Excelsior U.S. History Unit 8 (Ch. 22)

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Ho Chi Minh
The leader of the Indochinese Communist Party who orchestrated Vietnam's independence movement from exile.
Domino theory
The idea proposed by President Eisenhower in 1954 relating to the countries on the brink of communism. Basically, it said that if Vietnam fell under communist rule, all the other nations in Asia would as well.
Vietnam War
The United States had been helping France in Vietnam since after WWII, but was drawn into a war in order to stop the spread of communism in Asia.
Vietcong
South Vietnam citizens who attacked their fellow South Vietnamese along with America. A Communist opposition group is South Vietnam who attacked Diem's government and assassinated thousands of officials. The group would later be known as the National Liberation Front (NLF) but we continued to refer to the fighters as Vietcong.
Ho Chi Minh Trail
The name of the path along the borders of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia along which Ho Chi Minh and North Vietnam supplied the Vietcong with arms and troops for their guerrilla tactics in South Vietnam.
Tonkin Gulf Resolution
Adopted by Congress in 1964, this gave LBJ broad military powers in Vietnam and led to "Operation Rolling Thunder", the first sustained bombing of North Vietnam. This event gave LBJ an excuse to deepen the U.S.'s involvement in Vietnam.
William Westmoreland
The General in command of U.S. troops in South Vietnam who continually asked for more troops to counteract the inadaquacies of the ARVN.
Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN)
The South Vietnam army who fought against the North Vietnamese.
Napalm
A gasoline based bomb used in Vietnam to expose Vietcong tunnels that would catch the jungle on fire.
Agent Orange
A leaf-killing toxic chemical used to expose Vietcong tunnels that was blamed for cancers in Vietnamese villagers as well as American veterans.
Credibility gap
The idea that critics came up with citing that what the Johnson Administration was reporting was not what was really happening. It included the idea of reporting a "body count" in order to persuade the American people that we were winning the war in Vietnam and the Vietcong were about to surrender.
Draft
The process instituted during World War I by which young men were required to sign up with a draft board when they turned 18 and, if needed, could be pulled into military service. Vietnam used the process of the draft. Early in the war, the draft could be avoided if your were enrolled in college.
Dove
The name given to those who strongly opposed the Vietnam War and believed we should withdraw.
Hawk
The name given to those who strongly desired our victory in Vietnam and supported the military offensive.
Tet offensive
The surprise attack in 1968 by the Vietcong and North Vietnamese inside the South Vietnam cities and U.S. air bases that started with coffins full of weapons and lasted for about a month. The Vietcong were militarily defeated, but the event made the American public very distrustful of the government. In fact, it was the most effective in convincing the American public that we could not win the war in Vietnam.
Robert Kennedy
JFK's brother and a Senator from New York who initially declined to run for President against LBJ citing democratic party loyalty, but after LBJ chose to step down, began the race for President and won the California Primary but was shot and killed the same night in 1968.
Eugene McCarthy
The Senator from Minnesota who chose to run against LBJ on a platform of ending the war in Vietnam which split the Democratic Party and helped LBJ make the decision to step down as President. The doves strongly supported him for election.
Richard Nixon
President of the United States who announced the first troop withdrawals from Vietnam.
Henry Kissinger
President Nixon's National Security Adviser who advocated the gradual withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.
Vietnamization
The name given to the gradual process of American soldiers withdrawing from Vietnam while the Vietnamese soldiers took over. Nixon said that this would bring about "peace with honor".
My Lai
A small village in Vietnam where American soldiers rounded up over 200 civilians (mostly women, children and elderly men) and shot and killed them all under Lieutenant William Calley Jr.'s orders.
Kent State University
The college in Ohio where anti-war protesters burned the ROTC building. In response, the national guard was called in and fired into the crowd after rocks were thrown at them wounding nine people and killing four.
Pentagon Papers
A 7,000 page document leaked to the press which outlined LBJ's efforts to mislead the American people along with America's real intentions in Vietnam, which was to enter the war, and remain active in it until North Vietnam surrendered.
War Powers Act
The Act ordered into law by Congress which attempted to curb the President's power during military action without consent from Congress.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Opposed the use of African-Americans in the war against Vietnam as they were mistreated at home already. He was assassinated on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968.

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