30 - Chapter 30: TELESCOPING THE TIMES The Vietnam War...

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Chapter 30: TELESCOPING THE TIMES The Vietnam War Years CHAPTER OVERVIEW The United States enters a war in Vietnam, which results in the deaths of tens of thousands of American soldiers, the division of society into bitterly opposed camps, and a lasting impact on U.S. foreign policy. Section 1: Moving Toward Conflict MAIN IDEA To stop the spread of Communism in Southeast Asia, the United States used its military to support South Vietnam. After World War II, Vietnamese Communists led by Ho Chi Minh and other nationalist groups fought the French who tried to reestablish colonial rule. The United States helped the French with military supplies. The nationalists won in 1954. A peace agreement temporarily split the country and called for an election and unity in 1956. South Vietnam’s prime minister Ngo Dinh Diem canceled the elections and declared himself head of a new government. President Eisenhower supported Diem, fearing that Ho would win a national election. Opponents to Diem in the South—the Vietcong—began guerrilla attacks. President John Kennedy continued Eisenhower’s policy and sent some American troops to train his army. Diem, meanwhile, acted harshly and lost support in the South. In late 1963, military leaders in the South, with U.S. support, overthrew Diem. The United States did not want South Vietnam to fall to the Communist North. When U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin were attacked in 1964 by North Vietnamese torpedo boats, President Johnson retaliated with a bombing attack. Then, in February of 1965, Johnson launched a major bombing attack on North Vietnam’s cities. The next month the first U.S. combat troops arrived. Section 2: U.S. Involvement and Escalation
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30 - Chapter 30: TELESCOPING THE TIMES The Vietnam War...

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