The Vietnam War grew from the long conflict between France and Vietnam. A war waged between 1945 and 1954 between the 2. In 1954 Viet Cong forces overwhelmed and massacred a French unit at Dien Bien Phu.
With the Geneva Accords, Vietnam was split at the 17 th parallel. The U.S. thought that this was giving to much power to the Communist party of Vietnam so did not support it.
The U.S. instead supported a counter-revolutionary alternative south of the 17 th parallel.
President Kennedy sent a team to South Vietnam to assess future American aid requirements. The papers known as the “December 1961 White Papers” argued for an increase in military, technical, and economic aid, and the introduction of large-scale American "advisers" to help stabilize the Diem regime and crush the NLF
Kennedy instead of doing this took the middle route and decided to only increase American presence through advisers and machinery.
The resolution expanded the Presidents war powers. This resolution passed both the house and senate with only two assenting votes
Throughout the fall the administration debated the correct strategy in Vietnam. The Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted to expand the air war over the DRV quickly to help stabilize the new Saigon regime and after the NLF attacked two U.S. army installations in South Vietnam Johnson ordered The bombing missions, known as Operation Rolling Thunder.
The Vietnam War had a major impact on the every day life of the U.S. and the Johnson administration was forced to consider the consequences of its decisions every day
As Volunteers became scarce the government had to implement a draft. Also as the death toll mounted and grew Americans became more and more discontent with what was going on. Protests were erupting throughout the country on college campuses as major cites. Riots were also erupting.
During this time rampant drug use, and the hippie and free love movements were also beginning.
In late January of 1968 things got worse for Johnson when the North Vietnamese launched multiple attacks on the major southern cities. The Communists believed that the U.S. people were growing weary of the war and though the Tet Offensive was a defeat it had the desired psycological effect they wanted.
In 1968 secret negotiations were being held in Paris to end the war.
Nixon won the 1969 election claiming he had secret plan to end the war. Nixon’s secret plan, it turned out, was taken from the end of Johnson’s presidency and was the process of “Vietnamization”. This was the changing of the war effort over to the South Vietnamese.