The American Home Front• At first, many Americans supported the war.– However, as it continued to drag on, peoplestarted to question what they were being toldabout the war.• An American commander, GeneralWestmoreland repeatedly reported that theenemy was almost defeated.– TV stations however, showed footage of woundedand deceased soldiers.
Hawks vs. Doves• This caused Americans to divide into twogroups.– The “Doves” were against the war.• They included many college students, professors,conscientious objectors, etc.• Teach-ins and war protests were common.– The “Hawks” were for the war.• They believed that we needed to continue ourpresence in Vietnam to prevent it from falling toCommunism.
Draft Problems• One drawback of the U.S. draft system wasthat college students could delay militaryservice.– This meant that our soldiers were mainly made upof from impoverished backgrounds with limitededucation.– Also, this meant that many minorities were beingdrafted.• Many people refused to serve, some moved to Canada.
Tet Offensive• In 1968, the Vietcong launched a massivesurprise attack on American bases in the South.– While they did not defeat the Americans, if shockedthe American public.• This made LBJ’s approval rating plummet.• This, along with a state of chaos caused by theassassinations of MLK and Robert Kennedy benefittedRichard Nixon (LBJ’s Republican Challenger)• Nixon promised to regain order and end the war.– He won the election.
Nixon and Vietnam• After Nixon took the presidency, he beganVietnamization.– This process allowed South Vietnam to take on morefighting and began the withdrawal of U.S. soldiers.• This did not stop protests.– My Lai• In 1970, Nixon announced that troops hadinvaded Cambodia to destroy Vietcong bases.– This was seen as an expansion of war and causedoutrage.– On May 4, 1970, 4 anti-war protestors were killed and9 were wounded at Kent State University in Ohio.
Unrest in America• In 1971, secret documents were leaked to thepress that showed how the U.S. governmenthad deceived the public about the VietnamWar.– These were called the Pentagon Papers– At this time 2/3 of Americans wanted the War toend.
The War Ends• In 1971, American officials attempted to getNorth and South Vietnam to agree to a peacetreaty.– Neither side agreed.• This caused the United States to begin bombing again.• In 1973, peace talks resumed and both sidesagree to end the war.– In 1975, the North invaded the South again.• South asked for U.S. help, but congress declined.• By April of 1975, Vietnam was united under communist rule.