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Goal 11 Vietnam/Protest/Nixon

Goal 11 Vietnam/Protest/Nixon

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Goal 11 Vietnam/Protest/Nixon

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  1. Goal 11 Vietnam/Protest/Nixon

  2. American Involvement in Vietnam

  3. 1940 the Japanese invaded Vietnam • China had controlled Vietnam for hundreds of years • Late 1800s until WWII France ruled Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia = French Indochina • Late 1940s and early 1950s Americans knew little about Indochina • Cold War years American officials became concerned the region might fall to Communism • American troops would be sent to Vietnam to fight

  4. Vietnamese Nationalism

  5. Early 1900s nationalism became a force in Vietnam • Several political parties formed and pushed independence or reform of the French controlled government • One of the nationalist leaders, Ho Chi Minh “bringer of light” • Age 21 Ho Chi Minh visited Europe, stayed in the Soviet Union, became an advocate of communism

  6. Ho Chi Minh returned to Southeast Asia in 1930, established the Indochinese Communist Party, worked to end French rule • Became a wanted man-fled Indochina-spent time in exile in the Soviet Union and China • Returned to Vietnam in 1941- Japan occupied Vietnam- Ho Chi Minh organized a nationalist group- the Vietminh, united communists and non-communists to oppose the Japanese • The U.S. sent military aid to Vietnam

  7. American Aid to France

  8. WWII ended, victory over Japan August, 1945 • Japan forced to give up control of Indochina • Ho Chi Minh and his forces declared Vietnam an independent nation • Drafted a Vietnam Declaration of Independence • Wording similar to the U.S. Declaration of Independence

  9. France was not going to let Vietnam gain independence- wanted to resume the colonial system in Southeast Asia • French troops in Vietnam in 1946- drove the Vietminh forces into the countryside • 1949 the French set up a new government in Vietnam • Vietminh gradually took control of large areas of the countryside

  10. Fighting intensified- French request aid from the U.S. • Truman did not want the French to control Vietnam, did not want Vietnam to become a communist nation • China fell to communism, Korean War started, American officials believed the Soviets were trying to impose communism on East Asia

  11. After the start of the Korean War, Truman continued military aid to France in it’s conflict in Vietnam • 1953 Eisenhower in office continued U.S. support of the French against the Vietminh • 1954 the U.S. covered ¾ of the cost of France’s war • Eisenhower defended U.S. policy in Vietnam • The Domino Theory, one nation in Southeast Asia falls to communism so will the others

  12. Defeat at Dien Bien Phu

  13. Despite large amount of U.S. aid, the Vietminh used guerrillas to attack the French troops • The guerrillas could blend into the general population, hard for the French troops to fight • Increasing casualty numbers and the inability of the French to defeat the Vietminh made the war unpopular in France • 1954, conflict reached a turning point

  14. The French commander ordered his troops to occupy the mountain town of Dien Bien Phu • This would allow the French to cut Vietminh supply lines and force them into an open battle • Vietminh forces surrounded Dien Bien Phu and bombed the town • May 7, 1954 French forces fell to the Vietminh • France decided to make peace and withdraw from Vietnam

  15. Geneva Accords

  16. Talks to end the conflict were held in Geneva, Switzerland • Vietnam was divided at the 17th parallel • Ho Chi Minh controlled North Vietnam • A pro-western government controlled South Vietnam • 1956 elections were to take place to unify the two nations

  17. Geneva Accords recognized the independence of Cambodia • After the Geneva Accords the French leave Vietnam and the U.S. entered • The U.S. protected the government of South Vietnam • Ngo Dinh Diem, nationalist leader of South Vietnam- pro-western and anti-communist

  18. Diem a catholic welcomed over 1 million North Vietnamese Catholics who left the North to escape the communist government • 1956, Diem blocked the elections as outlined by the Geneva Accords- felt the communist controlled North would not allow free elections and Ho Chi Minh would win • Eisenhower supported Diem, increased military and economic aid • Tension between the North and South increased • Civil war was possible with the U.S. in the middle

  19. America Becomes Involved

  20. Mid-1950s the U.S. supported the government of South Vietnam in it’s struggle against North Vietnam • After Diem blocks unification elections Ho Chi Minh started an armed conflict to unify the two nations • Ho Chi Minh created a guerrilla army the Vietcong made up of South Vietnamese communists

  21. Fighting took place between the Vietcong and the South Vietnamese Army • Eisenhower increased aid, sent military advisors to train South Vietnamese troops • Vietcong grew more powerful, many Vietnamese opposed Diem’s government • The use of terror by the Vietcong was successful

  22. By 1961, the Vietcong had assassinated thousands of government officials and had control of much of the countryside • Diem needed U.S. aid to prevent the South Vietnamese government from collapsing

  23. Kennedy and Vietnam

  24. JFK took office in 1961, continued U.S. policy in South Vietnam • Kennedy saw Southeast Asia as the key to stopping communist expansion • Kennedy needed to appear tough on communism • Republicans blamed the Democrats for losing China to the communists

  25. Kennedy increased military aid and sent more advisors to South Vietnam • 1961-1963, American military personnel in South Vietnam went from 2,000 to 15,000 • American officials felt the Vietcong were growing because of the unpopularity of the Diem government • U.S. urged Diem to create a more democratic government and introduce reforms to help the peasants

  26. Diem introduced limited reform • One reform suggested by U.S. advisors hurt more than helped • -Diem created special fortified villages – strategic hamlets • -protected by machine guns, barbed wire, bunkers, trenches • -Vietnamese officials moved villagers to the strategic hamlets to protect them from the Vietcong

  27. -also prevent villagers from giving aid to the Vietcong • -program unpopular- peasants did not like being moved from the villages where they had their farms and the place of the burial places for ancestors

  28. Overthrow of Diem

  29. Diem discriminated against Buddhists • Buddhism was the most popular and widely practiced religion in Vietnam • Spring 1963, Diem banned traditional religious flags that celebrated Buddha’s birthday • Buddhists took to the streets in protest • Diem’s police killed 9 and injured 14 • Demonstrations followed- a Buddhist monk set himself on fire the first of several to do so

  30. Pictures of the act were on the TV and newspaper front pages around the world • August, 1963 Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge went to Vietnam- learned of Diem’s unpopularity and that several South Vietnamese generals were plotting to overthrow the Diem government • Lodge expressed sympathy for their cause

  31. The generals staged a military coup- took power on November 1, 1963 and assassinated Diem • The coup made the situation worse in South Vietnam • Diem was unpopular with some citizens but was respected as a nationalist and good administrator

  32. New South Vietnamese government was weak and unstable • U.S. became more deeply involved in order to support the weak government • Three weeks after the Diem assassination Kennedy was assassinated • Vietnam belonged to LBJ

  33. Johnson and Vietnam

  34. Johnson did not want to increase U.S. involvement in Vietnam • Was committed to preventing South Vietnam from falling into the hands of the communists • “The battle against communism must be joined…with strength and determination” • Politics played a major role in Johnson’s decision making, Republicans blamed Truman for the fall of China to the communists

  35. If the Democrats lost Vietnam Johnson was afraid it would cause a “mean and destructive debate that would shatter my Presidency, kill my administration, and damage our democracy”

  36. Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

  37. August 2, 1964 LBJ announced that North Vietnamese torpedo boats had fired on two American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin • Two days later reported a similar attack • LBJ was campaigning for the presidency, sensitive to accusations he was soft on communism • Johnson claimed the North Vietnamese attacks were unprovoked and ordered U.S. aircraft to attack North Vietnamese ships and naval facilities

  38. Johnson did not reveal that U.S. ships had been helping the South Vietnamese conduct electronic spying and commando raids against North Vietnam • Johnson asked Congress to authorize the use of force to defend American forces • Congress agreed • August 7, 1964 the Senate and the House passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

  39. Allowed Johnson to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the U.S. and to prevent any further aggression • The resolution passed will only two votes against • Congress had given President Johnson it’s war powers

  40. The U.S. Sends Troops

  41. After the passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, the Vietcong attacked bases where American advisors were stationed • Started in the fall of 1964 and increased in number • Vietcong attacked the base at Pleiku February, 1965- killed 7 Americans and wounded over 100

  42. Johnson responded, 14 hours after the attack, U.S. aircraft bombed North Vietnam • LBJ’s actions had the support of the public and his advisors- including Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and McGeorge Bundy the National Security Advisor • Some opposition- Undersecretary of State George Ball, long time critic of U.S. policy in Vietnam- if the U.S. got too deeply involved, it might be difficult to get out

  43. Most advisors around Johnson believed the nation had a duty to stop communism in Vietnam and maintain stability in Southeast Asia • Ensure US power and prestige continued in the world • March, 1965 Johnson expanded US involvement, moved to a policy of sustained bombing of North Vietnam- Operation Rolling Thunder

  44. March, 1965 ordered the first combat troops into Vietnam • Now American soldiers were fighting alongside South Vietnamese troops against the Vietcong

  45. Bloody Stalemate

  46. By the end of 1965 over 180,000 American combat troops in Vietnam • 1966 that number doubled • US military was strong, thought it would march into Vietnam and end the conflict quickly • Vietcong did not have the firepower of the US- used ambushes, booby traps, and guerrilla tactics

  47. The Vietcong could blend in with the general population in the cities and the countryside • Strike and vanish • American troops could not restrict the movement of the Vietcong

  48. Search and Destroy

  49. To fight the Vietcong American troops went on search and destroy missions • Attempt to find enemy troops, bomb their positions, destroy supply lines and force them into open combat • Vietcong hid in the thick jungle, escaped through tunnels dug in the earth • To take away the Vietcong ability to hide American troops destroyed the jungle environment

  50. American planes dropped napalm, jellied gasoline that exploded on contact • Used Agent Orange- chemical defoliant • The US turned farmland and forest into a wasteland • This policy impacted the South Vietnamese living in the rural areas • US military leaders underestimated the resolve of the Vietcong as well as their strength