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AS History The USA in Asia 1945-73
Transcript of AS History The USA in Asia 1945-73
The USA in Asia 1945-73
Aims and objectives:
This unit is designed with three aims:
To develop critical thinking about the USA's involvement in world affairs. Many of the examples provided can be compared to events today.
To investigate and analyse the causes, courses and outcomes of the Korean War, the Vietnam war and the USA's relationship with China from 1945-73.
To develop critical and analytical writing skills
Russian Revolution 1917
The Second World War and Cold War in Europe
The Chinese Revolution
2 revolutions: February and October
Set up the world's first communist government under Lenin and Trotsky
Based on the principles of Marxism/Leninism (common ownership, dicatorship of the working class)
Under Stalin (1930>) led to the development of a rigid state bureaucracy and centrally planned economy. Repression, purge and murder.
You will be required to submit 6 tasks over the next 12 weeks. Some of these may be completed individually, some as a group:
Prezi Create a quiz Poster design
Debate Readings Film review
Watch and listen to Brother Ali's video "Uncle Sam Damn"
Discuss with your group:
What is your opinion of America from studying US history so far?
This unit is about foreign policy. What do you know about US foreign policy? Build a mindmap with your group.
The Second World War in Asia
1937 - Japan invades Manchuria
1941- Japanese attack on US Navy base at Pearl Harbour
1941-45 War rages in the Pacific and Far East between Allied and Japanese forces
1945 - USA drops atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, prompting Japanese surrender
Additionally you will be expected to create essay plans and assignments (both timed and untimed)
Introduction to the Cold War:
The Cold War was a conflict between the USA and the USSR (and to a lesser extent China.) It lasted until 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed due to internal and external pressures.
The origins of the Cold War are disputed amongst historians. Some put the origins of the conflict at 1945, as the two superpowers emerged triumphant at the end of the Second World War; others date it to the Russian Revolution of 1917.
The Second World War was an unparallelled tragedy for the people of Europe, more than 40 million people were killed, the vast majority from the Soviet Union (Russia/USSR)
The key war aim for the allies had been the destruction of Hitler's Germany, which had unleashed a wave of violence against Eastern Europeans and Jews.
The USSR, USA and UK had been key allies in the conflict, but fell out after the defeat of Germany.
In 1945 a series of conferences held between the allied leaders broke down over issues of freedom and democracy in Eastern Europe. The USA wanted to see liberal democratic (capitalist) states rise from the ashes of war-torn Europe. Stalin, on the other hand, wanted Soviet style states that would provide peace, security and a buffer-zone to the Soviet Union.
Stoking the flames of the ideological conflict Winston Churchill declared in 1946 that an "Iron Curtain" had descended upon Europe.
In your group sort through the cards to produce a table of differences between Capitalism and Communism.
Add any more differences that you can think of.
Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each system and produce a chart to share with your classmates/teacher.
Timeline for the development of the Cold War 1940s:
1945: February 4-11-- Yalta Conference
1945: August 6 -- United States first used atomic bomb in war
1945: August 8 -- Russia enters war against Japan
1945: August 14 -- Japanese surrender End of World War II
1946: March -- Winston Churchill delivers "Iron Curtain" Speech
1947: March -- Truman declares active role in Greek Civil War
1947: June -- Marshall Plan is announced
1948: February -- Communist takeover in Czechoslovakia
1948: June 24 -- Berlin Blockade begins
1949: July -- NATO ratified
1949: May 12 -- Berlin Blockade ends
1949: September -- Mao Zedong, a Communist, takes control of China
1949: September -- Soviets explode first atomic bomb
Which three events were the most important in the development of the Cold War?
Was the Cold War more a result of ideological tensions or practical realities?
Watch the following video on the origins of the Cold War. What were the main causes? Are there any biases you can identify?
The Chinese revolution started in the 1920s as a result of the decline of the Ming Dynasty.
Following a 20 year period of war and revolution. Mao Ze Dong and the Communists won control of China from Chiang Kai-Shek.
Task: Read through the article on US-Chinese relations and answer the questions:
In what ways did Truman support the Chinese Nationalists?
How successful was American policy towards China 1945-49?
How did Mao's victory contribute to the development of the Cold War?
Modern American foreign policy has been shaped by three events occurring in the late 1940s. They also became causes of the Korean War 1950-1953.
1. The Truman Doctrine:
Democracy vs. Communism
Freedom vs. Oppression
Sanctioned military and humanitarian aid to countries at risk of becoming communist
A series of witch hunts to find communists hiding in the US government
3. National Security Act 1947:
Proposed the setting up of a National Security Council (NSC) to debate matters of national security
Also set up the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for intelligence and covert operations (spying)
The Korean War
Kim Il Sung ordered the attack on South Korea in June 1950.
With experienced combat troops and brand new military equipment from the USSR, Kim's NKPA scored exceptional success and nearly defeated the ROKA.
MacArthur forced the North Koreans out of South Korea by a counter-attack in the west of the Korean peninsula at Inchon. Backed up by superior air power and the blessing of the China Lobby in the USA the American forces pursued the war into North Korea.
China enters the war as a
result of the USA
thwartingChinese attempts to regain
control of Taiwan. Also
feeling threatened by US gains in North Korea, China's 350,000 strong army pushed the Americans back beyond the 38th parallel by December 1950
Falling out between Truman and MacArthur leads to the general being sacked. MacArthur had wanted to continue the war in Korea and had even considered using an atom bomb to win it.
Although the conflict involved much less fighting, a ceasefire was agreed in March 1953, with the blessing of Mao and new US president Eisenhower.
Soviet Premier 1958-64
The consequences of the Korean War
The impact of the war on Korea:
Korea was divided into two states
100,000s displaced and forced to emigrate
Around 10% of the entire Korean population killed or wounded.
The entrenchment of a hostile, paranoid North Korean regime
The establishment of a capitalist, liberal-democratic regime in South Korea
A war without end?
The impact on China:
150,000 troops killed
Rose to the status of a world
Prompted huge investment in military-industrial complex
Did not lead to the final defeat of Nationalists as Mao had hoped
USA blocked China's entry to the UN until the 1970s
The impact on Japan:
Emerged as an unlikely beneficiary of the Korean War
Helped establish Japan as a key ally with the USA establishing more military bases and investment in Japanese military-industrial war material
This investment helped aid Japanese economic recovery after WWII
Friendly neighbour in S. Korea
Hostile neighbour in N. Korea
Impact on the USA
Estimates between 33-54,000 troops killed
Helped fuel the anti-communist witch hunts of the early 1950s
Helped propel Eisenhower into the White House in 1952 election
Containment policy had been successful, stopping North Korea from taking over the whole peninsula and establishing a friendly regime in South Korea.
Impact on the USA's foreign policy
NSC 68 saw the increase in military spending mushroom from 4% GNP in 1948 to 14% GNP by 1953, a real terms increase from $14bn in 1949 to $52bn in 1953. This firmly established the military-industrial complex in post-WWII America.
Expansion of CIA
Developed military ties with Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Iran, Australia and New Zealand to continue containment. Establishment of SEATO 1954
Truman criticised for allowing the war to get out of control by not being aggressive enough against China during their revolution (1949). These hard liners advocated application of containment to SE Asia, setting up US involvement in Vietnam in the 1950s.
The USA and Vietnam 1950-1975
The Vietnam war was a watershed event in modern American history.
The decisions of politicians and the military to wage an aggressive war on the tiny south east Asian country led to a remarkable debacle that engulfed the highest levels of government and a break in trust between people and government from which it could be argued the government has never recovered.
Social issues such as civil rights for blacks and equal rights for women were brought to the forefront as the anti-war movement electrified the nation.
The cost in human terms was 58,000 lives.
In monetary terms around $111bn (CRS)
The effect was a loss of stature of the USA in world standing, the explosion of the new left on one side and the military industrial complex on the other.
The Cold War in SE Asia
Resistance to French imperialism dated back to early 1940s when Communist leader Ho Chi Minh established the League of Independence for Vietnam, or Viet Minh.
Their aim was to defeat French (and Japanese) Imperialism in Indochina and establish an independent state.
In August 1945 Ho organised the August Revolution that propelled the communists to power in Vietnam. Ho petitioned the USA to recognise an independent Vietnam. The USA refused and supported the French in their territorial claims. Ho and his supporters continued to organise resistance to the French.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Eisenhower farewell address 1961
We must be ready to dare all for our country. For history does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid. We must acquire proficiency in defense and display stamina in purpose. We must be willing, individually and as a Nation, to accept whatever sacrifices may be required of us. A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. These basic precepts are not lofty abstractions, far removed from matters of daily living. They are laws of spiritual strength that generate and define our material strength. Patriotism means equipped forces and a prepared citizenry. Moral stamina means more energy and more productivity, on the farm and in the factory. Love of liberty means the guarding of every resource that makes freedom possible--from the sanctity of our families and the wealth of our soil to the genius of our scientists.
Eisenhower inauguration speech 1953
Key events in foreign policy:
Using the threat of military force against communist aggression
USA supported the overthrow of democratically elected Mohammad Mosadegh, who wanted to nationalise Iran's huge oil industry 1953
Cuban revolution and Bay of Pigs
Supported Batista regime against communist insurgents led by Fidel Castro and Ernesto 'Che' Guevara. After Castro's victory he authorised planning of Cuban invasion by Anti-Castro para-military groups 1961
Support for French in Indo-China
Supported French in their struggle against anti-imperialist communists in South East Asia, committing 900 military advisers, hardware and financial aid, $500m a year from 1953 onwards to prop up the French forces and support government of South Vietnam.
The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war. We do not want a war. We do not now expect a war. This generation of Americans has already had enough--more than enough--of war and hate and oppression. We shall be prepared if others wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we labor on--not toward a strategy of annihilation but toward a strategy of peace.
JFK: Speech at the American University, Washington DC June 1963
South Vietnam, from French to US involvement 1954
As a result of the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 the USA stepped up interest in Vietnam sending economic aid and military advisers to the region.
From the Geneva Accords that split Vietnam in two the USA installed and supported South Vietnam's president Ngo Dinh Diem
1956 - Diem suspends elections but still receives support from USA
Developments under Eisenhower
$500 million in aid to the government of South Vietnam each year
$2bn given in 1954 to Diem to stabilise political regime and resist communist expansion
Supported Diem despite the failure to call elections in 1956
Set up MAAG with around 900 advisers to train ARVN units
Why did Kennedy increase US involvement in Vietnam?
Cold War; Eisenhower doctrine; Laos situation
Growth of National Liberation Front in South Vietnam
The curse of Appeasement
Unpopularity of Diem
The growing power of the military-industrial complex
Life under Diem
Sects crisis 1955
1 million Catholics moved from North to South in a major propaganda coup for Diem. However, Diem was less successful in winning over support of sects Hoa Hao and Cao Dai, resorting to military force in order to combat them.
Elections suspended 1956, communists outlawed, imprisoned (50,000) and executed (15,000)
Early land reform involved replacing local village councils with government officials, many of whom were Catholic. This was later aggravated by the development of agrovilles, fortified village compounds containing modern facilities such as schools and doctors' surgeries. However, these proto-villages involved moving away from traditional burial lands and thus created great opposition.
Strategic Hamlet Programme 1962
Much like the agrovilles, these fortified villages were designed to insulate the villages from Vietcong penetration politically, militarily and economically. They were also designed to support the ARVN in the countryside and involved the relocation of peasants from ancestral homes. By 1963 around 70% of the South Vietnamese agricultural population was living in a strategic hamlet.
Life under the French
90% of Vietnam's population lived in the countryside.
Land had been concentrated in the hands of landowners and foreign imperialists under French rule. Many peasants were captured in a cycle of back breaking poverty, debt and exorbitant land rents.
90% of the peasantry owned less than 5 mau, of these around 60% were completely landless, 250 landlords owned more than 100mau,
Many tenants paid their debts through labour, which also included working in landlords' houses.
How did Kennedy increase US involvement in Vietnam?
National security council continued to authorise economic aid to the region, $50bn under the Truman Doctrine and $500m a year between 1955-63
Used the situation in Laos to urge for more support for anti-communist forces in South East Asia
Taylor-Rostow report 1961: urged for greater use of military advisers and hardware to train and support ARVN and increased use of strategic bombing
Advisers increase from 900 (1960), 3205 (1961), 9000 (1962), 16,000 (1963)
Aims of Vietminh
1936 statement 10 points:
Freedom of association, of organization, of speech, of publication, of movement, and of travel abroad, general amnesty for political prisoners, eight-hour work day, labour law for workers, land reform
Confiscation of French land
Nationalisation and re-distribution
Rearrange taxation system
Reduce land rents
Slogan "Land to the tillers"
In May 1951, the DRV enacted a progressive agricultural tax, which exempted the poorest 10% of rural households, charged poor peasants rates of 6% to 10% of their total agricultural income, middle peasants 15% to 20%, and rich peasants and landlords from 30_50%.
1953 Land Reform Law: Nationalisation of all landlord land
"Our power lies in the tens of millions of working peasant compatriots who are waiting for the Government and the Party to organize and lead them to stretch themselves, rise up and put to rout the slavery of feudalism and colonialism." Ho Chi Minh
25% reduction in land rents,
Table-2 - Transfers ofland from French, landlord, communal, and institutional
ownership in 3,035 xa106 ofNorth Vietnam, which underwent land reform between 1953
Original Ownership August 1945 to
Hectares % Transferred
French 11,656 61
Landlords: total 25,522 10
---traitors (confiscated) 8,281 34
Catholic Church * *
Communal and semipublic 76,127 32
Total 113,306 22
*The combined total of land
transferred from the Catholic
Church between 1945 and the
beginning of land refonn was
7,472 hectares, roughly 48%.
The dramatic expansion of the Party from 50,000
members in 1947 to 150,000 in 1948
Why did Johnson become so involved in Vietnam 1963-68?
Pressure from military-industrial complex
Fear of appearing soft on Communism
Tonkin (August 1964) and Pleiku (March 1965)
Ia Drang battle 1965
How did Johnson become so involved Vietnam 1963-68?
Operation Rolling Thunder (bombing campaign against North Vietnam using new weapons such as Napalm)
Troop increase from 16,500 Dec 1963 to 200,000 Dec 1965
Marines and infantry take over fighting from ARVN
Obsession with statistics (kill ratio, body counts, bombs dropped)
Essay Qs. Plan one of the following questions for a timed assignment next week:
How far was fear of communism responsible for growing US involvement in south-east Asia in the years 1954–64?
How accurate is it to say that Eisenhower and Kennedy must share responsibility for the escalation of US involvement in south-east Asia in the years 1954–63?
The War in Vietnam 1965-68
Troop increase from 200,000 in 1965 to 535,000 in 1968
Military spends $60m a day 1965-68
Why was this build up of troops unable to claim a decisive victory?
Nature of guerrilla war, erosion of support in Congress, failure of "Rolling Thunder", Tet Offensive.
General Westmoreland Nov 1967: "I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing"
Tet Offensive Jan 1968
US Embassy in Saigon
Ancient capital of Hue
Impact of Tet:
Largely a defeat for the North Vietnamese, they lost 58,000 troops compared to 4,000 USA
Decimated the VC
Military calls for further escalation, 200,000 more troops
Impact on Johnson approval down to 26% in March 1968, decides not to run in 1968 election
Public support declines and the anti-war movement grows
Peace conference agreed
My Lai 1968:
Charlie company 11th infantry brigade committed mass murder of 300 innocent Vietnamese, mainly women and children
Led by Lt. William Calley, eventually convicted and sent to prison
What was the impact of this on American audiences?
1. Examine the role of anti-war groups
2. Explain the impact of the anti-war movement in ending the war
3. Evaluate the importance of protest groups in ending the war
Why do people protest? Give examples
What do they hope to achieve?
Have you ever protested? What for/against?
Was it successful?
Why did Nixon begin the peace process with North Vietnam?
Poor morale of US troops
Cost of the war- $150bn by 1973
Impact of the Tet Offensive
Unpopularity of the war in the USA
Opposition in Congress
Refocus of US foreign policy
Conventional diplomacy/negotiation: Paris peace talks
Peace with Honour
Operation Linebacker I
Operation Linebacker II
What tactics did Nixon use to end the war?
The impact of the war on Vietnam:
The North Vietnamese launched an attack on South Vietnam in March 1975 and reunited the country in April.
After 30 years of struggle and up to three million deaths the Vietnamese had won their independence.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees.
Impact of bombing campaigns and use of defoliants
Impact of the war on Cambodia
Illegal invasion and bombing of Cambodia by the USA from 1970 led to the destabilisation of Cambodia.
In April 1975 Khmer Rouge occupied the capital, Phnom Penh and began a radical revolution of the country. They targeted all elements of the old regime: doctors, lawyers, teachers and began a genocide where a third of the population were murdered in the killing fields.
Vietnam invaded in 1978 to put an end to the killing. Pol Pot remained under house arrest until his death in 1998
Impact on the USA
46,000 military casualties, 300,000 wounded
Cost in the region of $150-168bn
Loss of prestige around the world
Impact on media and coverage of subsequent wars
Radicalisation of American youth culture
Development of use of bombing and commando operations rather than full blown military intervention in: Nicaragua, Guatemala, Chile, Pakistan, Philippines, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Somalia, Central African Republic, DRC and others
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
Inaugural address Jan 1961
Define Peace with honour
Peace with honour
South Vietnamese Army (ARVN)
Gap fill task – you can use a word more than once!
1. Regaining the countryside?
2. Weakening VC?
3. Weakening NVA ability to operate in the South?
4. Strengthening ARVN?
5. Silence the critics of the war; make the war more acceptable in the USA – to Congress; Public; Media?
6. Winning international approval?
7. Impact on Cambodia? (Led to communist victory in 1975)
8 . Reducing the cost of the war?
Recap: Changes in US military strategies – effective?
Why did Nixon take so long to end the war?
Failure of the bombing campaign 1969
Breakdown in peace negotiations over the timed withdrawal of US troops and mutual withdrawal of the NLF
The impact of the Sino-Soviet split
The Easter Offensive of 1972, followed by the Linebacker operations
The final treaty 1972:
Armed forces of two Vietnam's remain in place
Establishment of elections in S. Vietnam
Return of POWs
Return to the Geneva Accords settlement
Impact on the UN
Korea was seen as the first successful UN mission.
Many countries including USA, UK, Australia, France, Philippines, South Africa and others helped South Korea.
USSR did not take part so it was not truely "united"