Indochina • France left Indochina in 1954 • An international conference was held in Geneva, Switzerland • Ended French rule • Laos and Cambodia became independent • Temporarily partitioned Vietnam at the 17th parallel • Communist North under control of Ho Chi Minh • Non-communist South under Pres. Ngo Dinh Diem • Elections were to be held in 1956 to determine the future for a united Vietnam
Second Indochina War • The U.S. and South Vietnam refused to: • recognize the Geneva Agreement • hold elections • The South Vietnamese Communists (Viet Cong) revolted against the S. Vietnamese government in 1958 • Other religious and political groups revolted in Laos and Cambodia turning it into a general Indochina war
Second Indochina War becomes Cold War Conflict • Soviet Union and China hailed it as “war of national liberation” and supplied weapons, economic aid, and technical advisors to North Vietnamese. • N. Vietnam sent supplies and troops to the Viet Cong in S. Vietnam through Laos and Cambodia along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. • Eisenhower invoked Truman Doctrine and sent military aid and advisors to help the South Vietnamese army. • Kennedy expanded this policy to aid anti-Communist forces in Laos.
U.S. Involvement Escalates • Diem’s anti-Buddhist policies led to popular protests (monk’s burn themselves to death in protest) • In 1963, the U.S. gave approval to a coup by S. Vietnamese generals that overthrew and killed Diem. • Political instability followed as a succession of generals tried and failed to organize stable governments.
U.S. InvolvementEscalates • Lyndon Johnson became president in 1963 and sharply escalated U.S. involvement in Indochina. • He maneuvered Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolutions on August 7, 1964 • Empowered Johnson to “take all necessary measures” • Johnson increased combat troops until they reached 500,000 in 1968 • Authorized air strikes against N. Vietnam and along the Ho Chi Minh trail
U.S. InvolvementEscalates • Despite superior arms, equipment, & supplies, the U.S. found it extremely difficult to fight disciplined guerrillas in the hot jungle climate. • The poorly led S. Vietnamese government and army were poor partners. • By 1968, most of the fighting was occurring in S. Vietnam between the U.S. and North Vietnamese forces.
Turning Point (1968) • The Tet (lunar new year) offensive • The Communists launched attacks on all important towns in S. Vietnam • They were eventually driven back but at the cost of heavy casualties • The idea of a quick, victorious end to the war by the U.S. vanished • Johnson did not seek reelection in 1968
The End of U.S. Involvement • Richard Nixon tried to hasten the end of U.S. involvement (Vietnamization) • Improved relations with Soviet Union & China • Heavily bombed N. Vietnam, strengthened the S. Vietnamese army, while slowly withdrawing U.S. troops • On January 27, 1973, the U.S. and N. Vietnam signed the Paris Agreement
The Paris Agreement • Cease-fire • Complete withdrawal of U.S. troops within 60 days • U.S. economic aid to both North and South Vietnam • Chief negotiators Henry Kissinger (U.S.) and Le Duc Tho (N. Vietnam) won Nobel Prize for Peace in 1973
North Vietnamese Victorious • Fighting ended in 1975 when North crushed the South Vietnamese government. • The Communist victory ended the 30 year struggle for a united, independent Vietnamese government. • Cost • 3.2 million died (mostly Vietnamese civilians) • 57,000 U.S. troops died. • Result • A unified Socialist Republic of Vietnam (1976) • Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City (Ho had died in 1969) • Communists victorious in Laos and Cambodia
Overpopulation in Asia • The newly independent nations were ravaged by common problems • Overpopulation was the determining factor in economic growth • Improved public health and medicine had eliminated epidemics and decreased the infant mortality rate. • Despite the huge population increase, there had been no famine because of a high-yielding “miracle rice” that doubled the world rice harvest between 1967 and 1992. (Green Revolution)
Overpopulation in Asia • Countries such as Singapore, which at achieved almost zero population growth by the late 1980s, thrived economically and achieved a higher standard of living. • Most countries, however, slipped further into poverty and economic backwardness because they could not control the population explosion.
Other problems • Large populations meant that it was difficult to improve education and standards of living. • Most Asian countries also suffered from inept and corrupt governments that crippled development. • Large military expenditures also slowed economic development. • Because of the Cold War, all nations in the region benefited from foreign aid, but at a cost.