Chapter 22: The Vietnam War Years Section 4: 1968: A Tumultuous Year - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Chapter 22: The Vietnam War Years Section 4: 1968: A Tumultuous Year


Chapter 22: The Vietnam War Years Section 4: 1968: A Tumultuous Year California Academic Standards: 11.9.3 & 11.9.4 11.9 Students analyze U.S. foreign policy since ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 22: The Vietnam War Years Section 4: 1968: A Tumultuous Year

Chapter 22The Vietnam War YearsSection
41968 A Tumultuous Year
  • California Academic Standards 11.9.3 11.9.4
  • 11.9 Students analyze U.S. foreign policy since
    World War II.
  • .3 Trace the origins and geopolitical
    consequences (foreign and domestic) of the Cold
    War and containment policy, including the
  • The Vietnam War
  • .4 List the effects of foreign policy on domestic
    policies and vice versa (e.g., protests during
    the war in Vietnam, the "nuclear freeze"

  • Objectives
  • Following lecture and reading of this section,
    students will be able to
  • Describe the Tet offensive and its effects on
    American public opinion.
  • Explain the domestic turbulence of 1968.
  • Describe the 1968 presidential election.

  • Overview
  • A surprise attack by the Vietcong begins the year
    of 1968.
  • Two assassinations, urban riots, and campus
    protests rocked the nation.
  • The chaotic Democratic convention helps pave the
    way for Republican Richard Nixons win in
    Novembers presidential election.

  • The Tet Offensive Turns the War
  • Early in 1968, North Vietnam and the Vietcong
    launch a surprise attack, it became known as the
    Tet offensive.
  • Tet is the Vietnamese term for New Year and a
    week long truce was agreed upon to celebrate the
    New Year.

  • As a result of that truce many villagers fled
    back into towns and cities.
  • During this time many funerals were being held
    for the victims of the war in South Vietnam.
  • The Vietcong knowing this brought in weapons in
    coffins disguised themselves as villagers and
    surprise attacked nearly 100 cities in South
    Vietnam, as well as 12 U.S. air bases, and the
    U.S. embassy in Saigon killing 5 Americans there.

  • It took over a month for U.S. and South
    Vietnamese forces to regain control of the
  • The Vietcong lost about 32,000 soldiers, while
    the U.S. and ARVN only lost about 3,000.
  • A 101 advantage for the U.S.
  • The Tet offensive changed public opinion about
    the war and contributed to Johnsons decision not
    to seek reelection.

  • Many Americans believed the Vietcong was close to
    defeat and this display of surprise attack seemed
    to tell people otherwise.
  • The credibility gap of Johnsons administration
    grew even wider than it already was
  • A poll before the Tet offensive showing that only
    28 of people considered themselves doves and 56
    considered themselves hawks changed to a 40-40
    split following the Tet offensive.

  • The Tet offensive sours the medias and the
    publics view of the war.
  • Walter Cronkite and other news agencies began to
    criticize the war and claim it was going to end
    in a bloody stalemate.
  • Clark Clifford, the new Secretary of Defense who
    was replacing Robert McNamara and strongly agreed
    with Johnsons Vietnam War policy, reached the
    conclusion that the

  • war was unwinnable and that to put more U.S.
    soldiers in Vietnam would only force the Vietcong
    to match them and continue losing lives.
  • By the end of February, President Johnsons
    popularity has plummeted and he knew he was in

  • Days of Loss and Rage
  • Some Democrats wanted to oust President Johnson
    from office.
  • Robert Kennedy was asked to run against him, but
    he would not do it because he wanted to be loyal
    to his party.
  • Eugene McCarthy was willing to try to unseat
    Johnson as the

  • Democratic partys candidate for the 1968
  • The impressive showing of an antiwar candidate,
    Eugene McCarthy, in the New Hampshire Democratic
    primary in which he received 42 and Johnson only
    received 48 prompts Robert Kennedy to join the
    presidential race.

  • On March 31, 1968, President Johnson announced a
    dramatic change in Vietnam policy (ending
    escalation, ceasing the bombing of North Vietnam,
    and ensuring South Vietnam played a larger part
    in their war) and Johnson decided to bow out of
    the presidential race and not seek or accept the
    nomination of the Democratic Party for president.

  • Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy are
    assassinated and campus protests surge.
  • MLK Jr. was assassinated just days after Johnson
    announced he was stepping down on April 4, 1968.
  • Riots erupted as followers of Dr. King burned
    buildings and destroyed neighborhoods in nearly
    100 U.S. cities.

  • At the end of the week 46 people were dead 3,000
    were injured, and 27,000 were arrested.
  • Robert Kennedy had become very popular and after
    winning the California Primary election and
    giving his victory speech, he was shot and killed
    by a Palestinian immigrant who disliked his
    support of Israel.

  • College campuses continued there protests with
    40,000 students on over 100 campuses taking part
    in more than 221 demonstrations people began to
    feel as if the country was ripping apart at its

  • A Turbulent Race for President
  • Protests spark rioting in Chicago during the
    Democratic National Convention.
  • The protests showed the nation that the
    Democratic Party was in upheaval and disagreement.

  • Protesters began a riot in Chicago which scared
    many people away from the party.
  • Delegates at the Democratic convention bitterly
    debate the partys antiwar plank.
  • Vice-President Hubert Humphrey wins the
    Democratic Partys presidential nomination in the
    face of controversy that he was nominated before
    the convention had taken place.

  • The Republican presidential candidate, Richard
    Nixon, wins the 1968 election.