• Why did the United States get
involved in conflicts around
the world during the Cold
• Homework packets
• Final exam in less than 3 weeks!!!
• What is your goal of the rest of the semester?
• Domino Theory- the political
theory that if one nation
comes under communist
control then neighboring
nations will also come under
Origins of War
• Vietnam had been under French control since
the late 1800s.
• In about 1900 Vietnamese nationalists began
a fight for independence.
• Ho Chi Minh, the most successful nationalist
believed that the best way to fight colonial
imperialism was through a communist
• The Japanese kicked the French out of
Vietnam and when Japan lost WWII, Vietnam
declared its independence.
Origins of War
• The French refused to accept that Vietnam
• The Vietnamese were not as well equipped as
the French but were able to weaken them
with hit-and-run guerrilla attacks.
• The Geneva Accords separated Vietnam into
two countries, North Vietnam was Communist
and South Vietnam had a Democratic
• The South Vietnamese government was
dishonest and brutal but the United States
continued to support it.
• The North Vietnamese government was thriving
and life in North Vietnam was improving.
• As the 1956 reunification election approached,
South Vietnam refused to participate.
• More people in South Vietnam became unhappy
with their government and joined The National
Liberation Front (NLF) an organization created to
fight the government in South Vietnam.
• They relied on the Vietcong, communist guerrilla
force, as its army.
• As the fighting between the Vietcong and the
government of South Vietnam increased the
United States sent aid and advisers to South
• By the end of the 1960, about 800 military
advisors were stationed in Vietnam.
• By 1963 16,000 U.S. soldiers were in Vietnam.
How did the Domino
theory influence the U.S.
to get involved in the
Tonkin Gulf Resolution
• In the summer of 1964, a navy vessel exchanged
fire with North Vietnamese vessels in the Gulf of
• Two days later, during bad weather, U.S. ships
reported that their radar showed torpedo
• No ships were damaged but President Johnson
called it an act of war.
• On August 7, Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf
Resolution. It gave President Johnson the
authority to use whatever means he thought
necessary in Vietnam.
• It shifted the power of war from Congress to the
Stations: Important events from the
• Tet Offensive
• My Lai Massacre:
• Tonkin Gulf Resolution:
• Invasions of Cambodia and Laos
• Pentagon Papers
• You will walk through the room and read
through each station. Answer the questions
on the stations graphic organizer sheet.
Station What is this event? Write a 1-2 sentence summary. Why is this even important? What is its
Tonkin Gulf Resolution A resolution passed by Congress that gave Johnson it shifted power of war from Congress to
the authority to use whatever power he thought the President
necessary in Vietnam
Tet Offensive A series of surprise attacks by the Vietcong and North It demonstrated the resolve of the
Vietnamese forces on South Vietnam. They were not Vietcong and showed many in the United
successful in defeating the South Vietnamese but States that this was not going to be an
forced them and the U.S. to fight to retake the easy victory. Many in the U.S. started to
captured cities oppose the war.
My Lai Massacre The mass murder of hundreds of unarmed citizens in It became one of the most important
South Vietnam conducted by the U.S. military. events in the campaign to get the United
States out of Vietnam.
Invasion of Cambodia and The United States bombed and invaded Cambodia and Sparked outrage in the United States
Laos Laos to continue to attack the NLF (The National which led to anti-war demonstration. It
Liberation Front) also increased support for Communists in
Cambodia and Laos.
The Pentagon Papers A series of newspaper articles that exposed the U.S Reduced the credibility of the
involvement in the war in the South east Asia. government and many Americans began
Showed that the Johnson administration had lied to to lose their support of the war.
the public and Congress.
• Write a newspaper article
describing U.S. actions in
Vietnam. Include why the United
States got involved and pick at
least two events from the war
and analyze their importance to
• Take an index card.
• Write three things you learned today.
• 2 questions you still have from today’s lesson.
• 1 thing you want to learn tomorrow when we
continued the Vietnam war.