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Vietnam. I. France’s involvement in Vietnam From 1800—WWII, France ruled most of Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia) Vietnamese peasants began resisting French rule French rulers began restricting freedom of speech and assembly. Moving Toward Conflict.

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Moving toward conflict

I. France’s involvement in Vietnam

From 1800—WWII, France ruled most of Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia)

Vietnamese peasants began resisting French rule

French rulers began restricting freedom of speech and assembly

Moving Toward Conflict


  • Many revolutionaries fled to China and formed a group under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh

    • Leader of the Indochinese Communist Party

  • Vietminh—an organization whose goal it was to win Vietnam’s independence from foreign rule

  • September 2, 1945—Ho Chi Minh stood in the northern city of Hanoi and declared Vietnam’s independence

    • The French fought back


  • The US get involved in 1950 backing the French for 2 reasons the leadership of Ho Chi Minh

    • Strengthen ties with France

    • Fight spread of Communism

  • US provided military and economic support

    • Eisenhower’s Domino Theory—Countries on the brink of Communism are like dominoes waiting to fall one after another


Us involvement in vietnam
US involvement in Vietnam the leadership of Ho Chi Minh

  • With France gone, the US played a larger role

  • Ho Chi Minh was winning support in the north by breaking up large estates and dividing the land among the peasants

    • He was considered a hero

  • 1956, South Vietnam’s President, Ngo Dinh Diem canceled elections because of Ho Chi Minh’s popularity

    • Knew entire country would become Communist

  • US supported Diem’s government in South Vietnam, which soon became corrupt


Vietcong—Communist group against South Vietnam, began attacking Diem’s government

Supported by Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh Trail—Path Ho Chi Minh used to supply the Vietcong in South Vietnam

Jfk and vietnam
JFK and Vietnam attacking Diem’s government

  • Increased financial aid to Diem

  • --Sent military advisers to train South Vietnamese troops (16,000 by 1963)

    • Diem began targeting Buddhists

    • US overthrew Diem on November 1, 1963

    • JFK announced he planned to withdraw from Vietnam, shortly before his death

Lbj and vietnam
LBJ and Vietnam attacking Diem’s government

  • After Vietnam’s removal South Vietnam became more unstable

  • LBJ believed a communist takeover in South Vietnam would be disastrous

  • Tonkin Gulf Incident—The USS Maddox claimed to hear enemy fire and began firing back

    • Prompted LBJ to authorize bombing strikes on North Vietnam

    • LBJ asked Congress for powers to take “all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the US and to prevent further aggression” –Tonkin Gulf Resolution

      • Gave LBJ broad military powers in Vietnam

      • By August 1965, 50,000 US soldiers were battling the Vietcong

Viewpoints on increasing involvement
Viewpoints on increasing involvement attacking Diem’s government

Viewpoints continued
Viewpoints continued attacking Diem’s government

American attacking Diem’s government

Vietcong attacking Diem’s government

Decreasing public support
Decreasing public support attacking Diem’s government

  • The US economy

    • As the number of troops in Vietnam grew, the cost of the war grew

    • Inflation rate rose

    • LBJ asked for a tax increase

      • Congress agreed after LBJ cut $6 billion in funding for the Great Society

Decreasing public support1
Decreasing public support attacking Diem’s government

  • Television

    • “Living room war”

      • People could watch combat footage

      • Listened nightly to body count statistics

        • 16,000 from 1961-1967

  • The Fulbright Hearings

    • LBJ advisers were asked to defend their foreign policies to congress

    • People felt they weren’t hearing the truth about what was really happening

End of the war and its legacy
End of the War and its Legacy attacking Diem’s government

  • 1. Nixon adopts a policy of Vietnamization

    • Vietnamization—Nixon and National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger’s, plan to gradually withdraw US troops so the South Vietnamese could take a more active combat role in the war

  • Silent Majority—Moderate, mainstream Americans who quietly supported the US efforts in Vietnam


  • 2. My Lai massacre shocks Americans attacking Diem’s government

    • 200 innocent Vietnamese were killed by US soldiers

  • 3. Nixon orders invasion of Cambodia

    • Wanted to remove Vietnamese and Vietcong supply centers from Cambodia


  • 4. First student strike in US history occurs attacking Diem’s government

    • 1.5 million students closed down 1,200 campuses protesting the invasion of Cambodia

  • 5. Congress repeals the Tonkin Gulf Resolution

    • To protest Nixon’s bombing and invasion of Cambodia without notifying Congress

    • To gain greater Congressional control over US policy in Vietnam




  • 8. Vietnam veterans receive a cold homecoming attacking Diem’s government

    • Americans were very torn and bitter about the war

  • 9. Cambodia erupts in civil war in 1975

    • Caused by the US invasion of Cambodia in 1970

    • 1 million Cambodians died


  • 10. Congress passes the War Powers Act attacking Diem’s government

    • A president must inform Congress within 48 hours of sending troops into a hostile area without a declaration of war

    • Curbs the president’s war-making powers

  • 11. The draft is abolished

    • Due to much caused anti-war sentiment