist protesters.

U.S. leaders said they would withdraw support if Diem did not change his ways.

Diem refused to change his stand against Buddhists, and the United States began to support a plot to overthrow Diem.

In November 1963 the South Vietnamese plotters murdered Diem.

Tonkin Gulf Resolution

To increase the American military effort in Vietnam, Johnson needed to obtain authority from Congress.

Johnson asked Congress for this authority claiming that the USS Maddox had been attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Johnson claimed this attack was unprovoked, but really the Maddox had been on a spying mission and had fired first.

The Tonkin Gulf Resolution was passed on August 7.

Increasing U.S. Involvement

The Tonkin Gulf Incident

During the night of 4 August a second attack was believed to have taken place against both the Maddox and the Turner Joy, leading to retaliatory strikes on North Vietnam by U.S. carrier planes.

U.S.S. Maddox- On 2 August 1964, while on patrol in the Gulf of Tonkin, she was attacked by North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats- torpedoes and machine gunfire.

Orders were to conduct some electronic eavesdropping, monitoring North Vietnamese radio traffic, and to support South Vietnamese patrol boat raids on North Vietnamese Coastal Radar.

Most historians are nearly certain that no communist attack had occurred.

U.S.S. Maddox

U.S.S. Turner Joy

U.S.S. Maddox

U.S.S. Turner Joy

tonkin gulf resolution aug 7 1964
Tonkin Gulf Resolution- Aug. 7, 1964
  • The resolution passes unanimously in the House, and by a margin of 82-2 in the Senate. The Resolution allows Johnson to wage all out war against North Vietnam without ever securing a formal Declaration of War from Congress.
  • Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Congress approves and supports the determination of the President, as Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.
  • Johnson did not believe the Commander in Chief needed this resolution (approval)
increasing u s involvement1
Increasing U.S. Involvement
  • Why did Presidents Kennedy and Johnson increase U.S. involvement in Vietnam?
  • Identify – Who were the Green Berets?
  • Explain – Why did Buddhist monks begin to kill themselves publicly?
increasing u s involvement2
Increasing U.S. Involvement
  • Recall – What happened to Ngo Dinh Diem?
  • Predict – What would have happened to South Vietnam following Diem’s death if the United States had not expanded its military role?
increasing u s involvement3
Increasing U.S. Involvement
  • Recall – What was the Gulf of Tonkin incident?
  • Evaluate – How did the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution help Johnson’s war plans?