The Vietnam War


Definition: An organization of Vietnamese Communists and other nationalist groups.
Sentence: The Vietminh fought for Vietnamese independence from the French between 1946 and 1954 .

Domino Theory

Definition: A theory that if one nation comes under Communist control, then neighboring nations will also come under Communist control.
Sentence: The domino theory proved partly true in Indochina during and after the Vietnam War.

Dien Bien Phu

Definition: A town of northwest Vietnam near the Laos border where a French military base here fell to Vietminh troops on May 7, 1954.
Sentence: The French loss at Dien Bien Phu lead to the end of France's involvement in Indochina.

Geneva Accords

Definition: A peace agreement that divided Vietnam into Communist-controlled North Vietnam and non-Communist South Vietnam until unification elections could be held in 1956.
Sentence: The Geneva Accords were established in 1954.


Definition: Alliance formed to oppose Communism in Southeast Asia.
Sentence: SEATO includes USA, UK, France, Pakistan, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand.


Definition: A group of Communist guerrillas who received help from North Vietnam.
Sentence: The Vietcong fought against the South Vietnamese government in the Vietnam War.


Definition: Army of the Republic of South Vietnam.
Sentence: The ARVN was backed by the United States.


Definition: protection; support; sponsorship.
Sentence: South Vietnam received auspices from the US.

USS Maddox

Definition: US battleship that was allegedly fired upon by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin.
Sentence: The alleged attack on the USS Maddox was responsible for the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

Operation Rolling Thunder

Definition: Bombing campaign over North Vietnam.
Sentence: Operation Rolling Thunder was supposed to weaken enemy's ability and will to fight.

William Westmoreland

Definition: American General who commanded American military operations in the Vietnam War at its peak from 1964 to 1968.
Sentence: Westmoreland established a strategy of attrition to fight the Vietcong.


Definition: A belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other group.
Sentence: The Vietnam War occurred because of LBJ's political doctrines.


Definition: Americans who supported the Vietnam War.
Sentence: Hawks believed that Soviet backing of North Vietnam was part of a greater plan to conquer all of Southeast Asia.


Definition: Americans who opposed the Vietnam War.
Sentence: Doves viewed the Vietnam War as a civil war that should be fought by the Vietnamese.


Definition: Young men drafted into military service.
Sentence: The Vietnam War forced many draftees into combat.


Definition: Students for a Democratic Society.
Sentence: The SDS was an antiestablishment New Left group, founded in 1960, that charged that corporations and large government institutions had taken over America.

Credibility Gap

Definition: A public distrust of statements made by the government.
Sentence: During the Vietnam War there was a credibility gap between LBJ's administration and the free press.

Eugene McCarthy

Definition: Democratic candidate looking to win the nomination in the 1968 election.
Sentence: McCarthy aimed to replace LBJ.

Robert Kennedy

Definition: A Democrat who ran for president in 1968 promoting civil rights and other equality based ideals.
Sentence: Kennedy was ultimately assassinated in 1968, leaving Nixon to take the presidency but instilling hope in many Americans.

Sirhan Sirhan

Definition: Assassinated Robert Kennedy on June 6, 1968 in Chicago.
Sentence: Sirhan assassinated RFK after hearing pro-Israeli remarks in his victory statement after having won the California primaries.

Hubert Humphrey

Definition: A prominent liberal senator from Minnesota dedicated to the promotion of civil rights.
Sentence: Humphrey served as Johnson's vice-president from 1964-68 and ran an unsuccessful personal campaign for the presidency in 1968.

George Wallace

Definition: Four time governor of Alabama who lost the 1968 election.
Sentence: Wallace was most famous for his pro-segregation attitude and as a symbol for states' rights.

Silent Majority

Definition: A phrase used to describe people, whatever their economic status, who uphold traditional values, especially against the counterculture of the 1960s.
Sentence: Nixon fought for the votes of people in the silent majority.


Definition: A war policy in Vietnam initiated by Nixon in June of 1969 that called for dramatic reduction of U.S. troops followed by an increased injection of S. Vietnamese troops in their place.
Sentence: Vietnamization was a considerable success and all

My Lai

Definition: Village where innocent women and children were massacred by American troops.
Sentence: The My Lai massacre stirred up lots of opposition for the Vietnam War.

Pentagon Papers

Definition: A 7,000-page top-secret United States government report on the history of the internal planning and policy-making process within the government itself concerning the Vietnam War.
Sentence: The Pentagon Papers were released to the public in 197

War Powers Act

Definition: A resolution of Congress that stated the President can only send troops into action abroad by authorization of Congress or if America is already under attack or serious threat.
Sentence: The War Powers Act was passed in 1973.

Henry Kissinger

Definition: Awarded 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for helping to end Vietnam War and withdrawing American forces.
Sentence: Kissinger condoned covert tactics to prevent communism and fascism from spreading throughout South America.


Definition: "Realistic politics."
Sentence: Realpolitik calls for practical politics, where ends justified the means.


Definition: Practical, as opposed to idealistic.
Sentence: With many opposed to the Vietnam War, Nixon presented new pragmatic approaches to government.

Zho Enlai

Definition: Leader of the Communist Party in China that overthrew Jiang Jieshi and the Nationalists.
Sentence: Enlai established China as the People's Republic of China and ruled from 1949 until 1976.


Definition: Negotiations between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics opened in 1969 in Helsinki designed to limit both countries' stock of nuclear weapons.
Sentence: SALT is and acronym for Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.


Definition: A policy of reducing Cold War tensions that was adopted by the United States during the presidency of Richard Nixon.
Sentence: The US eased tensions with the USSR and Chine with d�tente.