Chapter 30 – Vietnam War Study Guide

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domino theory
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the belief that if Vietnam fell to communism, so would the other Southeast Asian nations
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guerrillas
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irregular troops who usually blend into the civilian population and are often difficult for regular armies to fight – they carry out surprise attacks and sabotage rather than open warfare
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Ho Chi Minh
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Vietnamese leader of the nationalist and communist movement – first president of North Vietnam
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Ngo Dinh Diem
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anti-communist leader of the government of South Vietnam – assassinated in 1963
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Dien Bien Phu
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the location of the battle that forced France to withdraw from Indochina
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Geneva Accords
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negotiations that temporarily divided Vietnam into North and South Vietnam in 1954.
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Vietcong
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a new guerrilla army organized by Ho Chi Minh and his followers, also known as the National Liberation Front
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Tonkin Gulf Resolution
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a Congressional resolution that allowed President Johnson to begin escalation of the Vietnam War and use force to defend American troops in Vietnam
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napalm
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a jellied gasoline used for bombs that explodes on contact
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Agent Orange
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a chemical that strips leaves from trees and shrubs, turning productive land into wasteland
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Ho Chi Minh trail
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a network of paths through the jungle, from North Vietnam to South Vietnam on which North Vietnam sent arms and supplies to support the Vietcong
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William Westmoreland
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American commander in South Vietnam. His highly publicized claims that the U.S. was winning the war were later found to be false.
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credibility gap
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a lack of belief in government reports regarding the Vietnam War
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teach-in
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an informal discussion held between college faculty and students about issues regarding the war and the reasons for opposing it
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doves
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those who wanted the United States to withdraw from the Vietnam War
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hawks
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those who wanted the United States to stay and fight in Vietnam
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Tet offensive
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a surprise attack in January 1968, by the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese of all American airbases in South Vietnam and most of the nation’s major cities Americans were shocked at the strength of the Vietcong
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Henry Kissinger
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President Nixon’s special assistant for national security affairs; he later became Nixon’s National Security advisor
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linkage
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policy of improving relations with the Soviet Union and China to persuade them to reduce their assistance to North Vietnam.
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Vietnamization
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a plan for a gradual withdrawal of American troops and for the South Vietnamese army to take over more of the fighting in Vietnam
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Pentagon Papers
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documents that revealed that various government administrations had deceived Congress and the American people about the situation in Vietnam
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War Powers Act
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a law that required the president to inform Congress of any troop commitment within 48 hours and to withdraw the troops in 60 days unless Congress approved the troop commitment
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Tonkin Gulf Incident
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North Vietnamese torpedo boats fired on two American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. President Johnson ordered American aircraft to attack North Vietnamese ships.
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My Lai Massacre
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An American platoon, under the command of Lt. William Calley, massacred more than 200 unarmed South Vietnamese civilians, mostly women and children.
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Kent State University
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Site of large anti-war protest. In May 1970, Ohio National Guard soldiers fired on protesters, killing 4 people.

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