HIST 2301 11.12.07 and 11.14.07

HIST 2301 11.12.07 and 11.14.07 - 11/12/2007 Lecture 18The...

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11/12/2007 Lecture 18—The Vietnam War I. “America’s Longest War” A. U.S.S. Winchester Victory B. U.S. Support for French 1. Dienbienphu 2. Geneva Accords—17 th Parallel II. Creating South Vietnam A. Ngo Dinh Diem B. “The Great BBQ” III. Lyndon Baines Johnson A. Tonkin Gulf Resolution B. Escalation and Protests C. Tet Offensive -Active U.S. involvement in Vietnam goes back to the 1950s. The Vietnam War is generally acknowledged as the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history. The major problem was that there was a major gulf in perception between what the U.S. thought their goal was and what the Vietnamese thought the goal was. The U.S. thought it was fighting communism and in the process expanding democracy. Most Vietnamese saw the U.S. as continuing an imperialist presence, as the French had done before them. -The French role in Vietnam goes back to the 1860s, when the French Empire stretched across the globe. The French referred to this holding as Indochina. The French moved into the southern part to support the missionaries who were there. In the 1880s the
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French moved north. The French were interested in Vietnam’s raw materials. French control lasted until World War II, when Japan forcibly took over the country. After the Japanese were defeated, the question arose as to who would control Vietnam. -In 1945 the U.S. got involved in Vietnam with the U.S.S. Winchester Victory . As most U.S. ships took troops back home from Europe following the Allied victory in WWII, the Winchester sailed east to Vietnam to help the French re-establish control. Beginning in 1945 and accelerating in 1950, the U.S. helped France re-establish their empire in Vietnam. -Why was the U.S. helping the French? The Vietnamese leader at the time was Communist Ho Chi Minh. He had an alliance with the Soviet Union, but was primarily committed to independence. Ho asked for U.S. support for independence as far back as when Woodrow Wilson was at the Paris Peace Conference following World War I. Ho later asked Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) for help, but was ignored. France was also seen as essential to the reconstruction of Europe. Between 1946 and 1954 France spent $5 billion to reestablish control in Vietnam. $2 billion of that amount was given by the U.S. During this time the French and the southern Vietnamese were resisting Ho and his Communist forces. -All this came to a head at Dienbienphu, a town located in a valley surrounded by
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This note was uploaded on 07/18/2011 for the course HIST 2301 taught by Professor Trobridge during the Fall '07 term at Texas Tech.

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HIST 2301 11.12.07 and 11.14.07 - 11/12/2007 Lecture 18The...

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