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  1. Do Now: “Vietnam is a country, not a war.”~ Le Van Bang, Former Ambassador to the United States What do you know about Vietnam…other than information about the Vietnam War?

  2. Vietnam and the Vietnam War

  3. Physical & Human Geography

  4. Where is Vietnam? • Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia. It borders China, Cambodia, and Laos. • Its eastern border is the South China Sea.

  5. Regions of Vietnam Major Rice Producing Areas

  6. Population • 15thmost populous nation in world • 93 million residents (more than a 1/4 of U.S. pop.)

  7. History

  8. Vietnam’s History • Vietnam has a long history of being invaded and controlled by other countries, most notably China (its neighbor to the North).

  9. Vietnam’s History • However, these invasions did not go unchallenged. The Vietnamese people also have a long history of fighting off foreign domination. • Some of the most revered people in Vietnamese history are those who fought to expel foreign invaders.

  10. Trung Sisters

  11. French Indochina • In the early 1900’s, the French controlled a section of Southeast Asia known as French Indochina, which included modern day Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

  12. French Indochina • Independence movements began in a section of French Indochina known today as Vietnam.

  13. Ho Chi Minh • Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese man who became a leader of an independence movement.

  14. Ho Chi Minh • In the 1930’s Ho Chi Minh turned to the Communists for help. • The French threatened Ho Chi Minh with death so he left the country.

  15. Ballad of Ho Chi Minh Far away across the ocean,Far beyond the sea's eastern rim,Lives a man who is father of the Indo-Chinese people,And his name it is Ho Chi Minh.From VietBac to the SaiGon DeltaFrom the mountains and plains belowYoung and old workers, peasants and the toiling tenant farmersFight for freedom with Uncle Ho.Now Ho Chi Minh was a deep sea sailorHe served his time out on the seven seasWork and hardship were part of his early educationExploitation his ABC.Now Ho Chi Minh came home from sailingAnd he looked out on his native landSaw the want and the hunger of the Indo-Chinese peopleForeign soldiers on every hand. Now Ho Chi Minh went to the mountainsAnd he trained a determined bandHeroes all, sworn to liberate the Indo-Chinese peopleDrive invaders from the land.Fourteen men became a hundredA hundred thousand and Ho Chi MinhForged and tempered the army of the Indo-Chinese peopleFreedom's Army of Viet Minh.Every soldier is a farmerComes the evening and he grabs his hoeComes the morning he swings his rifle on his shoulderThis the army of Uncle Ho.From the mountains and the junglesFrom the ricelands and the Plain of ReedsMarch the men and the women of the Indo-Chinese ArmyPlanting freedom with vict'ry seeds.From VietBac to the SaiGon DeltaMarched the armies of Viet MinhAnd the wind stirs the banners of the Indo-Chinese peoplePeace and freedom and Ho Chi Minh.

  16. World War II • During World War II the Japanese took over Indochina (1941 – 1945).

  17. World War II • Ho Chi Minh returned and began reuniting his party. • Many believed Vietnam would become independent after the war ended and Japan lost.

  18. Different Views on Independence • All Vietnamese people wanted to have an independent Vietnam. • Ho Chi Minh wanted Vietnam to be independent and communist. Many Vietnamese people agreed, but not all.

  19. Different Views on Independence • Some Vietnamese people wanted to be independent, but not communist. These people were called Nationalists.

  20. War Breaks Out • After World War II, Vietnam didn’t become independent. Instead, the French returned.

  21. War Breaks Out • The Communists and Nationalists joined forces to fight the French and become independent. • The movement spread to the peasants in the countryside.

  22. France Surrenders In 1954, the French suffered a humiliating defeat at Dien Bien Phu and gave up. America had been supporting France. We were not ready to give up, and did not want Vietnam to become communist.

  23. Civil War or International Conflict? • With France gone the Vietnamese people still had a lot of problems to sort out. • There was still a disagreement between the Nationalist and Communists about what type of government they would have. • America stayed involved because we wanted to contain communism.

  24. North Vietnam was mostly communist and under control of Ho Chi Minh. South Vietnam was mostly Nationalist, and would come under control of a man backed by the US.

  25. Revision Questions • Who controlled Vietnam during the early 1900s? During WW2? After WW2? • Who is Ho Chi Minh and why is he important?

  26. Domino Theory Many Americans believed in domino theory – the belief that once a country becomes communist they will spread communism to their neighbors.

  27. Is Domino Theory True?

  28. US Backs Ngo Dinh Diem The US gave support to Ngo Dinh Diem an unpopular leader of South Vietnam who ruled like a dictator, but wasn’t communist.

  29. US Backs Ngo Dinh Diem • He was hated by many. In 1963, he was overthrown and killed. • This made Ho Chi Minh and communism even more appealing to the Vietnamese people.

  30. Rise of the Vietcong • Diem’s unpopularity increased the support for Ho Chi Minh and the Vietcong – communist guerilla fighters, in the south.

  31. Rise of the Vietcong • The US had already been helping Nationalist leaders in the south, now we sent more planes, tanks, and military.

  32. US Involvement The US had many difficulties in fighting the Vietcong: • Unfamiliar terrainand fighting against guerilla tactics.

  33. US Involvement • South Vietnamese government was rapidly losing popularity. • North Vietnamese communists were getting weapons from the Soviet Union and China.

  34. US Involvement: Controversy and Conflict • During our involvement Laos and Cambodia were bombed to kill any Vietcong hiding there. • The American public didn’t understand why it was necessary for us to be involved in this conflict.

  35. US Involvement: Controversy and Conflict • Due to the unpopularity of our involvement and the controversy over our tactics President Nixon withdrew our troops officially in 1973.

  36. The use of napalm and Agent Orange, chemicals to clear large portions of forest in Vietnam caused great damage. Agricultural was ruined for decades and many birth defects resulted from the use of Agent Orange.

  37. Outcomes • After the US left, the communist north overran the south. • Vietnam became communist.

  38. Outcomes • Vietnam is still communist today, and has a good relationship with America.

  39. What does this conflict have to do with the Cold War? • Vietnam War demonstrates how US became involved in foreign affairs to prevent the spread of communism due to our belief in domino theory. • Containment in action – was it successful or worth it?

  40. What does this conflict have to do with the Cold War? • The outcome of this war impacts later foreign policy decisions – President Nixon will works towards a better relationship with the Soviet Union and China.