PPT Two Revolutions Compared American and Vietnamese by xiangpeng


                THE IDEA

 Barbara Tuchman’s March of Folly
   Author talks about times in history when leaders went “nuts”
   Leadership of Great Britain and 1960’s US followed self-destructive paths
 Reasons for Comparison
   American Revolution is part of AP World and standard on exit exams
   Exercise brings the US back into World History were it belongs
   Vietnam is a major revolution and participant in 20th century history
   South East Asia is part of the expanded emphasis of the new AP Guide
   Compare and contrast is a major aspect of AP World History
   This study also has a quality of Change and Continuity over Time
 The United States
    Main axis of movement - north to south
    Coastal plains with inland highlands and mountains
    Main source of revolution - northern states (New England)
    Main population - the northern and mid-Atlantic states
    Main bastion of conservatism - southern states
    Main battle grounds - mid-Atlantic states (New York to Virginia)
    Key cities in the north: New York, Boston

                         Vietnam
                            • Main axis of movement - north to south
                            • Coastal plains with inland highlands and mountains
                            • Main source of revolution - northern provinces (Tonkin)
                            • Main population - Annam and Tonkin (north)
                            • Main bastion of conservative - southern provinces (Cochin-China)
                            • Main battle grounds - central highlands of Annam
                            • Key cities in the north: Hanoi, Haiphong

 Great Britain
   An island nation across the Atlantic
   All weapons and troops had to be transported across the ocean
   UK was 3,440 miles distant from the American colonies
 United States
   Separated by the Pacific Ocean from Vietnam
   All weapons and troops had to be transported across the ocean
   Los Angeles to Saigon is more than 7,000 miles
 American Colonists, Viet Cong, Vietnamese fought for their homes
   Americans and Viet Cong were both fighting on familiar terrain
   Both had relatives and homes in area to defend
 Great Britain
   The world’s largest power at time
   Maintained the world’s largest fleet
   The richest country of the day
   Her companies dominated trade
   Had colonial possessions and interests the world over
   At home country was extremely progressive and relatively democratic

 The United States
   The world’s superpower at the time
   Maintained the world’s largest fleet, 3rd largest army
   The richest country of the day
   American corporations were the most powerful in world
   Had bases and interests the world over
   At home country was extremely progressive and relatively democratic
 American Revolution
   No taxation without representation
   Opposed to tyranny
   Believed in self-determination
   Words and rhetoric reflected the ideas of the Enlightenment
   Leaders quoted John Locke and the British Bill of Rights
 Vietnamese Revolution
   Communism: opposed to the tyranny of capitalists
   Sought to overthrow capitalist system
   Words and rhetoric reflect communism
   Leaders quoted Jefferson and the American Declaration of Independence
 Great Britain
   Mercantilism, colonialism
   Multi-party elections, rule by oligarchy
 The United States
   Anti-communism, great power ideology
   Business oriented, multi-party oligarchy
 Both inherited problems from France
   Great Britain
     Had won colonial struggles of the French, Indian Wars
     In war had relied on colonial militias to help fight war
     Had won the territory of much of central North America
   The United States
     Had defeated Japan, acquired great influence in region
     During World War II, US had armed, helped anti-Japanese forces
     Viet Minh forces had defeated French at Dien Bien Phu
 1954 Indo-China, 1765 North America
   Truce separated Tonkin, Cochin China; partitioned
   Elections were to follow to reunited country
   English ruled diverse populations with different needs, wants
   No uniform approach to policies, approaches often angered locals
 Political
   American: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson
      Gifted organizers and orators, known abroad
   Vietnamese: Ho Chi Minh
      Helped establish French Communist Party
      Lead Viet Minh against Japanese, French

 Military
   American: George Washington
      Leader of the French-Indian Wars, well respected
   Vietnamese: Vo Nguyen Giap
      Had led Vietnamese forces against Japanese, French

 Diplomatic
   American: Benjamin Franklin
      Spoke fluent French, worked well with French elite
   Vietnamese: Le Duc Thieu
      Educated in France, spoke flawless French
 Great Britain
   France and Spain
      Both eventually sent troops to assist the Americans
      French army significant at Battle of Yorktown
   Netherlands
      Recognized the United States
      Provided aid to the colonists
   League of Armed Neutrality
      Prussia, Russia, Denmark and Sweden remained neutral
      But they also sympathized to a degree with the colonists

 The United States
   The Communist World especially the USSR and China
      Both openly furnished weapons, money, support for the Vietnamese
      Both had observers and advisors with Vietnamese army, guerrillas
   Strong opposition to the United States by many nations
      Arab world, African world, Latin America openly criticized the US
      Actively supported the Vietnamese in the United Nations, media
                             BUT NOT
 Great Britain
   Great Britain’s king was also rule of Hanover in Holy Roman Empire
   German states such Hesse, Brunswick, Thuringia duchies
   “Canada” and other Atlantic colonies actually involved in the war
   All furnished mercenaries, military units to support the British war effort
 The United States
   Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO)
   South Korea, Philippines
   Australia, New Zealand
   All had active troops and divisions in the war
 Great Britain
   War run by Lord North and his ministers and cabinet
   North often did not listen, consult Parliament
   British denied colonists rights guaranteed to most Englishmen
   British denied established rights to English citizens in Great Britain
   Uncompromising on the conduct of the war and its outcome
   Lack of military and political aims in the war
   Persistent and repeated miscalculations on part of government about war
 The United States
   Johnson and Nixon administrations ran war
   Both manipulated Congress, lied about war
   Both fought for democracy but supported dictatorial practices during war
   Both denied American citizens rights during protests, war
   Uncompromising on the conduct of the war and its outcome
   Failure to articulate realistic military and political goals in the war
   Persistent and repeated miscalculations on part of government about war
 The American Colonies
   Continental Congress had limited influence over states
   Individual states ran by their own legislatures and state militias
   Limited participation by population: landowners could vote
   Large population had no rights: Indians, poor, women, slaves
   Loyalists: opponents harshly treated
 Vietnam
   Two different governments: North Vietnam and South Vietnam
   National governments were often secondary to military, generals, troops
   Communist party was an elitist organization in the north
   South Vietnam was run by wealthy landowners
   Large Franco-phone Catholic military clique
   Basic rights were denied during war to most people
   Opponents harshly treated
             HEARTS TO WIN
 American Revolution
   The Southern States
     Southern plantation owners were not revolutionary
     Majority of population neutral
     Slavery was a key issue
   The American Indians
     Frontier was thinly populated except by Indians
     Favored the British and opposed the Americans

 Vietnam
   Cochin-China
     Southern population was not totally Vietnamese
     Long history independent of north
     Strong Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic presence in South
     North tended towards Chinese influence, Confucianism
   The Hill Peoples
     Highlands, mountains, jungles thinly populated
     Montagnards, Negritos opposed both Hanoi, Saigon
                                  OPPOSITION TO WAR
   Great Britain
     Strong domestic opposition to the war
     Many in Parliament openly opposed the government
     Many parts of the country (Scotland, Ireland) sympathized with the colonists
     Many famous Englishmen supported the colonists: Adam Smith
     Domestic opposition to war grew over time, from all societal elements
     The war split families

   United States
     Strong domestic opposition to the war from the youth
     Many Democrats were decidedly anti-war
     College campuses, California strongly anti-war, pro-Vietnamese
     Domestic opposition grew over time, from all societal elements
     Minorities were most impacted negatively by war
     Many actors and intellectuals opposed the war: Jane Fonda
     The war split families

   Vietnam
     Buddhists, many non-Vietnamese opposed war
 Great Britain
   Relied on professional troops including mercenaries
   Extremely well-trained, well-fed, well-supplied
   Had superiority in numbers, ease of movement
   Navies commanded the seas
   Technological superiority especially in cannons, howitzers
 And the American Colonists?
   Some professionals
   Largely militias using whatever weapons they had
   Knew terrain and used it against British
   Practiced restraint throughout war
 United States
   Relied on professional troops including allies
   Extremely well-supplied and well-trained
   Had superiority in numbers, ease of movement
   Navies commanded the sea
   Technological superiority in air power, helicopters, tanks, howitzers
 And Vietnam?
   Some professionals but mostly volunteers
   Many different types of weapons
   Used guerrilla warfare and terrain to fight the Americans
   Practiced restraint? Depends on whose POV
 Great economic dislocation in both countries and colonies
    American Revolution
          War disrupted British commerce – colonial navy seized merchants
          War disrupted colonial economies – planting, commerce disrupted
          1 in 3 colonies eventually immigrated
    Vietnam War
          Over 1 million Vietnamese killed, millions more dislocated
          Hundreds of thousands of people immigrated
          Much of productive wealth damaged during war throughout country
          In US, vast inflation and stagnant growth, debt swelled

 Both nations missed opportunities to disengage from conflict
 Both nations lacked experience in dealing with their rebels
    British disregard colonials as backwater hicks
    Americans misjudged Hanoi’s resolve, capabilities
 American Revolution
   Not all Americans supported independence
   Loyalists strongest in the South but in all provinces
   Many openly supported British even with troop levies
   After war, loyalists immigrated, expelled to Canada
 Vietnamese Wars of Independence
   Not all Vietnamese supported Communist Hanoi, Viet Cong
   Loyalists strongest in the South but in all provinces
   Republic of Vietnam furnished largest troop contingent
   After war, South Vietnamese immigrated, sent to re-education
                                Great Britain: 1774 – 1783
                                    Unwillingness to listen to European powers
                                    Unwillingness to negotiate with colonists
                                    Lack of ability to negotiate a satisfactory end to war
                                United States 1960 – 1975
                                    Unwillingness to negotiate or abide by 1954 Geneva decision
                                    Unwillingness for a decade or more to negotiate with Hanoi
                                    Lack of ability to negotiate a satisfactory end to war

 The British and the United States had to win
    Neither side could suffer defeat or admit to defeat
    Both sides often won major battles but lost some too
 American Colonists, Viet Cong did not have to win
    They had to simply outlast the British, US military
    They both sought victory through convincing others
 Both sides continued fighting while they negotiated
    British negotiated with colonists in France, Belgium
    The US and North Vietnam negotiated at Paris
                     DOMINO EFFECT
 Great Britain and Fears Realized?
   Fear American independence would spread “fever”
   Most worried about Scotland, Ireland, Canada, slaves
   French Revolution, Revolution in Haiti, Latin American revolutions
 United States and Fears Realized?
   Worried that they had to stop spread of communism
   A victory in Vietnam would spread communism to SE Asia
   Communism established in Cambodia, Laos, Nicaragua, parts of Africa
 British and colonists used conventional military tactics, Viet Cong were guerrillas
    Violence and intimidation by either side was limited in American Revolution
    Violence and intimidation by both sides was quite common in Vietnam
 American colonists were not Viet Cong
    Viet Cong had to struggle long and hard to win support
    South openly did not want to be Communist
    They did not fight guerrilla war – in fact rarely did they use these tactics
 Despite protests, the colonists were not treated like Irish
    Americans were not imprisoned, executed like Irish
    Americans were not ruled at point of bayonet
    British were horrified at Boston Massacre and war crimes
 Americans in Vietnam could not tell differences between sides
      Americans often mistreated even South Vietnamese
      US backed military solutions with regard to whole populace
      US allowed Republic of Vietnam armed forces to use terror
      Until Mei Lai Massacre, atrocities were generally ignored and not reported
 Family?
   British and Americans knew each other well
    Americans, Vietnamese did not know or really understand each other

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