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Vietnam is a country not a war. Vietnam. Exit Pass : write your answer in the Summary box at the bottom of the notesheet. What is the country of Vietnam like? . Complete the sentence. 1.The geography of Vietnam _________ 2. Vietnam has always had to fight in their history because________

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exit pass write your answer in the summary box at the bottom of the notesheet
Exit Pass: write your answer in the Summary box at the bottom of the notesheet
  • What is the country of Vietnam like?
complete the sentence
Complete the sentence

1.The geography of Vietnam _________

2. Vietnam has always had to fight in their history because________

3. Vietnam was colonized by the European country of________

4. During WWII Vietnam________

5. After WWII____________

6. Ho Chi Minh_________

7. The US got involved in Vietnam because___


Vietnam and Southeast Asia (a brief overview)

  • Geography
    • Water from snow melt and monsoon rainstorms make this area fertile agricultural area
    • Rice farming and fruits and vegetables, not trading, has dominated this area for thousands of years
    • Tigers, Elephants, monkeys, insects, and snakes (no less than 32 different kinds) fill this rainforest
  • History
    • Avoiding Chinese taxes and domination, Mongols and other Chinese related people migrated south thousands of years ago to become the “Vietnam” which roughly means “people of the far south”
    • Because of their history of avoiding Chinese interference – the Vietnamese have always been independent and resistant to any foreign rule – fighting the Chinese hundreds of times
    • They were slowly colonized by the French beginning in the 1600’s when France was taking over almost the entire peninsula –called French Indochina (Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam)
      • note: Vietnam became France’s “crown jewel” of her empire due to her resources, minerals and other exports that the French exploited

Values and Motivation

    • The Vietnamese are very tough and resilient farmers who are used to hardships – most are not formally educated and many view the city as a place to trade with the “evil” foreigners
    • They love their independence and will die by the thousands to repel invaders
    • They are very tied to the land that they farm because it holds the remains of their ancestors
    • After W.W.II many openly admired America and claimed that their desire for independence from France was just like America wanting its independence from Britain back in its colonial period
    • The U.S. decided to back the French in this struggle due to its greater policy of “Containment” and for fear of what president Eisenhower coined the “Domino Theory”
    • Feeling betrayed most Vietnamese joined the communists not because of their love for Karl Marx and Lenin, but rather for their hatred for westerners who supported wealthy corrupt landowners who exploited their country
Because of its mineral wealth France colonized Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. They called their empire Indochina
ho chi minh
Ho Chi Minh
  • The leader of Vietnam’s independence movement was
  • Ho Chi Minh
  • He had received training in USSR and with Mao in China
w w ii and aftermath
W.W.II and aftermath
  • During W.W.II Japan defeated France and controlled all of southeast Asia
  • After WWII Vietnam wanted independence from France
  • Ho Chi Minh even read from the American Declaration of Independence asking the U.N. for Independence
  • France refusedto allow Independence and continued to stay in Vietnam
  • Vietnam then began a war with France
domino theory
Domino Theory
  • Domino Theory: fear that if one country falls then all the other countries in that area will fall as well
  • The United States supported France in this war because Ho Chi Minh was communist and they feared the “domino theory”
The Vietnamese defeated the French
  • At the peace-treaty meetings in Geneva, Switzerland they decided to divide the country into a north and a south for 2 years
  • After 2 years there was supposed to be elections to unite the country

1.Ngo Diem Dim

2. Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

3. Giap Go Nguyen

4. Guerillas

5. Lyndon Baines Johnson

6. Gulf of Tonkin incident

7. ASV

8. South China Sea Protocal

9. National Liberation Front NLF (Vietcong)

10. ARVN

  • A. The army of South Vietnam
  • B. People of south Vietnam who were loyal to Ho Chi Minh
  • C. US Navy claims that Vietnamese boats fire at them
  • D. Soldiers that strike and then run and hide
  • E. Gave the president power to attack Vietnam
  • F. Corrupt dictator of South Vietnam

"I am not going to be the president who saw South-East Asia go the way China went.“

  • "If you let a bully come into your garden, the next day he'll be in your porch, and the day after that he'll rape your wife.“
  • "ill-equipped local militia who more often than not were killed asleep in their defensive positions.“
  • "We are swatting flies when we should be going after the manure pile."
  • ARVN was weak
  • The US should send an Army and win this war
  • Policy of containment
  • Domino Theory

“French, American, 10 years, 100 years it makes no difference. We will fight until the enemy leaves”

    • Vo Nguyen Giap, Vietnamese general

“For you (the U.S.) it was a simple thing; democracy against communism. For us, that was not our fight at all… we knew little of democracy and less of communism. For most of us, it was a fight for our independence – like your war for independence against Britain”

  • Le Ly Hayslip – author
  • When Heaven and Earth Changed Places

“ It was generally agreed that had an election been held, Ho Chi Minh would have been elected…at the time of the fighting, possible 80% of the population would have voted for the communist Ho Chi Minh as their leader.

        • Dwight D Eisenhower (former president) writing after his presidency
ngo dinh diem
Ngo Dinh Diem
  • Dictator of South Vietnam
  • Supported by Christian landowners
  • Backed by US $$ and weapons
  • Catholic
  • Very corrupt
  • Persecuted Buddhists
  • Strongly disliked
  • Did NOT allow elections

During this 2 years Communists in the north were receiving training from Russia and China

  • South Vietnam was receiving $ from the US
  • After 2 years the South Vietnamese dictator did NOT agree to elections
  • This greatly angered many Vietnamese
president kennedy and lyndon baines johnson
President Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson
  • LBJ, Kennedy’s vice-president became president after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963
gulf of tonkin incident

Gulf of Tonkin Incident

On August 2nd 1964 The U.S.S Maddox claimed that it was attacked by North Vietnamese gunboats in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin

gulf of tonkin resolution
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
  • After the Incident in the Gulf of Tonkin
  • President Johnson asked Congress to pass legislation that gave him power to conduct a war in Vietnam
  • War was never declared on Vietnam
  • But the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was just like a declaration of war
us mission in vietnam
US mission in Vietnam
  • 1. Keep South Vietnam capitalist!
  • Keep 2 Vietnams
  • Don’t let the 1st domino fall!
  • 2. Destroy the Vietcong in South Vietnam
vietcong vc charlie

Vietcong: VC, ‘Charlie’

Regular people living in South Vietnam who were supporters of Ho Chi Minh and the communists from the North. Regular farmers and workers by day and guerilla, hit and run warriors by night who hid in tunnels and did sneak ambushes on Americans

in the vietnam war the us had to fight 2 different groups
In the Vietnam War The US had to fight 2 different groups
  • The 1st group were the NVA:North Vietnamese Army: soldiers from North Vietnam. Outfitted with Chinese and Soviet weapons
  • The 2nd the group was the VC(Vietcong) “Charlie”
  • Regular people living in South Vietnam who were supporters of Ho Chi Minh and the communists
  • Many were farmers and workers by day and guerilla- hit and run warriors by night
  • who planted bombs and hid in tunnels and did sneak ambushes on Americans
The Viet Cong were soldiers(men and women) who were communists and dressed as normal citizens and used guerilla warfare
  • Guerilla warfare:
  • Small groups of soldiers that attack and then run away
  • Blend in with the regular population
complete the sentence1
Complete the sentence

1.The Gulf of Tonkin_______

2. Guerilla warfare________

3. The Viet Cong _________

4. Agent Orange________

5. Napalm______

6. Bombing in Vietnam ________


how does this hurt the us war effort
How does this hurt the US’ war effort?
  • The US supporting a corrupt government in South Vietnam
  • Jungle
  • Using Agent Orange
  • Viet Cong
  • Drafted soldiers
  • Thousands of bombing runs that kill thousands
  • Burning villages
  • News of the My Lai massacre
  • Showing protests on TV
movies to watch about the vietnam conflict not required
Movies to watch about the Vietnam conflict – NOT required
  • Disclaimer: All these movies are rated R and are violent and have lots of F bombs
  • Platoon
  • Tunnel Rats
  • Full Metal Jacket
  • Hamburger Hill
  • Apocalypse Now
  • Forrest Gump
my lai massacre
My Lai massacre
  • US Soldiers went hut by hut and killed 200-300 villagers
  • Most were women and children and old men
  • When this news went public – It greatly damaged USA’s reputation and the war effort
  • There were thousands of anti war protests
exit pass
  • What was fighting like in Vietnam?


  • What was the goal in the US bombing so much?
  • Was it effective?
  • What about the cost?
  • Search and Destroy:
  • What were the goals for search and destroy?
  • What were 3 problems for American soldiers?
  • My Lai Massacre
  • What happened?
  • Why did it happen?
  • How did the news of this My Lai affect people living in America?
nva north vietnamese army soldiers from north vietnam outfitted with chinese and soviet weapons
NVA: North Vietnamese Army: soldiers from North Vietnam. Outfitted with Chinese and Soviet weapons

Who colonized and then lost Vietnam?

  • Was Vietnam always divided into a North and South?
  • Why was Vietnam divided into a north and south?
  • Who was Ho Chi Minh?
  • What was the “Domino theory”?
  • Why did the United States go to fight in Vietnam?
  • Who were the NVA?
  • Who were the VC (Vietcong)?
  • What were the major objectives (goals) in Vietnam?
  • Why did many in the US view the war negatively?
  • What were some facts about the draft?
  • Why do you think that the US decided to pull out of Vietnam?
  • How did the Vietnam war end?
  • How is the war viewed by many Americans?
American B-52s dropped more bombs on North and South Vietnam than they did on Germany and Japan in WWII
the tet offensive 1968
The TET offensive 1968
  • In January of 1968 the Vietcong started the Tet Offensive during the New Years celebration
  • The VC attacked over 100 towns and U.S. bases.
  • The US took back everything taken by VC
  • But the attack sent the message to America that the war was nowhere close to being over
also in 1968
Also in 1968
  • 1968: LBJ says that he will not run for president. Message: I don’t want to be commander and chief of this war anymore – I’m quitting
  • 1968 – Martin Luther King gets assassinated. There are race riots in at least 5 big cities
  • 1968- Robert F. Kennedy (JFK’s brother) decides to run for president after LBJ drops out. He is killed
  • 1968- Republican Richard Nixon is elected president

President Richard Nixon starts “Vietnamization”:

  • Training South Vietnamese soldiers to control their own country and bringing American soldiers home

In 1973 the US finally signed a peace treaty with North Vietnam

  • The last troops came home in March of 1973
did the us win or lose in vietnam
Did the US win or Lose in Vietnam?
  • Did NOT Lose
  • The US won every major battle with North Vietnam
  • The US left South Vietnam with their own army, air force and all the best military technology.
  • It took North Vietnam 2 more years to take South Vietnam
  • South Vietnam lost their own country!
  • The US never really defeated the Vietcong
  • The VC were still in all areas of South Vietnam
  • Vietnam is one communist country
  • Cambodia and Laos also fell to communism (domino theory)
  • The US did not stop Communism
  • Therefore, the US lost

The first reason that it was hard to win in Vietnam was_______

  • For example_________
  • Another reason that it was hard to was __________
  • For example _____________
  • A final reason that the US had difficulty in securing South Vietnam was ______________
  • An example would be _____________

The US did not lose in Vietnam because when they pulled out in 1973 South Vietnam was its own country. It took North Vietnam 2 more years to defeat South VietnamHow far do you agree that the US did not lose the war in Vietnam?


When asked how long will you resist, general Vo Nguyen Giap replied,

  • “20 years, maybe 100 years, - as long as it takes to win, regardless of cost” 

“You can kill 10 of my men for every one that I kill of yours, yet even at those odds I will win and you will lose because each day that you stay in my country hundreds more come to my side”

  • Ho Chi Minh

Soon after the peace agreement North Vietnam attacked the South. It took 2 years but the North made all of Vietnam Communist. Communism also spread to Cambodia and Laos (Domino Theory)