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America was paranoid about communism
changing their way of life as they had
always been a capitalist country
· So when Vietnam looked certain to
become communist, America took evasive
Made By Helen Walford…read more

Slide 3

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Domino Theory
· America was sure that if Vietnam became
communist, surrounding countries would too,
and was terrified that America would
eventually fall to communism too. This is
known as the Domino Theory
Vi a
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Vietnamese division...
· At the Treaty of Geneva in 1954, Vietnam was
divided into North Vietnam and South
Vietnam, although it was agreed to hold
elections in 1956 to unify the two parts of
· It was agreed that Ho Chi Minh (a communist)
would lead North Vietnam
· Ngo Dinh Diem (a capitalist who took orders
from USA) would lead South Vietnam
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The Gulf of Tonkin
· On the 1st August 1964 the USA sent a
surveillance ship, the USS Maddox, into the
Gulf of Tonkin, off the coast of North Vietnam.
· On the 2nd, the USS Maddox was attacked
with torpedoes by North Vietnam.
· On the 4th it was attacked again
· NB: The torpedoes were supplied by USSR
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What did President Johnson do?
· Congress gave Johnson the power to use
"whatever means necessary" to support South
· Johnson refused to send in troops, but asked
Congress for money. Congress gave him a
blank cheque ­ which meant he could spend
whatever he needed to fight the Vietcong and
support the ARVN
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