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C30s1: Vietnam War

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Daniel Ritchie

on 29 May 2018

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Transcript of C30s1: Vietnam War

Moving Toward Conflict: Ch 30 sec 1
The Vietnam War
France attempted to reestablish their rule in Vietnam after WWII (French-Indochina War).
U.S. supported France with economic and military support to help stop the spread of communism.
America supports France in Vietnam
From the late 1800s to WWII, France ruled most of Indochina.
Many Vietnamese peasants, after years of oppression from French colonists, began to organize a rebellion.
French Control
Many Vietnamese that fled to China created the Indochinese Communist Party (1930).
1940, Japanese took control of Vietnam and Ho helped organize the Vietminh.
Ho Chi Minh
Organization under Minh that sought to eradicate foreign rule.
Japan was defeated in Aug ’45. Ho declared independence (Sept 2, ’45).
Ho Chi Minh was viewed as a Communist aggressor. It was U.S. goal to prevent his takeover of Indochina.
1950-’54: U.S. spent nearly $1 billion toward France-Indochina war effort.
U.S. Support
(1954) Eisenhower proposed the domino theory, likening the threat of communism as a row of dominos waiting to fall.
Domino Theory
May ’54: France surrendered in north Vietnam at Dien Bien Phu.
France Surrenders
Temporarily divided Vietnam at the 17th parallel.
Ho Chi Minh’s northern communist capital at Hanoi
South Vietnam capital at Saigon.
Geneva Accords (Aug, 1954)
Minh won support in North by redistributing land and for his success in fighting against the French and Japanese.
South’s President, Ngo Dinh Diem, refused to take part in countrywide election in ’56.
Chaos in Vietnam
Diem’s government, though supported by the U.S., did nothing to support Vietnam's peasants.
Further, because of Diem's devout Catholicism, restricted Buddhist practices (a majority of the population in Vietnam practiced Buddhism).
Diem’s Oppressive Regime
Vietcong, the Communist opposition group in the South, began to attack government officials in 1957, assassinating thousands.
Support to VC was provided along borders of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
By ’63, 16,000 U.S. troops were sent to South Vietnam in an attempt to stabilize Diem’s faltering regime.
Kennedy hinted at providing assistance, but nothing more.
Kennedy provides troops
~Buddhist flag, banned by Diem
To fight against Vietcong, Diem decided to move all villagers to protected areas; villagers resented being moved from their ancestors land.
Buddhist protesters were imprisoned. Temples were destroyed.
In response, Buddhist monks and nuns publicly practiced self-immolation.
Down with Diem
On Nov 1, 1963, Diem was assassinated.
On Nov 22, 1963, Kennedy was assassinated
Lyndon Johnson was now president and would take a different course of action towards Vietnam.
Diem assassinated
Unstable and inefficient military rule continued in the South.
Failed South Vietnam
Aug 2, 1964 North Vietnamese patrol boat fired at American destroyer, USS Maddox.
These antagonisms allegedly continued, prompting the Maddox to fire at North Vietnamese boats.
In response, President Johnson asked Congress for “all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the U.S. to prevent further aggression”, giving him executive power to increase our military efforts in Vietnam.
Tonkin Gulf Resolution (Aug 7, ’64)
With increased powers, LBJ began “Operation Rolling Thunder”
By June ’65, more than 50,000 U.S. soldiers were battling the Vietcong.
Vietnam War Begins
Full transcript