07 vietnam elections 68 and 72 nixonPresentation Transcript
Vietnam Elections and End of U.S. Involvement
Reactions Walter Cronkite – Newsman - 1968 “We have too often been disappointed by the optimism of the American Leaders…for it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate” “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America.”- LBJ
What does LBJ mean? What are some events before and after this comment that provide support to Cronkite?
Objectives Understand the Elections of ‘68 and ‘72 Understand Nixon’s exit strategy How did the Vietnam war change Americans’ perception of our government? Legacies of Vietnam
1968 Election Democratic Party 1968= Great Society < Civil Rights < Vietnam Challengers arise in Democratic Party -Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy – Anti-War Robert Kennedy and MLK Assassinated Democratic National Convention in Chicago
1968 Election 10,000 Protestors – 600 arrested What do other Americans see?
1968 Election Republicans Richard Nixon – “Law and Order” at home and Secret Plan for Vietnam “War must be ended. It must be ended honorably”
1968 Election Independent Party – George Wallace Southern Democrat against ultra-liberal policies (Great Society, Civil Rights) Against war protestors Appealing to Republicans and Democrats
1968 Election Popular Vote: Nixon 43.4% Humphrey 42.7% Wallace 13.5% Nixon enjoys wider margin in Electoral College and takes presidency with confidence.
Nixon’s Goal Peace Negotiations with North Vietnamization End U.S. Involvement Set up Anti-Communist Government in South Widen the war “PEACE WITH HONOR” No longer military defeat of Communists Lower Troop Numbers Don’t LOSE the war with American troops Appeal to the Silent Majority April 1969 – 543K Troops in Vietnam
Increased Distrust of Gov’t My Lai Massacre – 1968 and 1969 Secret War (Cambodia and Laos) Pentagon Papers
1972 Election Nixon vs. McGovern (huge war critic) 26th Amendment in 1971 Kissinger Announces “Peace at Hand” Nixon Landslide Christmas Bombings All but 24,000 U.S. troops are gone
Peace Agreement January of 1973 Paris Peace Accord (U.S., North, South, VC) -Cease Fire -Withdraw of U.S. troops from Vietnam -U.S. to help rebuild -Vietnamese troops hold positions while discussions continue over future Nobel Peace Prize
Real end of war 1975 – North Vietnam invades south April – they reach and overrun Saigon U.S. Military has to evacuate Americans Unified Vietnam with communist government in South Khmer Rouge take over Cambodia
Legacies of Vietnam War Changes view of American government War Powers Act 1973 “Is this another Vietnam”? Struggle of Vietnam Veterans Vietnam Veterans Memorial, D.C.