1.1.1 It led Congress to replace the military draft with an all-volunteer force and the country to reduce the voting
age to 18.
1.1.2 The Vietnam War severely damaged the U.S. economy. Unwilling to raise taxes to pay for the war, President
Johnson unleashed a cycle of inflation.
1.1.3 The war also weakened U.S. military morale and undermined, for a time, the U.S. commitment to
1.1.4 the American people remain deeply divided over the conflict's meaning. A Gallup Poll found that 53 percent of
those surveyed believe that the war was "a well intentioned mistake," while 43 percent believe it was
"fundamentally wrong and immoral."
1.1.5 Americans after the Vietnam War neither respected nor trusted their own government. The reason is that
the American people liked to think of themselves and their country as invincible, and hence due to
losing the war, a loss of pride and self confidence ensued.
1.2 5 key Facts
1.2.1 The US had little interest in Vietnam until World War II, when American agents worked with the Viet
Minh against Japanese occupiers.
1.2.2 Ho Chi Minh hoped the US would back Vietnamese independence but it supported the
return of the French. -
1.2.3 US foreign policy was based on the Domino Theory of Asian nations ‘toppling’ and
succumbing to communism.
1.2.4 The US pumped aid and supplies to the French during their war with the Viet Minh,
investing almost $3 billion in the years prior to 1954.
1.2.5 The French withdrawal led to direct US involvement, including continued aid and the formation
of a South Vietnam government under Diem.
1.3 Why did America send troops to Vietnam?
1.3.1 President Eisenhower was worried that the Communists would win national elections (supported anti-Communist Ngo Dinh Diem)
1.3.2 Diem's government was weak and needed US support to survive
1.3.3 During the Cold war, Us policy was based on containment. USA had previously helped the French in Vietnam in the 1950
1.3.4 President Eisenhower and others believed in the domino theory (If one country fell, others would too)
1.3.5 Military Industrial Complex - High ranking officers and weapons manufacturers wanted a war as it would increase profits.
2 Vietnam's Role
2.1 The USSR was supporting Ho Chi Minh's communist regime in Northern Vietnam and the USA did not want
communism to spread farther than the USSR itself and so they fought against them on the side of Southern
2.2 Origins of Vietnam
2.2.1 Before WW2, Vietnam was occupied by the French
2.2.2 In 1942, Japan invaded and occupied French Indochina and treated the Vietnamese Brutally
2.2.3 But the French then reoccupied Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh and his supporters continued to fight
2.2.4 Ho Chi Minh led a strong Vietnamese resistance and defeated japan in 1945
2.3 Impact on Vietnam
2.3.1 The North Vietnamese army - the NVA - massacred thousands of South Vietnamese
2.3.2 Many people tried to flee South Vietnam
2.3.3 The Vietnamese had to fight wars against Cambodia and China before their independence was secured
2.3.4 its infrastructure was destroyed, thousand of its people had been killed, and its farmland was polluted by American
2.3.5 It remains one of the poorest countries in the
3 How it started
3.1 Vietnam war started as a result of U.S strategy of containment during the Cold War, which aimed to prevent
the spread of communism throughout the world.