A Comparison of the American Revolution and the Vietnam War Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Tories, Loyalists
American colonists who were supportive of the King and the British army
Colonial militia who were supposed to be ready on a moments notice.
Paul Revere
He was a Bostonian silversmith and a member of the sons of liberty. On the April night in 1775 when the British started out to seize rebel leaders and supplies, he went on his famous ride to warn people that "The British are coming!"
Lexington and Concord
The first military encounters of the Revolution. On April 19, 1775, minutemen gathered to oppose the British as they marched to capture the patriot's gunpowder. The British reached Concord, but were turned back. On their way back to Boston, they were harassed by minutemen firing at them from the woods.
Battle of Bunker Hill
The British attacked the patriots while they were entrenched on Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill. It took place in June 1775, and was a pyrrhic victory for the British because they won, but they suffered great losses and accomplished very little.
(1776) George Washington crossed the Delaware into New Jersey and conducted a surprise raid on a Hessian outpost in Trenton while the Hessians were still drunk from their Christmas Eve Party the night before. The Americans suffered no fatal casualties and were able to capture over 1200 Hessians and their supplies. It gave the Patriot Cause hope and garnered enlistment in the army.
Patriot General Horatio Gates and his army surrounded and captured over 5000 British Soldiers under the command of General Burgoyne. This battle showed the countries of Europe that the patriots had a chance and was one of the direct reasons that countries such as France began to offer support to the Patriot Cause.
Valley Forge
The patriots wintered here outside Philadelphia in 1777. It was a very cold winter and morale was extremely low. To combat this, Washington had the soldiers recreate the play "Cato", and General Von Steuben trained the soldiers so that by the time they left, the army was a well-trained fighting machine
Edmund Burke
He was a British MP who supported the Patriots because he said that they were fighting for a principal with major change.
George III
The King of England during the build-up to the Revolution. He was rumored to be insane. He surrounded himself with "yes men" and thought the colonies were unreasonable in opposing taxes.
Banastre Tarleton
He was a commander of cavalry for the British in the southern theater and was known for his ruthless attitude toward Patriot soldiers and supporters. He was the only officer not invited to the dinner held by the patriots at Yorktown.
Lord Cornwallis
He was the commander of British soldiers in the southern theater. He was selected to replace Howe and was eventually forced to surrender at Yorktown.
(1781) General Washington surrounded the forces of Lord Cornwallis. The French helped to blockade the river, sealing the victory. This battle won the war for the Patriots.
Treaty of Paris (1783)
This treaty officially recognized the USA and gave both the USA and Britain access to the Mississippi River.
Deborah Sampson
She was a woman who impersonated a man to join the Patriot army. She was discovered when she was wounded.
Molly Pitcher
She went to the Battle of Monmouth and handed out water to the Patriot soldiers. When her husband was wounded, she took over his spot on the cannon.
Daughters of Liberty
A group of women who supported the Patriot cause by doing such things as boycotting British goods.
Spinning Bees
Events organized Patriot women to promote American production of yarn. It was meant to help the boycott of British clothing.
Edenton Resolves
(1774) Penelope Barker organized a boycott of British tea with her friends in North Carolina.
Abigail Adams
The wife of John Adams, she wrote letters to her husband and gave him and other Patriots such as Thomas Jefferson advice. She pushed the bounds of what women were expected to be in society.
Conway Cabal
(1777) A coup to try and replace Washington as the head of the Continental Army with Horatio Gates. The coup was named after General Thomas Conway, who wrote letters to Congress about Washington
Newburgh Conspiracy
(1783) A conspiracy by officers in the Continental Army against congress to get their wages. The coup was also against Washington as he had tried to intervene between the soldiers and Congress.
Asymmetrical Warfare
Warfare in which the two sides use different styles of warfare.
Guatemalan Coup
(1954) The CIA started a coup on Guatemala's President Jacobo Arbenz because he took land from the United Fruit Company.
United Fruit Company
A company based in Guatemala that owned 90% of the land in the 1950s. They only used 20% of it, so the Guatemalan president forced them to sell the land. Because several members of the board were in Congress, they got the CIA involved in a coup.
Operation Ajax
(1953) The British and the CIA reinstate the Shah of Iran in order to protect oil interests after the Iranians tried to nationalize their oil.
The French colony in Vietnam. French influence was greater in the south as they were able to westernize the culture. The much more populated north was resistant to French authority, and they rebelled while being led by Ho Chi Minh.
Dien Bien Phu
(1954) The Viet Nimh, led by Ho Chi Minh, surround French forces in Northern Vietnam and force the French Military out of Vietnam.
Geneva Conference
(1954) This agreement ended the war between France and Vietnam. Vietnam was partitioned into the North and South to provide for the two opposing governments. It also set up an election in 1956 which would decide if the government of the south or that of the north would become the head of Vietnam. The USA did not actively participate in or sign on to the accords.
North Vietnam
A communist country led by Ho Chi Minh. He was not so much a communist as a nationalist. The capital was in Hanoi. The country was much more populated than the south and was tired of foreign oppression.
Ho Chi Minh
The leader of the Viet Nimh and then of North Vietnam. He was a communist because he got support from the communists. He went to the US and Great Britain once asking for help, but they ignored him.
Viet Cong
Also called the National Liberation Front, it was a group of South Vietnamese who were sympathetic with the North Vietnamese cause. They used guerilla warfare as well as complex tunnel systems and their knowledge of the land to their advantage.
South Vietnam
A democratic country that was originally ruled by Ngo Dinh Diem. He was corrupt though, and so the country suffered until he was overthrown in 1963. The country was westernized, but the area was not as populated, and most families had only been there for three or less generations.
Ngo Dinh Diem
The leader of South Vietnam. He was overthrown in a coup in 1963 in which he was killed.
Domino Theory
The theory about monolithic communism that implied if one nation became communist, then all of the surrounding countries would go communist.
(1954) The Southeast Asian Treaty Organization. It was a treaty that called for military alliance between the countries. It was disbanded in 1977.
Strategic Hamlets
Triangular compounds that South Vietnamese farmers were relocated to in order to protect them from the Viet Cong.
Lyndon Johnson
He was a president of the United States from 1963 until 1968. He got the US officially involved in Vietnam with the Gulf of Tonkin Act.
Great Society
LBJ's plan for domestic strategy at home. It did not come to fruition however, because the Vietnam War got in the way. It included Civil Rights and expanding welfare benefits.
Guns Versus Butter
The economic theory about how the military spending effects how much a government can spend on civilian spending.
Tonkin Gulf Resolution
(1965) On August 2, 1965, The USS Maddox was reportedly fired upon by the North Vietnamese. The Maddox was actually in North Vietnamese waters when the incident reportedly occurred. LBJ used this to get Congress to pass this resolution that gave him full authority to engage the USA in Vietnam.
Operation Rolling Thunder
(1965) The Operation in which the USA bombed all strategic targets in North Vietnam. The USA eventually dropped three times the amount of bombs on North Vietnam than on Germany in WWII. It was unsuccessful in stopping the North Vietnamese war effort because they did not have much industry and instead strengthened their resolve.
Robert McNamara
The Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War. He was a Harvard Graduate who was hired by JFK because he was so intelligent.
Operation Search and Destroy
(1965) The warfare strategy in which the army goes out and searches for the enemy in order to kill them. This goes along with the strategy of of attrition, The first battle to use this was Ia Drang (1965).
William Westmoreland
The Leader of US forces in Vietnam. He first tried to cover up the My Lai massacre, but eventually exposed it to the press.
My Lai
(1968) Captain Medina and his platoon went into a hamlet and massacred innocent civilians. They were eventually stopped and Lieutenant Calley was tried and convicted of the massacre, but his sentence was reduced. Westmoreland initially tried to cover it up, but he was forced to out the matter.
Tet Offensive
(1968) During the Vietnamese New Year, the NVA launched a suprise attack into South Vietnam. The offensive got as far as Saigon, and the the VC even took over part of the US Embassy, The assault was eventually pushed back and was a victory for the Americans, but it lowered the support at home for the war.
People who were for war in Vietnam. They wanted to build up the American army and its weaponry.
People who were for peace and against the war in Vietnam. They were also against the arms race.
Anti-materialists. The term first appeared in the 1950s, and came to be synonymous with hippies and those who were against modern culture and its inherent materialism.
Students for a Democratic Society
A student group that was part of the New Left. They were for peace and equality, and they made their intentions clear through their manifesto, the Port Huron Statement.
Port Huron Statement
The manifesto of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). It voiced the groups feelings on issues such as racism, nuclear proliferation and the lack of a nation in which "all men are created equal."
Berkeley Campus
College students were protesting the war and other issues as a new generation came to fruition. This college was the center of many protests, such as the Peace Park. Several times during the 1960s and 1970s, the National Guard had to be brought in to sustain order.
This group broke off from the SDS because they thought that violence and bombing was the only way to get things done. They bombed several buildings over the years, but they actually hurt the cause of the New Left and the SDS with their violence.
The culture of the new generation of the 1960s, which challenged the traditional American values of the day. They were less about hard work and more about peace and equality, love and friendship.
Timothy Leary
The developer of LSD and a heavy drug user. He believed that drugs helped people to think clearer. He was arrested, but escaped with the help of the Weathermen and lived in exile.
Eugene McCarthy
The anti-war democratic candidate. He originally signed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, but changed his views when he thought that American should not have been in the war.
Kent State
A college in Ohio where a protest about the war was staged. The national guard was brought in to keep the peace, and eventually fired into the crowd. Four students were killed and it became a symbol for anti-war protesters.
Hard Hat Riots
Some blue-collar construction workers of New York rioted against protesters against the war. The union workers were for the war because they were vehemently against communism as it would hurt their livelihood.
Richard Nixon
He was the Vice President under Eisenhower. He was elected in 1968 because he had a "secret plan" for "peace with honor" in Vietnam. This plan turned out to be bombing Cambodia. Peace with Honor appealed to the American people. That coupled with distrust of the Democrats and the use of racism to win the Southern states gave him the White House.
Draft Lottery
This was the conscription used for Vietnam. It was a system where a day was randomly drawn from a box, and all men of age born on that day were drafted. At first, college gave people a way around the draft, but this was eventually stopped.
The foreign policy in which the United States exploited the Sino-Soviet split and played the two off of each other to help ourselves.
Madman Theory
Nixon's foreign policy technique in which other countries were led to believe that Nixon was insane and would do things unpredictably, such as press "the button" at any moment.
Khmer Rouge
The communist group that took over Cambodia in the wake of American bombing. Their rule was harsh and millions were slaughtered. Their reign is an example of a negative externality of the war in Vietnam.
Silent Majority
The people Richard Nixon said made up the most of the American population. They supported the war in Vietnam, but were not as outspoken as the doves. It was to them that Nixon made the pledge of Peace with Honor.
The practice of putting the war in Vietnam back under the control of the Vietnamese. It started in the late 60s - early 70s.
Paris Peace Conference
After long struggles over the legitamacy of each government and the tables to be used, among other matters, the accords stemming from the Conference in 1973 created a ceasefire in Vietnam. The provisions were a ceasefire along with allowing South Vietnam to have an election to decide what government it would eventually have. The reunification was to happen slowly.
Powell Doctrine
This doctrine calls for eight steps that have to be met for the United States to go to war. 1) Is the war vital to national security? 2) Is there a clear objective? 3)Have the risks and costs been analyzed and found worth it? 4) Is this the last resort? 5) Is there an exit strategy? 6) Have the consequences been considered? 7) Do the American people support the war? 8) Do we have international support from allies with similar ethics/morals/ideals?
War Powers Act of 1973
This bill limits the power that the President has over the soldiers, and what he can do with them. He can only send out soldiers for a period of a few months without congress's approval. It is the backlash against the consequences of the powers given to the Executive Branch through the Tonkin Gulf Resolution.
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