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Vietnam War


He insisted that Buddhists follow Catholic laws ... June 11, 1963, Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk from the Linh-Mu Pagoda in Hue, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Vietnam War

Vietnam War
  • 1957-1975 The longest war in U.S. history

  • 1800s- French established themselves as the new
    colonial power in Vietnam
  • In 1945, Ho Chi Minh, a communist sympathizer,
    declared independence from France.

French and Ho Chi Minh
  • War continued between the French and the
    Vietminh, followers of Ho Chi Minh, until 1954.
  • In 1954 the French were defeated at Dien Bien
  • World powers held the Geneva Accords in July 1954
    where they decided to divide Vietnam into two
    nations North (communist) led by Minh and South
    (anti-communist) led by Diem
  • 1956 the Accords called for elections to help
    reunite the country. The South refused claiming
    that the North would not have fair elections.

The U.S.
  • The U.S. followed their dominant policy, the
    domino theory, which referred to the idea that if
    one South East Asian country fell to communism
    others would fall.

Truman Doctrine
  • Under the Truman Doctrine (1948) the U.S.
    promised aid to anyone fighting communism. We
    gave the French aid to fight Ho Chi Minh. After
    the French loss in 1954 we continued to give aid
    to the anti-communist government in South
    Vietnam.This is how we became involved in the
    Vietnam War!

Kennedy and Diem
  • Diem claimed that he needed more aid to fight
  • Diem was a corrupt and cruel leader
  • He insisted that Buddhists follow Catholic laws
  • Kennedy said it would be okay if Diem was
    overthrown he was assassinated and military
    leaders took control

  • On June 11, 1963, Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist
    monk from the Linh-Mu Pagoda in Hue, Vietnam,
    burned himself to death at a busy intersection in
    downtown Saigon, Vietnam.. Eye witness accounts
    state that Thich Quang Duc and at least two
    fellow monks arrived at the intersection by car,
    Thich Quang Duc got out of the car, assumed the
    traditional lotus position and the accompanying
    monks helped him pour gasoline over himself. He
    ignited the gasoline by lighting a match and
    burned to death in a matter of minutes.

  • He favored a policy of containment in S.E. Asia
  • Communist guerillas in the south, the Vietcong,
    gained control of territory and earned the
    loyalty of many south Vietnamese.
  • Ho Chi Minh sent aid to the Vietcong
  • Johnson feared how the world would look at the
    U.S if we pulled out of Vietnam

Gulf of Tonkin
  • August 1964- Johnson reports that A U.S. ship was
    attacked by North Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin
  • This never happened but Johnson uses this to
    deepen American involvement in Vietnam.
  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave Johnson the
    authority to take all necessary measures to
    repel any armed attack against the forces of the
    U.S. and to prevent further aggression.

Johnsons Plan Escalation
  • Johnson began a gradual escalation of the war
  • By July 1965, he doubled the men that could be
  • Men were drafting using the lottery system based
    on birthdays.

The Draft
  • Some 2.2 million men were drafted during the
    Vietnam war, to serve for two years. But most of
    those who served in Vietnam were volunteers.
  • There were plenty of opportunities to a deferment
    from the draft and avoid service.
  • Minor physical problems would often do it.
  • If you had kids, that would often work.
  • The most controversial exception was for
    those enrolled in college

  • Socioeconomic status76 of the men sent to
    Vietnam were from lower middle/working class
    backgrounds 75 had family incomes above the
    poverty level 23 had fathers with professional,
    managerial, or technical occupations.
  • Ethnic background 88.4 of the men who actually
    served in Vietnam were Caucasian, 10.6 (275,000)
    were black, 1.0 belonged to other races 86.3
    of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian
    (including Hispanics) 12.5 (7,241) were
    black. 1.2 belonged to other races.

Johnsons Goal and Reasoning
  • Lyndon Baynes Johnson, speech (July 28,1965)
  • Its goal is to conquer the south, to defeat
    American power and to extend the Asiatic
    domination of Communism ... Our power, therefore,
    is a very vital shield. If we are driven from the
    field in Vietnam, then no nation can ever again
    have the same confidence in American promise or
    protection . . We did not choose to be the
    guardians at the gate, but there is no one else.

Welcome to the Jungle
  • Poor leadership and lack of military training and
    technology in South Vietnam meant that the U.S.
    fought the war.
  • Yet, since the Viet Cong were masters at jungle
    warfare the U.S. could not drive them out of the

Tet Offensive
  • Tet is the name of the Vietnamese New Year This
    offensive was launched by the Viet Cong and the
    North Vietnamese in 1968.
  • It included surprise attacks on major cities
    and military bases in South Vietnam.
  • After this offensive many in America,
    including President Johnson, did not believe
    America could win this war.

My Lai Massacre
Lack of public support for the war intensified as
evidence of the full awfulness of the war effort
mounted. In March of 1968 an American unit was
patrolling the village of My Lai in Central
Vietnam. They had suffered recent losses, were
frustrated by their inability to find the enemy
and anxious for revenge. They rounded up unarmed
women, children, and elderly civilians, raped the
women, then opened fire. The killed over 300
Vietnamese civilians, mostly women and children.
A Soldier Speaks about My Lai
  • We huddled them up. We made them squat downI
    poured about four clips several hundred bullets
    into the groupthe mothers were hugging their
    childrenwell we kept right on firing. They was
    waving their arms and beggingI still dream about
    it. About the women and children in my sleep.
    Some days, some nights, I can't even sleep.

My Lai Massacre in Pictures
Soldiers Life
  • The war was tough on American GIs for several
    reasons. The South Vietnamese regime was unable
    to build extensive popular support. Ordinary
    people living in South Vietnam were often
    supporters of the NLF. So the war was fought not
    against a clearly defined enemy, but against an
    amorphous, shifting enemy that was literally
    everywhere. American bombings, and the slash and
    burn approach to ground operations US forces
    often took, made ordinary Vietnamese in the
    countryside hostile to Americans--acts of
    sabotage were common, as were hidden bombs,
    sniper attacks, and booby traps. It became
    difficult for Americans to tell North and South
    Vietnamese people apart, and after a while they
    stopped caring.

(No Transcript)
Drugs and Nam
  • idleness and the declining troop morale led to
    escalating drug use that reached crisis
    proportions, but only in the last few years of
    the war (1972-73).
  •  In 1969, a Defense Department study showed
    that 20 percent of US soldiers in Vietnam were
    using marijuana either occasionally or
    frequently. By 1969, military police were
    arresting 1,000 soldiers per week for possession.
    Heroin use also spread within a small group of
    soldiers and was readily available for only 2-3
    dollars per dose. However, the majority of the
    soldiers did not use drugs as popular myth may

Student Response at Home
  • The country was split some favored escalation
    so that the U.S could get a military victory
    while others were morally opposed to the war.
  • The countrys youth, the ones dying in the line
    of fire, began demanding answers to Americas high
    profile presence in Vietnam. They wanted to know
    why peace talks were organized and continually
    failed. They wanted to know what they were
    fighting for.

  • He won the election of 1968 easily because
    Johnson did not run again
  • He promised peace negotiations in Vietnam
  • The Paris Peace Talks failed to produce an
  • He struggled with how best to end the war

Nixon and Vietnam
  • Vietnamization
  • This was Nixons major policy in Vietnam. This
    called for replacing U.S.soldiers with South
    Vietnamese. By 1972, only 24,000 American troops
    were left .
  • He did not want to lose the war, so as he
    withdrew troops he also sent secret bombing raids
    on major targets.
  • He also expanded the war into Cambodia in 1970,
    the cause of the Kent State Riot.

Kent State May 4, 1970
  • Protests erupted at Kent State University,
    located in Ohio, in response to the U.S. invasion
    of Cambodia.
  • Students broke windows and burned the army ROTC
  • The governor sent in the national guard.
  • They hurled tear gas ordering students to
  • From the top of a hill, the guarsdmen began
    firing on the crowd.
  • Four were dead, only two were protestors, and
    nine were wounded.

The U.S. Withdraws from Vietnam
  • Finally, in January 1973 a peace agreement was
  • The provisions of the peace included
  • U.S withdraw all forces in S. Vietnam in 60 days.
  • All prisoners of war needed to be released.
  • 3. All military activities must end in Cambodia
    and Laos.
  • 4. The 17th parallel would continue to divide
    Vietnam until the country could be reunited.

Legacy of the War
  • In 1975, the South fell to the North and Vietnam
    was united as one, Communist nation
  • More than 58,000 Americans died and over 300,000
    were wounded.
  • The Vietnam was the longest and least successful
    war in American history.
  • The U.S. spent at least 150 billion on the war
  • The U.S. did not restore trade with Vietnam until

Vietnam Wall Memorial
  • A contest was held in 1979 for designing the
    Vietnam Memorial to honor all the soldiers who
    gave their life for their country during the
    Vietnam War.
  • The winner was a 21 year old college student
    named Maya Ying Lin.
  • The Wall was completed in 1982.