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The End & The Legacy

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  1. The End & The Legacy VIETNAM

  2. Nixon’s Policy “Vietnamization” • withdraw troops slowly, and pass fighting to South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) • 1969-1973 went from 500,000 troops to less than 25,000. • Secretly increased bombing in North, Laos, & Cambodia • 1970 invades Cambodia

  3. Americans deceived… • Pentagon Papers • Daniel Ellsberg, a former researcher for the government, photo-copied classified documents called the “Pentagon Papers” • Papers documented American involvement in Vietnam • Papers showed that the government had lied to the American public & Congress about what was going on in Vietnam to try and gain support • Publication led to Nixon’s paranoia and illegal acts…

  4. Election of 1972 • Nixon was fearful that protest movement & Pentagon Papers discredited him & that he would not be re-elected • Set out to “destroy” these groups • Orders a series of “dirty tricks”(wiretaps, CIA surveillance, domestic spying, lying to the public, break-ins, illegal campaign contributions, and money laundering ) • Led to “Watergate” – term used to describe all of Nixon’s dirty tricks and the resulting impeachment and resignation of Nixon • Solidified Americans distrust of the government

  5. Nixon & Watergate • Nixon was afraid he would not get re-elected in 1972 Election • His campaign team, “CRP,” (Committee to Re-Elect the President) is determined to discredit the Democratic Party • 5 men break in to the Democratic Headquarters at the Watergate Building Complex – plan to steal documents & wiretap office – they are arrested • series of illegal acts begin, to cover-up involvement of CRP in break-in • Two Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein, begin to investigate cover-up • Senate begins an investigation…the big question: “What did the president know and when did he know it?”

  6. Senate discovers that Nixon had taped all of his presidential conversations • Senate demands copies of tapes – a year long battle ensues • several White House officials are fired & V.P Spiro Agnew resigns (Gerald Ford is appointed as V.P) • In 1974 Nixon releases edited versions of tapes – Supreme Court orders Nixon to surrender unedited versions • Senate impeaches (accuses) President of three crimes • obstruction of justice • abuse of power • Contempt of Congress • Nixon releases tapes, but parts have been “accidently” erased • Nixon resigns & Gerald Ford becomes President • Americans are totally disillusioned with government

  7. 1973 Peace Treaty & Continuing war • U.S. troops exit war • N.& S. Vietnam remain divided • Fighting continued between N.& S. • Without U.S. aide, South quickly fell to N. Vietnamese forces in 1975 • North takes Saigon and ends war • U.S. refuses to recognize the united communist Vietnam

  8. Effects on U.S. Soldiers… • 2.7 million men & women served • many experienced feelings of guilt, disrespect, responsibility • distrustful of government • some experienced problems with drugs, alcohol, joblessness, broken homes, and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)

  9. Effects on American society • 58,000 American deaths • Between $150 & $200 billion spent • Polarized American people • Led to political distrust (suspicion of government) • Americans doubtful of foreign affairs • Tarnished reputation of U.S. • led to the “War Powers Act” (limits the ability for President to send troops without Congressional approval)

  10. U.S. & Vietnam Today • stopped blocking of international loans • lifted trade embargo • opening of embassies • established full diplomatic relations Clinton normalized relations with Vietnam Vietnam is currently a united country with the communist party remaining dominant in politics

  11. We Will Never Forget… Vietnam Veteran Memorial Washington D.C.