America During Its Longest War, 1963 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

1 / 169
About This Presentation

America During Its Longest War, 1963


Chapter 29 America During Its Longest War, 1963 1974 Great Society Built on politics of consensus Determined to continue Kennedy s initiatives Tax cut proposal ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:473
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 170
Provided by: Darl188


Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: America During Its Longest War, 1963

Chapter 29
  • America During Its Longest War, 19631974

Great Society
  • Built on politics of consensus
  • Determined to continue Kennedys initiatives
  • Tax cut proposal
  • War on poverty
  • Economic Opportunity Act
  • Office of Economic Opportunity
  • Job Corps
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Prohibited racial discrimination in public
    accommodations associated with interstate
  • Mississippi Freedom Summer
  • Freedom Democratic Party

  • legislative accomplishmentsJohnsonsGreat
    Societyfulfilled and in many cases surpassed
    the New Deal liberal agenda of the 1930s.

  • On assuming the presidency, Lyndon Johnson
    promptly pushed the passage of civil rights to
    appeal to a broad national audience and to
    achieve an impressive legislative accomplishment,
    which he hoped would place his mark on the
  • The Civil Rights Act passed in June 1964 its
    keystone, Title VII, outlawed discrimination in
    employment on the basis of race, religion,
    national origin, or sex.

  • The Civil Rights Act forced desegregation of
    public facilities throughout the South, yet
    obstacles to black voting remained.
  • To meet this challenge, civil rights activists
    mounted a major civil rights campaign in
    Mississippi known as Freedom Summer,which
    established freedom schools, conducted a voter
    registration drive, and organized the Mississippi
    Freedom Democratic Party.

  • The reaction of white southerners to Freedom
    Summer was swift and violent fifteen civil
    rights workers were murdered, and only 1,200
    black voters were registered.
  • To protest these murders, in March, 1965, King
    and other civil rights activists staged a march
    from Selma to Montgomery the marchers were
    attacked by mounted state troopers with tear gas
    and clubs, all of which was shown on national
    television that night.

  • Calling the episode an American tragedy,
    President Johnson redoubled his efforts to
    persuade Congress to pass the pending
    voting-rights legislation.
  • On August 6, Congress passed the Voting Rights
    Act of 1965, which suspended the literacy tests
    and other measures most southern states used to
    prevent blacks from registering to vote.

  • The Twenty-fourth Amendments outlawing of the
    federal poll tax, combined with the Voting Rights
    Act, allowed millions of blacks to register to
    vote for the first time.
  • In 1960 in the South only 20 percent of blacks of
    voting age had been registered to vote by 1964
    the figure had risen to 39 percent, and by 1971
    it was 62 percent.

More than a quarter of a million Americans,
including 50,000 whites, gathered on the Mall in
the nation's capital on August 28, 1963, to
pressure the government to support African
Americans' civil rights. Martin Luther King Jr.
mesmerized the crowd with his "I have a dream"
Great Society (cont)
  • Election of 1964
  • Republicans nominated Barry Goldwater
  • Unabashedly conservative campaign
  • Described as on the radical right
  • Even many republicans considered him extreme
  • Lyndon Johnson (LBJ) re-elected handily
  • Appeal of segregationist George Wallace
  • Reinvigorated conservatives
  • Propelled new Republicans into prominence
  • Ronald Reagan
  • William Rehnquist

Great Society (cont)
  • Fulfillment of dreams of Johnsons Democratic
  • Medical care for the elderly and low-income
    citizens (Medicare and Medicaid)
  • Created Department of Housing and Urban
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • Heartened Johnsons supporters and appalled his
  • Goal was to help people fight their own way out
    of economic distress

Great Society (cont)
  • Rekindled debates about proper role of national
  • Raised expectations that could not be met
  • Conservatives have been unrelentingly critical
  • Leftists lamented failure to challenge the
    prevailing distribution of political power and
    wealth in order to reduce poverty
  • Agreement that Great Society left its mark
  • First significant outlay of federal dollars for
    social programs since New Deal
  • Significantly expanded reach of welfare state

Escalation in Vietnam
  • Tonkin Gulf Resolution
  • Stemmed from confusing events in August 1964
  • Became justification for concerted U.S.
  • Resolution in Congress
  • All necessary measures to repel armed attack
  • Johnson used as tantamount to congressional
    declaration of war
  • Debate over extent of American involvement within

Escalation in Vietnam (cont)
  • Some voices calling for stepped up U.S. presence
  • Others warned than Americanization would bring
    only defeat
  • Johnson feared political consequences of pulling
  • Feared fallout on Great Society
  • Believed in domino effect
  • Operation Rolling Thunder

Escalation in Vietnam (cont)
  • Deployment of U.S. ground forces
  • Use of napalm to defoliate jungle cover
  • Further ground troop deployment
  • U.S. and North Vietnam became locked in game of
    escalation and counter-escalation
  • Search and destroy missions
  • Saturation bombing (Operation RANCHHAND)
  • Johnson refused to be candid with public
  • Escalation brought help from China and the Soviet
  • South Vietnamese government in precarious state
  • Countryside being devastated
  • Flood of U.S. aid dollars destabilizing economy

Vietnam War
War at Home
  • Lack of actual Declaration of War prevented
    strict controls on reporting
  • Television coverage made Vietnam a living room
  • Johnson fanatical about monitoring war coverage
  • Antiwar activists criticized perceived prop-war
    media coverage
  • Some reporters were overt in their criticism
  • Public became polarized into hawks and doves

  • How and why did America enter the war in Vietnam?
  • What was the relationship between American
    domestic affairs and the conduct of the Vietnam
  • Discuss and analyze the origins, methods, and
    ambitions of the student movement of the 1960s,
    and assess its effect on American political,
    intellectual, and social institutions.
  • Why did racial and civil unrest turn violent
    during the late 1960s?
  • What did the election of President Nixon and the
    end of the Vietnam War signal about the nature of
    American politics in the early 1970s?

America in Vietnam From Truman to Kennedy
  • Beginning in the 1940s, the United States became
    interested in supporting an anti Communist
    government in Vietnam. U.S. policymakers feared
    that the loss of any pro-Western government
    would prompt a chain reaction of losses in the
    region, termed the domino effect.

  • President Kennedy increased American involvement
    in the region, but after his assassination, top
    U.S. advisors argued that a full-scale
    deployment was needed in order to prevent the
    defeat of the South Vietnamese. President
    Johnson moved toward the Americanization of the
    war with Operation Rolling Thunder, a protracted
    bombing campaign that failed to incapacitate the
    North Vietnamese.

  • Vietnam was once a part of a French colony but
    was occupied by Japan during World
  • War II after the Japanese surrendered in 1945,
    Ho Chi Minh and the Vietminh proclaimed Vietnam
    an independent nation, which began an eight-year
    war the Vietnamese called the French War of
  • Ho called on President Truman to support the
    struggle for Vietnamese independence,
  • but Truman ignored his pleas and instead offered
    covert financial support to the French.

  • Trumans reasons for supporting the French were
    concerns that newly independent
  • countries might align with Communists
    maintaining good relations with France, whose
    support was crucial to the success of the new
    alliance the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
    (NATO) and the strategic roles Indochina was
    seen to play in reindustrializing Japan.

(No Transcript)
  • In 1950, Soviet and Chinese leaders recognized
    Ho Chi Minhs republic in Vietnam in turn, the
    United States recognized the French-installed
    government of Bao Dai.
  • Truman and Eisenhower provided military support
    to the French in Vietnam Eisenhower argued that
    aid was necessary in order to prevent
    non-Communist governments from collapsing in a
    domino effect.
  • The 1954 Geneva accords partitioned Vietnam
    temporarily at the seventeenth parallel and
    committed France to withdraw its forces from the
    area north of that line and provided that voters
    in the two sectors would choose a unified
    government within two years.

(No Transcript)
  • To prevent a Communist victory in Vietnams
    election, Eisenhower saw to it that a
    pro-American government took power in South
    Vietnam under the leadership of Ngo Dinh Diem.
  • Realizing that the popular Ho Chi Minh would
    easily win in both the North and South, Diem
    called off the reunification elections that had
    been scheduled for 1956, a move the United
    States supported.

  • Ngo Dinh DiemFirst President of the Republic of

  • After France removed itself from the region in
    1956, America replaced it as the dominant foreign
    power in the region.
  • Though Vietnam was too small a country to upset
    the international balance of power, Eisenhower
    and subsequent U.S. presidents viewed Vietnam as
    a part of the Cold War struggle to contain the
    Communist threat to the free world.

  • Between 1955 and 1961 the Eisenhower
    administration sent Diem an average of 200
    million a year in aid and stationed approximately
    675 American military advisors there.
  • President Kennedy saw Vietnam as an ideal
    testing ground for the counterinsurgency
    techniques that formed the centerpiece of his
    military policy.
  • In 1960, North Vietnam organized opponents in
    South Vietnam into the National Liberation Front
    (NLF) Kennedy increased the number of American
    military advisors, but sent no line troops, and
    also sent economic development specialists.

(No Transcript)
  • American economic aid did little good in South
    Vietnam, and the NLFs guerrilla forces
    (Vietcong) made considerable headway against
    Diems regime.
  • Anti-Diem sentiment flourished among peasants,
    who had been alienated by Diems strategic
    hamlet program, and Buddhists, who charged the
    government with religious persecution.

  • As opposition to Diem deepened, Kennedy decided
    the leader would have to be removed in a
    November 1963 U.S.-supported coup, Diem was
    driven from office and assassinated by South
    Vietnamese officers.
  • When Johnson became president, he continued and
    accelerated U.S. involvement in Vietnam to
    prevent charges of being soft on communism.

(No Transcript)
Escalation The Johnson Years
  • After the removal of Diem, Secretary of Defense
    Robert McNamara and other top advisors argued
    that a full-scale deployment of forces was needed
    to prevent the defeat of the South Vietnamese.

  • Johnson knew that he needed congressional support
    or a declaration of war to commit U.S. troops to
    an offensive strategy, so he told the nation that
    North Vietnamese torpedo boats had fired on
    American destroyers in international waters in
    response to South Vietnamese amphibious attacks.

  • On August 7, 1964, Congress authorized the Gulf
    of Tonkin Resolution, which allowed Johnson to
    take all necessary measures to repel any armed
    attack against the forces of the United States
    and to prevent further aggression.
  • The Johnson administration moved toward the
    Americanization of the war with Operation Rolling
    Thunder, a protracted bombing campaign that by
    1968 had dropped a million tons of bombs on North

  • Operation Rolling Thunder intensified the North
    Vietnameses will to fight the flow of their
    troops and supplies continued to the south
    unabated as the Communists rebuilt roads and
    bridges, moved munitions underground, and built
    networks of tunnels and shelters.
  • A week after the launch of Operation Rolling
    Thunder, the United States sent its first ground
    troops into combat by 1968, more than 536,000
    American soldiers were stationed in Vietnam.

  • Vietnams countryside was threatened with
    destruction the massive bombardment plus a
    defoliation campaign seriously damaged
    agricultural production and thus the economy.
  • The dramatically increased American presence in
    Vietnam failed to turn the tide of the war yet,
    hoping to win a war of attrition, the Johnson
    administration assumed that American superiority
    in personnel and weaponry would ultimately
    triumph. C. American Soldiers Perspectives on
    the War

  • Approximately 2.8 million Americans served in
    Vietnam, at an average age of only nineteen some
    were volunteers, including 7,000 women enlistees.
  • Many soldiers served because they were drafted
    until 1973, when the nation shifted to an
    all-volunteer force, the draft stood as a
    concrete reminder of the governments impact on
    the lives of ordinary Americans.

  • Blacks were drafted and died roughly in the same
    proportion to their share of the draftage
    population black and white sons of the poor and
    the working class shouldered a disproportionate
    amount of the fighting.
  • Young men from more affluent backgrounds were
    more likely to avoid combat through student
    deferments, medical exemptions, and appointments
    to the National Guard, thus making Johnsons
    Vietnam policy more acceptable to the middle

  • Rarely were there large-scale battles, only
    skirmishes rather than front lines and conquered
    territory, there were only daytime operations in
    the areas the Vietcong controlled at night.
  • Racism was a fact of everyday life many soldiers
    lumped the South Vietnamese and the Vietcong
    together in the term gook.

Lieutenant Colonel John P. Vann (left) shown
during his tour of duty in Vietnam in 1963,
discussing a tactical decision.
  • Fighting and surviving under such harsh
    conditions took its toll cynicism and bitterness
    were common and the pressure of waging war under
    such conditions drove many soldiers to seek
    escape in alcohol or drugs.
  • As Womens Army Corps (WACs), nurses, and
    civilians serving with organizations such as the
    United Service Organization (USO), women
    volunteers witnessed death and mutilation on a
    massive scale.

The Cold War Consensus UnravelsPublic Opinion
on Vietnam
  • By the late 1960s, public opinion began to turn
    against the war in Vietnam television had much
    to do with these attitudes as Vietnam was the
    first televised war.
  • Despite glowing statements made on television, by
    1967, many administration officials privately
    reached a more pessimistic conclusion regarding
    the war.
  • The administration was accused of suffering from
    a credibility gap in 1966, televised hearings
    by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee raised
    further questions about U.S. policy.

  • Economic developments put Johnson and his
    advisors even more on the defensive the costs of
    the war became evident as the growing federal
    deficit nudged the inflation rate upward,
    beginning the inflationary spiral that plagued
    the U.S. economy throughout the 1970s.
  • After the escalation in the spring of 1965,
    various antiwar coalitions organized several mass
    demonstrations in Washington participants shared
    a common skepticism about the means and aims of
    U.S. policy and argued that the war was
    antithetical to American ideals.

The button on this fatigue hat belonging to a
veteran who served two tours of duty demonstrates
veterans' response to the many Americans who just
wanted to forget the war that the United States
failed to win. Because their war was so different
from other American wars, Vietnam veterans often
returned home to hostility or indifference. The
POW-MIA pin refers to prisoners of war and those
missing in action. This man was unusual in
serving two tours of duty in Vietnam most
soldiers served only one year.
Soldiers in previous wars had served "for the
duration, but Vietnam warriors had one-year
tours of duty a commander called it "the worst
personnel policy in history, because men had
less incentive to fight near the end of their
tour, wanting merely to stay alive and whole. The
U.S. military inflicted great losses on the
enemy, estimated at more than 200,000 by the end
of 1967. Yet it could claim no more than a
stalemate. In the words of infantryman Tim
O'Brien, who later became an award-winning
author, "We slay one of them, hit a mine, kill
another, hit another mine. . . . And each piece
of ground left behind is his the enemy's from
the moment we are gone on our next hunt.
Abe Fortas, a distinguished lawyer who had argued
a major civil rights case, Gideon v. Wainwright
(1963), before the Supreme Court, was a close
friend and adviser to President Lyndon Johnson.
This photograph of the president and Fortas taken
in July 1965 illustrates how Johnson used his
body as well as his voice to bend people to his
Student Activism
  • Youth were among the key protestors of the era.
  • The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), in
    their manifesto, the Port Huron Statement,
    expressed their disillusionment with the consumer
    culture and the gulf between the prosperous and
    the poor and rejected Cold War ideology and
    foreign policy.
  • The founders of SDS referred to themselves as the
    New Left to distinguish themselves from the
    Old Left of Communists and Socialists of the
    1930s and 1940s.

(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
  • At the University of California at Berkeley, the
    Free Speech Movement organized a sitin in
    response to administrators attempts to ban
    political activity on campus.
  • Many protests centered on the draft, especially
    after the Selective Service system abolished
    automatic student deferments in January 1966 in
    public demonstrations of civil disobedience,
    opponents of the war burned their draft cards,
    closed down induction centers, and broke into
    Selective Service offices and destroyed records.

  • Much of the universities research budget came
    from Defense Department contracts students
    demanded that the Reserve Officer Training Corps
    be removed from college campuses.
  • The Johnson administration had to face the
    reality of large-scale opposition to the war with
    protests like Stop the Draft Week and the
    siege on the Pentagon.

The Counterculture
  • The hippie symbolized the new counterculture, a
    youthful movement that glorified liberation from
    traditional social strictures.
  • Popular music by Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Bob
    Dylan expressed political idealism, protest, and
    loss of patience with the war and was an
    important part of the counterculture.

(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
  • Beatlemania helped to deepen generational divide
    and paved the way for the more rebellious,
    angrier music of other British groups, notably
    the Rolling Stones.
  • Drugs and sex intertwined with music as a crucial
    element of the youth culture as celebrated at the
    1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair, which
    attracted 400,000 young people.

(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
  • In 1967, at the worlds first Human Be-In at
    San Franciscos Golden Gate Park, Timothy Leary,
    urged gatherers to turn on, tune in, and drop
    out the year 1967 was also the Summer of Love
    in which city neighborhoods swelled with young
    dropouts, drifters, and teenage runaways dubbed
    flower children.

(No Transcript)
  • Many young people stayed out of the
    counterculture and the antiwar movement, yet
    media coverage made it seem that all of American
    youth were rejecting political, social, and
    cultural norms.

The Widening Struggle for Civil Rights
  • Once the system of legal, or de jure, segregation
    had fallen, the civil rights movement turned to
    the more difficult task of eliminating the de
    facto segregation, enforced by custom.

  • Outside the South, racial discrimination was less
    flagrant, but it was pervasive, especially in
    education, housing, and employment for example,
    Brown outlawed separate schools, but it did
    nothing to change the educational system where
    schools were all-black or all-white because of
    residential segregation.

(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
  • As civil rights leaders confronted northern
    racism, the movement fractured along generational
    lines older, established civil rights activists
    supported the nonviolent efforts of the Southern
    Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the
    National Association for the Advancement of
    Colored People (NAACP), while younger activists
    questioned the very goal of integration into
    white society and some embraced Black separatism

  • Black separatism was revived by a religious group
    known as the Black Muslims, an organization that
    stressed black pride, unity, and self-help and
    was hostile to whites.
  • The Black Muslims most charismatic
    figure,Malcolm X, advocated militant protest and
    separatism, although he condoned the use of
    violence only for self-defense.
  • Malcolm X eventually broke with the Nation of
    Islam and was assassinated by three Black Muslims
    while delivering a speech in Harlem in 1965.

(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
  • A more secular black nationalist movement calling
    for black self-reliance and racial pride emerged
    in 1966 under the banner of Black Power the
    same year, the Black Panthers organization was
    founded to protect blacks from police violence.
  • Among the most significant legacies of black
    power was the assertion of racial pride as
    exhibited by many blacks insisting on the usage
    of Afro-American rather than Negro and the
    adoption of African clothing and hairstyles to
    awake interest in black history, art, and

  • Support for civil rights by white Americans began
    to erode when blacks began demanding immediate
    access to higher-paying jobs, housing, and
    education, along with increased political power,
    and when a wave of race riots began in 1964,
    primarily over the issue of police brutality.
  • The National Advisory Commission on Civil
    Disorders (the Kerner Commission) released a 1968
    report on the riots and warned that the nation
    was moving toward two separate and unequal
    societies one black, one white

(No Transcript)
  • On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was
    assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, setting off
    an explosion of urban rioting in more than 100
    cities with his assassination, the civil rights
    movement lost the leader best able to stir the
    conscience of white America.

(No Transcript)
  • The legacies of the civil rights movement were
    that segregation was overturned, federal
    legislation ensured protection of black
    Americans civil rights, southern blacks were
    enfranchised, and black candidates entered the
    political arena, yet more entrenched forms of
    segregation and discrimination persisted.

The Rights Revolution
  • The black civil rights movement provided an
    innovative model for other groups seeking to
    expand their rights.
  • The situation of Mexican Americans changed when
    the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA)
    mobilized support for Kennedy and worked with
    other groups to elect Mexican American candidates
    to Congress.

  • Younger Mexican Americans rejected the
    assimilationist approach of their elders in
    1969, 1,500 students met in Denver to hammer out
    a new nationalist political and cultural agenda.
    They coined the term Chicano and organized a
    new political party, La Raza Unida (The United
    Race), to promote Chicano political interests.

  • Chicano strategists also pursued economic
    objectives César Chávez organized the United
    Farm Workers (UFW), the first union to represent
    migrant workers successfully.
  • North American Indians suffered the highest
    levels of unemployment and poverty, the most
    inadequate housing, and the least access to
  • Some Indian groups became more assertive, taking
    the new label of Native Americans, embracing the
    concept of Red Power, and organizing protests
    and demonstrations. In 1968, the militant
    American Indian Movement (AIM) was organized.

(No Transcript)
  • As a method of protest, in 1969 Native Americans
    seized and occupied Alcatraz for over a year.
    Later, protesters occupied the Federal Bureau of
    Indian Affairs in Washington.
  • In February, 1973, AIM activists began an
    occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, the
    site of an army massacre of the Sioux in 1890.
    The seventy-one-day siege, in which the Federal
    Bureau of Investigation (FBI) killed one
    protestor and wounded another, alienated many
    whites, but it spurred government action on
    tribal issues.

  • The civil rights movement also sparked a new
    awareness among some predominantly white groups
    the elderly, people of various ethnic
    backgrounds, and homosexuals.
  • The gay liberation movement gained momentum in
    the 1969 Stonewall riot after it, activists
    took the new name of gay founded advocacy
    groups, newspapers, and political organizations
    to challenge discrimination and prejudice and
    offered emotional support to those who came out.

The Revival of Feminism
  • The black struggle became an inspiration for
    young feminists in the 1960s, but social and
    demographic changes also led to the revival of
  • By 1970, 42.6 percent of women were working, and
    40 percent of working women were married.

  • During the baby boom, many women dropped out of
    college to marry and raise families by 1970, 41
    percent of college students were female.
  • The birth control pill and the intrauterine
    device (IUD) helped women to control their
    fertility, and more liberal divorce laws resulted
    in an increase in divorce rates.
  • As a result of these changes, traditional gender
    expectations were dramatically altered the
    changing social realities created a major
    constituency for the emerging womens movement of
    the 1960s.

  • A report by the Presidential Commission on the
    Status of Women in 1963 documented the
    discrimination women faced in employment and
  • Betty Friedans Feminine Mystique gave women a
    vocabulary with which to express their
    dissatisfaction and promoted womens
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 had as great an
    impact on women as it did on blacks its Title
    VII eventually became a powerful tool against sex

(No Transcript)
  • Dissatisfied with the Equal Employment
    Opportunity Commissions (EEOC) reluctance to
    defend womens rights, Friedan and others founded
    the National Organization for Women (NOW) in
  • The womens liberationists came to the womens
    movement through their civil rights work male
    leaders lack of respect for women radicals
    caused them to see the need for their own

  • Womens lib encouraged women to throw away all
    symbols of female oppression (hair curlers,
    girdles, bras, etc.), but also engaged in
    consciousness raising sessions that helped
    participants realize their individual problems
    were part of a wider pattern of oppression.

  • By 1970, a convergence of interests began to blur
    the distinction between womens rights and
    womens liberation feminists were beginning to
    think of themselves as part of a broad, growing,
    and increasingly influential social crusade that
    would continue to grow.

The Long Road Home, 19681975
1968 A Year of Shocks
  • The Johnson administrations hopes for Vietnam
    evaporated when the Vietcong unleashed a massive
    assault, known as the Tet offensive, on major
    urban areas in South Vietnam.
  • The attack made a mockery of official
    pronouncements that the United States was winning
    the war and swung public opinion more strongly
    against the conflict.

  • Launched by the North Vietnamese in January 1968,
    the Tet Offensive took the war to major cities
    for the first time. NLF troops quickly occupied
    Hue, the ancient imperial city, and held it for
    nearly a month. Supported by aerial bombing, U.S.
    marines finally took back the city, street by
  • Nonetheless, the Tet Offensive was considered a
    psychological and propaganda victory for the Viet
    Cong, as it exposed the falsities previously set
    forth by General William Westmoreland and the
    Johnson Administration, and increased domestic
    opposition to the war.

  • Antiwar Senator Eugene J.McCarthys strong
    showing in the presidential primaries reflected
    profound public dissatisfaction with the course
    of the war and propelled Senator Robert Kennedy
    into the race on an antiwar platform.
  • On March 31, 1968, Johnson stunned the nation by
    announcing that he would not seek reelection he
    vowed to devote his remaining months in office to
    the search for peace, and peace talks began in
    May 1968.

  • The year 1968 also witnessed the assassination of
    Martin Luther King Jr. and its ensuing riots
    students occupied several buildings at Columbia
    University a strike by students and labor that
    toppled the French government and the
    assassination of Robert Kennedy, which shattered
    the dreams of those hoping for social change
    through political action.
  • The Democratic Party never fully recovered from
    Johnsons withdrawal and Robert Kennedys

  • At the Democratic convention, the political
    divisions generated by the war consumed the
    party outside the convention yippies
    demonstrated, diverted attention from the more
    serious and numerous activists who came to
    Chicago as delegates or volunteers.

  • The Democratic mayor of Chicago, Richard J.
    Daley, called out the police to break up the
    demonstrations. In what was later described as a
    police riot, patrolmen attacked protestors at
    the convention with Mace, teargas, and clubs as
    TV viewers watched, which only cemented a popular
    impression of the Democrats as the party of

  • Democrats dispiritedly nominated Hubert H.
    Humphrey and his running mate Edmund S.Muskie and
    approved a platform that endorsed continued
    fighting in Vietnam while diplomatic means to an
    end were explored.

  • The turmoil surrounding the civil rights and
    antiwar movements strengthened support for law
    and order many Americans were fed up with
    protest and dissent.
  • George Wallace, a third-party candidate,
    skillfully combined attacks on liberal
    intellectuals and government elites with
    denunciations of school segregation and forced

  • Richard Nixon tapped the increasingly
    conservative mood of the electorate in an amazing
    political comeback, winning the 1968 Republican
    presidential nomination.
  • On October 31, 1968, Johnson announced a complete
    halt to the bombing of North Vietnam Nixon
    countered by intimating that he had a plan for
    the end of the war, although he did not.

(No Transcript)
  • On election day, Nixon received 43.4 percent of
    the vote to Humphreys 42.7 percent, defeating
    him by only 510,000 votes out of the 73 million
    that were cast, and Wallace finished with 13.5
    percent of the popular vote.

  • The closeness of the 1968 election suggested how
    polarized American society had become, and Nixon
    appealed to the silent majority.

Nixons War
  • In March 1969 Nixon ordered clandestine bombing
    raids on neutral Cambodia , through which the
    North Vietnamese had been transporting supplies
    and reinforcements, to convince North Vietnam
    that the United States meant business about
    mutual troop withdrawal.
  • When the intensified bombing failed to end the
    war, Nixon and Henry Kissinger adopted a policy
    of Vietnamization the replacement of American
    troops with South Vietnamese forces.

(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
"Angel's Wing" and the "Crow's Nest"
Svay Rieng Province
(No Transcript)
  • Antiwar demonstrators denounced the new policy,
    which protected American lives at the expense of
    the Vietnamese on October 15, 1969, millions of
    Americans joined a one-day moratorium against
    the war and a month later more than a quarter of
    a million people mobilized in Washington in a
    large antiwar demonstration.

  • Nixons response was to label student
    demonstrators as bums and his statement that
    North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the
    United States. Only Americans can do that.

  • Nixons secret bombing of Cambodia culminated in
    a 1970 American incursion into Cambodia to
    destroy enemy havens there though only a
    short-term setback for the North Vietnamese, it
    helped to destabilize the country, exposing it to
    takeover by the Khmer Rouge later in the 1970s.

  • When the New York Times uncovered the secret
    invasion of Cambodia, an antiwar national student
    strike ensued at Kent State University, National
    Guardsmen fired into a crowd at an antiwar rally
    killing four and wounding eleven and, soon
    afterward, National Guardsmen stormed a dormitory
    at Jackson State College, killing two black

(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
  • More than 450 colleges closed in protest, and 80
    percent of all campuses experienced some kind of
    disturbance in June 1970, a Gallup poll
    identified campus unrest, not the war, as the
    issue that most troubled Americans.

  • Congressional opposition to the war also
    intensified with the invasion of Cambodia in
    June 1970, the Senate expressed its disapproval
    for the war by repealing the Tonkin resolution
    and cutting off funding for operations in
  • Soldiers themselves were showing mounting
    opposition to their mission those who refused to
    follow combat orders increased and thousands
    deserted. Of the majority who fought on, many
    sewed peace symbols on their uniforms, and
    incidents of fragging occurred.

  • In 1971, Americans were appalled by revelations
    of the sheer brutality of the war when Lieutenant
    William L. Calley was court-martialed for
    atrocities committed in the village of My Lai.

(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
  • A Few Survivors
    MOI                     PHAM THI THUAM

  • The antiwar movement was weakened in part by
    internal divisions within the New Left and by
    Nixons promise to continue troop withdrawals,
    end the draft, and institute an all-volunteer
    army by 1973.

Withdrawal from Vietnam and Détente
  • Nixons policy of détente was to seek peaceful
    coexistence with the Communist Soviet Union and
    China and to link these overtures of friendship
    with a plan to end the Vietnam War.
  • Nixon traveled to China in 1972 in a symbolic
    visit that set the stage for the establishment of
    formal diplomatic relations

  • "This was the week that changed the world,
    proclaimed President Richard M. Nixon in February
    1972, emphasizing the stunning turnaround in
    relations with America's former enemy, the
    People's Republic of China. Nixon's trip was
    meticulously planned to dramatize the event on
    television and, aside from criticism from some
    conservatives, won overwhelming support from
    Americans. The Great Wall of China forms the
    setting for this photograph of Nixon and his wife

  • He then traveled to Moscow to sign the first
    Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) between
    the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • The treaty limited the production and deployment
    of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)
    and antiballistic missile systems (ABMs) and
    signified that the United States could no longer
    afford massive military spending to regain the
    nuclear and military superiority it had enjoyed
    after World War II.

  • The Paris peace talks had been in stalemate since
    1968 in late 1971, as American troops withdrew,
    Communist forces stepped up their attacks on
    Laos, Cambodia, and South Vietnam.
  • After yet another North Vietnamese offensive
    against South Vietnam, Nixon ordered B-52
    bombings against North Vietnam and the mining of
    North Vietnamese ports.

  • With the help of a cease-fire agreement, Nixon
    won a resounding victory in the 1972 elections
    however, the peace initiative stalled when South
    Vietnam rejected a provision concerning North
    Vietnamese troop positions.
  • Nixon stepped up the military actions with the
    Christmas bombings the Paris Peace accords
    were signed on January 27, 1973.

  • The accords did not fulfill Nixons promise of
    peace with honor, but they did call for the
    withdrawal of American troops in exchange for the
    return of American prisoners of war (POWs) and
    for most Americans that was enough.
  • The South Vietnamese government soon fell to
    Communist forces horrified Americans watched as
    American embassy personnel and Vietnamese
    citizens struggled to board helicopters leaving
    Saigon before North Vietnamese troops entered the
  • On April 29, 1975,Vietnam was reunited, and
    Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in honor of
    the Communist leader who had died in 1969

The Legacy of Vietnam
  • The Vietnam War occupied American administrations
    for nearly thirty years U.S. troops fought the
    war for over eleven years, from 1961 to 1973.

  • Some 58,000 U.S. troops died in Vietnam, and
    another 300,000 were wounded.
  • Those troops who returned unharmed encountered a
    sometimes hostile or indifferent reception,
    making the transition to civilian life abrupt and
    disorienting and led to recurring physical and
    psychological problems.

  • In Southeast Asia, the war claimed an estimated
    1.5 million Vietnamese lives and devastated the
    countrys physical and economic structure Laos
    and particularly Cambodia also suffered when
    between 1975 and 1979 the Khmer Rouge killed an
    estimated 2 million Cambodians in a brutal
    relocation campaign.
  • The war produced nearly 10 million refugees, many
    of whom immigrated to the United States among
    them were more than 30,000 Amerasians, the
    offspring of American soldiers and Vietnamese

Pol Pot AKA 'Brother Number One'. Birth name
Saloth Sar. Kill tally One to three million
(or between a quarter and a third of the
country's population).
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
  • The defeat in Vietnam prompted Americans to think
    differently about foreign affairs and to
    acknowledge the limits of U.S. power abroad.
  • In 1973, Congress declared its hostility to
    undeclared wars like those in Vietnam and Korea
    by passing the War Powers Act, which required the
    president to report any use of military force
    within forty-eight hours and directed that
    without a declaration of war by Congress
    hostilities must cease within sixty days.

  • Vietnam distorted American economic and social
    affairs costing over 150 billion, the war
    siphoned resources from domestic needs, added to
    the deficit, and fueled inflation.
  • The war also shattered the liberal consensus that
    had supported the Democratic coalition.
  • The conduct of the war spawned the discrediting
    of liberalism, increased cynicism toward
    government, and growing social turmoil that would
    continue into the next decade, paving the way for
    a resurgence of the Republican Party and a new
    mood of conservatism

War at Home (cont)
  • Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
  • Endorsed civil rights and the fight against
    racial discrimination
  • Port Huron Statement
  • Called for participatory democracy that would be
    responsive to the wishes of local communities
  • General opposition to the establishment
  • Unrest on college and university campuses
  • War came to dominate agenda of student protesters
    by 1966
  • Debate over student deferments
  • Draft card burning
  • Unstructured demonstrations dominated campus life

American Attitudes Toward Vietnam War
War at Home (cont)
  • Violence overseas
  • Tet Offensive, January
  • Serious psychological defeat for United States
  • Called into question claims of imminent victory
  • Contributed to policy that would later be called
  • Johnson announced he would not run for
    re-election, March
  • Halted bombing of North
  • Initiated peace talks

War at Home (cont)
  • Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in April
  • Spurred violence and riots across the country
  • Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in June
  • Violence at political conventions
  • Republicans plagued by racial violence in Miami
  • Democrats hurt by brutal suppression of
    anti-protesters in Chicago

War at Home (cont)
  • Election of 1968
  • Vice-President Hubert Humphrey was Democratic
  • Republicans ran Richard Nixon
  • George Wallace ran on American Independent Party
  • Spoke of using nuclear weapons to end war in
  • Nixon won narrow victory

Nixon Years, 19691974
  • Two decades of economic growth came to an end
    during Nixon presidency
  • Inherited high levels of domestic spending, and
    expensive war in Vietnam, and the deteriorating,
    but still favorable balance of trade
  • Soaring unemployment and price inflation
  • What economists came to call stagflation
  • Nation ran its first trade deficit of the
    twentieth century in 1971
  • New Economy policy
  • 90-day freeze on wages and prices
  • Subsequent government monitoring to detect
    excessive increases in either

Nixon Years (cont)
  • Abandoned gold-to-dollar ratio in 1971
  • Dollar would thereafter float against both gold
    and all other currencies
  • Devalued dollar in 1973
  • Cheapened price of American goods in foreign
  • Little improvement of U.S. trade balance resulted

Nixon Years (cont)
  • Family Assistance Plan
  • Abolish other welfare programs, including AFDC
  • Institute a guaranteed annual income for all
  • End post-New Deal system of aid to those in
    particular circumstances
  • Provide aid to everyone
  • Not implemented
  • New federalism plan to return federal tax money
    to the states in the form of block grants
  • Supplementary Social Security Insurance for the
    elderly, blind, and disabled
  • Gradual expansion of Medicare and Medicaid
  • Social Security payments indexed to inflation in
  • Environmental Protection Agency

Nixon Years (cont)
  • Supreme Court
  • Dominated by activist majority devoted to
    recognizing a broad range of constitutionally
    protected rights
  • Miranda v. Arizona guaranteed rights to persons
    accused of violent crime
  • Conservatives saw as coddling of criminals
  • Three conservative justices appointed by Nixon
  • Harry Blackmun, William Rehnquist, and Lewis
  • Dandridge v. Williams declared that welfare was
    not a national right
  • Roe v. Wade ruled that a state law making
    abortion a crime violated a womans right of

Foreign Policy Under Nixon and Kissinger
  • Key advisor was Henry Kissinger, National
    Security Advisor
  • Détente as major foreign policy goal
  • Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with Soviet Union
  • Opening toward China
  • Vietnamization
  • Withdrawal of U.S. troops
  • Stepping up of air war and intensifying
    diplomatic efforts to reach settlement
  • Nixon Doctrine
  • U.S. military assistance to anti-Communist
    government in Asia
  • Nations left to provide their own military forces

Wars of Watergate
  • Caused collapse of Nixons presidency
  • Stemmed from Nixons deep mistrust for nearly
    everyone in Washington
  • Established plumbers unit to protect
    administration from enemies
  • Funded by illegal campaign contributions
  • Broke into Democratic Partys headquarters during
    1972 re-election campaign
  • Irony is that Nixon won election handily and
    didnt need to resort to dirty tricks to win
  • Administration was involved but denied it and
    instituted cover up instead
  • The press, Congress, and the federal judiciary,
    all began searching for the truth
  • Eventually bits of the truth began trickling out,
    and Nixon was implicated in both the original
    break in and in the cover up

Watergate (cont)
  • Nixon continued to deny involvement
  • White House taping system that could implicate
    him if the tapes were surrendered to the courts
  • Supreme Court ruled unanimously in U.S. v. Nixon
    that he had to give them up
  • House Judiciary Committee voted three articles of
  • Obstruction of justice, violation of
    constitutional liberties, refusal to produce
    evidence requested during the impeachment process

Watergate (cont)
  • In the end, Nixon chose to resign rather than
    face trial by the senate
  • Left office in disgrace on August 9, 1974,
    succeeded by Gerald Ford
  • Received an unconditional pardon by Ford
  • Public knowledge and understanding of Watergate
    not high today

Discussion Questions
  • What is the Great Society? Was it successful in
    its goals for the United States? Does it still
    exist today?
  • Examine Johnsons Vietnam policy. Explain why he
    took the steps he did in the war. Was his policy
  • Examine the youth movement of the late 1960s.
    What effect did the New Left and the
    counterculture movement have on American society?
  • Evaluate Nixons presidency. What were his
    triumphs? Why did his presidency end in such
Write a Comment
User Comments (0)