Early Vietnam


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Early Vietnam

  1. 1. Early Vietnam
  2. 2. Background Vietnam was part of French Indochina since late 19th century Japan had occupied them during WWII When Japanese surrendered to the Allies, Ho Chi Minh (leader of Vietnamese resistance to Japan) declared their independence, using words from the US Declaration of Independence By Sept. 1945, they were independent
  3. 3. Background France rejected their independence in 1946 and began an eight-year struggle for who would take control Ho Chi Minh tried to call on Truman for support He ignored the call for help and instead sided with the French Done in part to help French rebuild their economy
  4. 4. In addition: When China became Communist in 1949, the US was concerned they would side with the USSR and try to bring down colonial empires in Asia Republican criticism of Truman about China being “lost” persuaded Truman to take a strong stance against Communist aggression in Korea and Vietnam
  5. 5. In addition: Truman would do anything at this point for France’s support in large part due to his wanting NATO to last The Soviets and Chinese recognized Ho’s republic in 1950 The British and US recognized the puppet government of Bao Dai
  6. 6. Truman and Ike Both gave a great deal of financial support to the French in Vietnam This was part of the domino effect: support non-Communist governments in the area so that they stay non-Communist
  7. 7. Tensions Even with US support, French control was weakening: Viet-minh forces were getting stronger in northern Vietnam In 1954, Viet-minh forces seized Dienbienphu after 56 days of attacks This victory led to the partitioning of Vietnam at the 17th parallel in the Geneva accords France withdrew forces north of the line
  8. 8. More... Geneva Accords called for free elections for both sides within two years to choose a unified government The US feared that Communism would be voted in; they did not sign the accords Instead, said they would acknowledge the accords and would refrain from using violence
  9. 9. Results: Ngo Dino Diem was an anti-Communist Catholic who was in the US for eight years; he was chosen to rule South Vietnam in 1954 Ho Chi Minh would have won the unified elections; before they were to take place, Diem called them off The US supported this move
  10. 10. At this point... The US replaced France as the main democratic power in Vietnam, looking to ensure that communism would not spread Vietnam, though small, became a symbol for US Cold War struggle Ike funded Diem and gave a small number of troops for protection and support in Saigon
  11. 11. JFK’s role JFK wanted to use Vietnam to test counterinsurgency techniques Over the course of three years, North and South Vietnam built towards a major conflict: guerilla warfare in the north was now present US increased its troop level, stayed out of guerilla warfare
  12. 12. National Liberation Front  A combination of North Vietnam’s Communists and South Vietnam’s Diem opponents: NLF aka Vietcong  Est. 1960  Found civilian supporters that would be accepting of Diem’s being removed  They tried to ally with Buddhists (main religion of Vietnam) who would not support Diem’s Catholicism  A number of militant demonstrations  Diem retaliated by raiding temples and mass arrests of Buddhist priests
  13. 13. JFK’s reaction He realized that Diem needed to be removed or there would be risk to losing the South to the Communists Due to the fact that the US now supported the end of Diem’s tenure, they were now seemingly forced to stay in the region
  14. 14. Diem’s assassination Nov. 1, 1963: Diem was assassinated by officers in the South Vietnamese army JFK was assassinated less than a month later; some feel that he might have removed the troops had he lived; most feel that his actions showed he was not going to do that
  15. 15. LBJ He decided to keep the troops there, saying he would maintain US support of South Vietnam