United States as a World Power.

[chp.10 , chp.11 , chp.16 , chp.17 , chp.18 , chp.22 , chp.25 , epilogue]

Chapter 10: America Claims an Empire, and the Panama Canal

Admiral William T. Sampson

June 198 - July 25, 1898

Led the American fleet to the Caribbean and formed a blockade on Spanish forces in Cuba. Also they defeated the remaining Spanish forces trying to escape through Santiago, Cuba.

Acquiring Alaska


US takes over uninhabited islands just 1300 mile north of Hawaii.

Acquiring Midway Islands


US takes over uninhabited islands just 1300 miles north of Hawaii.

Admiral Alfred T. Mahan


One of many American leaders advising to grow the US military power. His and others urging caused the US to build modern battleships and become the 3rd largest naval power.

Sanford B. Dole


After overthrowing the royal power in Hawaii, the Americans set up the government in which Dole was the leader.

Jose Marti


A Cuba poet which sought to free his country from Spanish rule; led a rebellion in Cuba.

General Valeriano Weyler


Spanish General sent to Cuba to stop Jose Marti's rebellion and restore order.

Yellow Journalism

1896 - April 20, 1898

A writing style in which newspaper tycoons Hearts and Pulitzer exaggerated Weyler's actions in Cuba to enrage the public. American citizens call for war against Spain grew with each publication made.

William Randolph Hearst

1896 - April 20, 1898

Newspaper tycoon using press power to enrage the public and cry for war.

Joseph Pulitzer

1896 - April 20, 1898

Newspaper tycoon using press power to enrage the public and cry for war.

President William McKinley

1897 - 1898

McKinley went to Congress and ask for the authority to use power against Spain, after a week of Congress it agreed and declared war.

USS Maine blows UP!

February 15, 1898

Ships blows up in the harbor of Havana Cuba, newspaper quickly blamed Spain for what happened and "Remember the Maine" became the cry for battle in the US.

President William McKinley

April 11, 1898 - April 20, 1898

McKinley went to Congress and ask for the authority to use power against Spain, after a week Congress agreed and declared war.

Spanish American War

April 20, 1898 - August 12, 1898

War between the US and Spain. They fought in the Philipines and in the Caribbean.

War in the Philippines

April 30, 1898 - August 1898

Commander George Dewey led his fleet to the Philippines and attacked the capital, Manila, destroying every Spanish ship allowing the American forces to land in the Philippines.

Acquiring Hawaii

August 12, 1898

Congress proclaimed Hawaii as an American territory.

Governing Puerto Rico

December 10, 1898 - 1900

Many Puerto Ricans wanted independence or statehood but the US wanted it for an American presence in the Caribbean and to protect a future canal in Panama which they wanted to build.

Treaty of Paris

December 10, 1898

US and Spain meet in Paris, France to have peace talks. Spain turns over Cuba, Islands of Guam and Puerto Rico to the US. US also buys the Philippine for $20 million.

Hostilities with Cuba

December 10, 1898 - 1903

Cubans wanted independence from the US and in 1900 wrote the Constitution. The US didn't accept their Constitution and wanted them to add the Platt Amendment in 1901. In 1903, they added it and US forces left Cuba.

US Secretary of State John Hay


He issued a series of letters to leaders of imperialist nations in which he proposed sharing their trading right with the US.

Open Door Notes


Letters by John Hay to leaders of the imperialist nations to propose sharing the rights of trade with the US.

Competition over the China market.


Trade in Asia had become difficult for the US since China's coast was colonized ad each colony had its own trade rights and economic priviliges.

Jose Marto [2]


After Spanish American War, Marto predicted that the US would just assume the role that Spain had in Cuba. He was somewhat right.

Emilio Agunaldo

February 1899 - 1902

Leader of the Filipino rebels, fought to free the Philippines during the Philippine American War.

Philippine American War.

February 1899 - 1902

Led by Emilio Agunaldo, Filipino rebels rose and fought for their freedom. After the war, 4,000 Americans had died and the battle cost was $400 million.

Foraker Act


The end of military rule in Puerto Rico and set up of a civil government.

Boxer Rebellion

August 1900 - October 1900

Chinese secret society "Boxers" fought against colonist to get ride of their influences but were quickly defeated by the armies of the nations which they had colonized there.

Platt Amendment


An Amendment which the US wanted the Cubans to add to their Constitution to secure a political presence in Cuba.

US Acquisition of the Panama Canal

November 3, 1903

After helping Panama get its independence from Colombia, Panama and the US signed a treaty. The treaty said that the US would pay Panama an annual rent for the land to build the canal.

US role in Panama's Rebellion from Colombia

November 3, 1903

Panama, with the help of the US declare its independence from Colombia.The US helped organize a rebellion against Colombia when negotiations for a canal broke down.

Roosevelt Corollary


Added to Monroe Doctrine in which the US says it will use force to protect its economic interest in Latin America.

US use of Police Power in Latin America


Use of the Monroe Doctrine to use force in Latin America to help protect its economic interests. Ex; 1911 Nicaragua Rebellion.

US Intervention in the Mexican Revolution

April 1914 - 1915

American forces invade Veracruz after Huerta's forces arrest a group of American Sailors. The purpose for this invasion was to get rid of Huerta's leadership since President Wilson didn't agree with the current governement.

Kaiser Abdicates the Throne


The Kaise, "Wilehm the 2nd" relinquised the throne due to their not really being any empire anymore. Over the course of World War 1 the Empire of Germany was disintergrating and overtime it made clear sense that the people of Germany didn't rely on the "Empire" instead at the end of World War it was mainly a military dictating country.

Chapter 17: The US in World War 2

Neville Chamberlain

March 18, 1869 - November 9, 1940

The prime minister of Britain from 1937 to 1940 who advocated a policy of satisfaction toward the territorial demands of Nazi Germany. This satisfaction policy essentially turned a blind eye to Germany’s 1938 annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland.

Winstion Churchill

November 30, 1874 - January 24, 1965

The prime minister of Britain during most of World War 2. Churchill was among the most active leaders in resisting German attack and played a major role in getting together the Allied Powers, including the United States and the USSR.

Joseph Stalin

December 18, 1878 - March 5, 1953

General secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1922 until his death in 1953. In some ways, Stalin was responsible for the USSR’s severe losses at the beginning of World War II, as he failed to head the warnings of his advisors and did not allow the Russian military to prepare a proper defense

Albert Einstein

March 14, 1879 - April 18, 1955

In 1939, under the encouragement of Szilárd, Einstein sent a letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt urging the study of nuclear fission for military purposes, under fears that the Nazi government would be first to develop atomic weapons. Roosevelt started a small investigation into the matter which eventually became the massive Manhattan Project. Einstein himself did not work on the bomb project

George Marshall

December 30, 1880 - October 16, 1959

Pulled together an Armed Forces that could fight a two front war. e was able to get good fighting men trained and the forces supplied, He also helped with the strategies of many operations. His work contributed to the victory of the Allies. Later he created the Marshall Plan to help restore Europe and plans for the Cold War.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

January 30, 1882 - April 12, 1945

The 32nd U.S. president, who led the country through the bulk of World War II until his death from a cerebral hemorrhage in April 1945, just a few months before the war ended. Together with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin, Roosevelt played a decisive role in holding together the Allied alliance that ultimately defeated Nazi Germany.

Henry Kaiser

May 9, 1882 - August 24, 1967

He established the Kaiser Shipyard which built Liberty Ships during World War 2.

Benito Mussolini

July 29, 1883 - April 28, 1945

Fascist prime minister who came to power in 1922 and ruled Italy as an absolute dictator. In many ways, Mussolini served as an inspiration to Adolf Hitler, with whom he chose to ally himself during World War II. In 1943, Mussolini was overthrown in a action coordinated by some of his assistants and in 1945 he was executed by Italian accessory just prior to the end of the war in Europe.

Isoroku Yamamoto

April 4, 1884 - April 18, 1943

Japanese Marshell and the commander in chief of the Combined Fleet during World War 2. Responsible for major attacks of Pearl Harbor and Midway

Harry S. Truman

May 8, 1884 - December 26, 1972

Led the country through the last few months of World War II, is best known for making the controversial decision to use two atomic bombs against Japan in August 1945.

George S. Patton

November 11, 1885 - December 21, 1945

a general in the United States Army best known for his command of the 7th United States Army, and later the 3rd United States Army, in the Europeans of World War II.

Asa Philip Randolph

April 15, 1889 - May 16, 1979

He organized a march of 100,000 people to unsegregate the American Armed Forces. FDR passed the Fair Labor Act which illegalized dicrimination in industries, but failed in desegregating the Armed Forces. Because of this legislation, the huge march was cancelled and African-Americans settled for the Fair Labor Act.

Adolf Hitler

April 20, 1889 - April 30, 1945

Founder and leader of the Nazi Party and the most influential voice in the organization and execution of the Holocaust and the extermination of ethnic clear of 6 million European Jews and millions of other non-aryans.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

October 14, 1890 - March 28, 1969

A U.S. Army general who held the position of supreme Allied commander in Europe, among many others. Eisenhower was perhaps best known for his work in planning Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Europe. After the war, he was a very popular figure in the United States and was elected to two terms as U.S. president, taking office in 1953.

Erwin Rommel

November 15, 1891 - October 14, 1944

A German Field Marshall of World War 2.His assignment was to prepare the "Western Wall" againist the Allies D-day invasion. He was wounded by an enemy aircraft while in a car and when he spent some time in the hospital, he made a plot to assassinate Hitler. He got arrested and shot.

Omar Bradley

February 12, 1893

a senior U.S. Army field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War 2, and a General of the Army in the United States Army. Bradley had command of all US ground forces invading Germany from the westhe ultimately commanded 43 divisions and 1.3 million men, the largest body of American soldiers ever to serve under a US field commander

James Doolittle

December 14, 1896 - September 27, 1993

A U.S. Army general best known for leading the famous “Doolittle Raid” in 1942, in which B-25 bombers were launched from an aircraft carrier to bomb Japan and then crash-landed in China.


April 29, 1901 - January 7, 1989

Emperor of Japan from 1926 until his death in 1989. Despite the power of Japan’s military leaders, many scholars believe that Hirohito took an active role in leading the country and shaping its combat strategy during World War II. After Japan’s defeat, he was allowed to continue to hold his position as emperor. Despite the fact that Japan was under U.S. occupation. Although many countries favored it, Hirohito was never tried for war crimes.

Japan Invades Manchuria

September 18, 1931

Japan Invades China

July 7, 1937

Women & Minorities


Women, besided being placed in more skilled jobs than they were used to in non-war times as mechanics, engineers, reseachers, eletricians.In 1942 the Women's Army Corps was created, and women were sent overseas to combat fields. In 1940 the Select Service Act was passed and African-americas could enlist in all branches of the armed forces, composing finally 11% of the manpower, regardless of the discrimination that still was directed to them. Thousands of Hispanics also fought on the war, Mexican and Puerto Ricans mainly. At least 33,000 Japanese-americans participated in the war, too. They had the most decorated unit in US history, when after 1943 they won the right to enlist

Events that ended World War 2

1939 - 1945

Hitler commited suicide by gunshot in Berlin and negotiations started for surrender and the war was over. Another was the atomic power in Japan when the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki to take over their military islands.

War Bonds


Debt securities issued by a government for the purpose of financing military operations during times of war. The last time the United States issued war bonds was during World War II, when full employment collided with rationing, and war bonds were seen as a way to remove money from circulation as well as reduce inflation.

Extermination Camps (Death Camps)

1939 - 1945

Camps built by Nazi Germany during World War 2 to kill millions of people by gassing and extreme work under starvation conditions. Jews were the main targets.

Rationing in World War 2


With the onset of World War II, numerous challenges confronted the American people. The government found it necessary to ration food, gas, and even clothing during that time. Americans were asked to conserve on everything. With not a single person unaffected by the war, rationing meant sacrifices for all.

Penicillin in World War 2

1939 - 1945

During World War 2, penicillin made a major difference in the number of deaths and the amputations caused by infected wounds among Allied forces saving an estimate of 12%-15% lives.

Two Front War


Perhaps the most famous example of a two-front war was the Europeans during World War II, when Hitler's Nazi Germany had to deal with the Western Allies on the west and the Soviet Union to the east. The Germans were unable to beat either of the two front's advances and eventually lost the war. While there were other assigning factors, such as the insufficiency of the Wehrmacht for a long war, and the abandonment of blitzkrieg tactics due to fuel shortages and a rising need to defend territory, the two-front war was an important factor in deciding when the German military would be forced to surrender.

German Nuclear Energy Project

April 1939

A project to develop and produce atomic weapons during World War 2. This project started in April 1939 after the discovery of nuclear fission in January 1939 but ended due to the German invasion of Poland.

The Allied Invasion of Europe

September 1, 1939 - 1940

The Allies maintained pressure of Axis power by using an air power to occupy Europe and to invade them and then the Allies took Europe from North Africa.

Germany Invades Poland

September 1, 1939

Battle of the Atlantic

September 3, 1939 - May 8, 1945

The longest military campaign in World War 2 to defeat Germany.

War in North Africa and Italy

June 10 1940 - May 13, 1943

The war in Africa was to play a key role in the overall success of the Allies in World War Two. By 1941, the Italian army had been all but beaten and Hitler had to send German troops to North Africa to clear out Allied troops. The German force was lead by Erwin Rommel.

Hitler Invades the Soviet Union

June 22, 1941

The largest German military operation of World War 2; the end to the Communist threat to Germany and the seizure of the best land within Soviet borders.

Nazi's : The Final Solution

June 25, 1941 - 1945

The term used by Nazis to describe their program of mass murder of the Jewish people. The Nazi's undercover of the war, developed the technology, authority, and attitude of hate to successfully murder millions of Jews. All Jews in Germany and the occupied countries were deported to sealed ghettos as a holding area. Many were then shipped in cattle cars to labor camps where they lived under brutally inhuman conditions. Hundreds of thousands were sent directly to the gas chambers in death camps.

Japanese Bomb Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941

"A date in which we lived in infamy"
Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor. By bombing the navy, they managed to cripple any efforts at an attack force following them immediately to retaliate. The Japanese were trying to get oil restriction lifted on terms that would still let them take the territory they wanted & to prepare for war.

Japanese Americans are sent to Relocation Centers.


The Relocation and internment of the US government; about 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese that lives along the Pacific Coast were sent to War Relocation Camps in the wake of the Pearl Harbor Attack.

WAAC (Womens Auxiliary Army Corps)

1942 - 1945

The women's branch of the US Army. It was established by Congress to enlist women for auxiliary noncombat duty for World War 2. By 1945 nearly 150,000 women had served. Women relieved thousands of men and had jobs like radio operator, electrician and air traffic controller.After the war the government requested former servicewomen to reenlist to meet the staffing needs of army hospitals and administrative centres. The WAC became part of the regular army with the passage of the 1948 Women's Armed Services Integration Act. The WAC remained a separate unit of the U.S. Army until 1978, when male and female forces were integrated.

Manhattan Project

1942 - 1946

A research and development project that produced the first atomic bombs used in World War 2.

War Production Board (WPB)

January 16, 1942

An agency of the US government, which supervised production of war purposes of World War 2.

The Battle of Midway

June 4, 1942 - June 7, 1942

Fight near the Central Pacific island of Midway, is considered the decisive battle of the war in the Pacific. Before this battle the Japanese were on the offensive, capturing territory throughout Asia and the Pacific. By their attack, the Japanese had planned to capture Midway to use as an advance base, as well as to entrap and destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Because of communication intelligence successes, the U.S. Pacific Fleet surprised the Japanese forces, sinking the four Japanese carriers, that had attacked Pearl Harbor only six months before, while only losing of one carrier. After Midway, the Americans and their Allies took the offensive in the Pacific.

Battle of Stalingrad

July 17, 1942 - February 2, 1943

a major and decisive battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in the southwestern Soviet Union.

Rommel's Surrender


Erwin Rommel didn't really surrender because his army in North Africa, after winning battles repeatedly weren't able to persuade Hitler to provide him with war materials that he asked for after Germany launched their war against the Soviet Union.


June 6, 1944

The day on which the Allied invasion of France versus the Normandy coast began.

The Battle of the Bugle

December 16, 1944 - January 25, 1945

A major German offensive launched through the forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium, France and Luxembourg on the Western Front towards the end of World War 2. Bugle means "Salient" which is a military term for a battle line that moves in on their enemy.

The Surrender of Germany


On April 30, 1945, as Russian troops fought to within yards of his subterranean bunker, Adolph Hitler put a pistol to his head, pulled the trigger and closed the curtain on the Third Reich. Before his death, Hitler elected Admiral Karl Donitz as his successor with orders to continue the fighting. Hitler was unaware that the German surrender had already begun.
On the day before his death all German troops in Italy laid down their arms. On May 4, German forces in Holland, Denmark and northwest Germany surrendered to British Field Marshall Montgomery.

Battle of Iwo Jima

February 19, 1945 - March 26, 1945

A major battle in which the United States Armed Forces fought for an captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Empire. The Americans wanted to take the whole island and its 3 airfields to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. This battle was the bloodiest fighting of the War of the Pacific of World War 2

Battle of Berlin

April 16, 1945 - May 2, 1945

the Soviet and Polish forces fought door-to-door to take the German capital. On April 30, the bunker of the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, came under attack and he committed suicide.

*The term "Battle of Berlin" is also applied to the British bombing campaign of November 1943 to May 1944.

Victory in Europe Day(V-E Day)

May 8, 1945

was the public holiday celebrated on May 8, 1945 to mark the date when the World War II Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, ending the war in Europe.

Atomic bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki

August 6, 1945 - August 9, 1945

Conducted by the US in the final stages of World War 2. This event was the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date. The blast destroyed more than ten kilometers of the city. Hiroshima was chosen because it had not been targeted during the US Air Force's conventional bombing raids on Japan, and was therefore regarded as being a suitable place to test the effects of an atomic bomb. It was also an important military base. The Allies feared that any conventional attempt to invade the Japanese home islands would result in enormous casualties, and the bomb was seen as a way of bringing the war against Japan to a abrupt conclusion. In addition, it may also have been a way of demonstrating American military superiority over the Soviet Union.

Selective Service System


An agency that allows men to be allowed to go into the military

Chapter 11: World War 1 Begins and American Power Tips the Balance

Balkan Ethnic Rivaleries


Mainly the Irish Protestants and the Catholics of Ireland who were fed up with British power for being involved in their country.

The Alliances


The Triple Entente which involved France, Britain and Russia made a pact. Following after that was the Triple Alliance, which involved Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey.

Trench Warfare

1914 - 1918

Trench Warfare was implemented into World War 1 by the Germans who were digging up trenches along the Front Sea to this Swiss Frontier. Trench Warfare was used in order to hold position in one spot. It also was used to gain ground but was also a slow process.

World War 1

1914 - 1918

A war between the Triple Entente and the Central Powers, that would last for 5 years. In the course of those years, changes happened. Some minor, others significantly historical.

German Submarine Warfare


On September 5, 1914 , A German U-boat sunk a Neutral ship. This event would later spark more events such as the US getting involved in the war.

The Convoy System


Were merchant ships being escorted by military ships do to the number of sinkings caused by the German U-Boats.

President Wilson and the Peace Effort


President Woodrow Wilson's Peace Effort was for the US to become a neutral country during World War 1.

The British Blockade

1914 - 1919

The British Blockade was conducted by the allied powers to stop raw materials or materials of any sort from getting to the Central Powers of Europe. This Blockade left most people starving to death making more casualties of war than their should have been.

Modern Weapons of World War 1

1914 - 1918

During the beginning of World War 1 the most preferred choice of weapon at long range was the standard bolt action rifle. Both sides had their versions of a bolt action rifle but with different design. Zeppelins and tanks were used as well. The Zeppelins were used by the Germans for bombing runs but were later on decommissioned due to it being very vulnerable in the sky. Planes were a vital part in World War 1. They would practically drop bombs in the trenches or in highly populated areas where military personnel would be at. They were also in mid air dogfights.

Chemical Warfare

1914 - 1918

Chemical Warfare was used during World War 1. It was first used in World War 1 due to the slow steady movement of gaining ground. It was primarily used to demoralize enemy soldiers, impair eyesight or ability to walk and even kill them. The first attack using chemicals were caused by the French in August 1914. Their choice of chemicals was first tear gas.

Eddie Rickenbacker


Eddie Rickenbacker was a US Arial man at the time of the war. He was a successful one whose K/D was over 9000!

Selective Service Act


The Act was enacted on May 17, 1917, which declared a raising of an American army. Mainly a random draft of people willing to serve for the US American Army.

Wilson's "Declaration Of War"


President Woodrow Wilson asks congress if them and the rest of Murica are willing to go to war. Four days later majority of congress agrees to go to war.

Russian Revolution


The Great Ruski Revolution led by Vladimir Lennon was the main reason why Russia pulled out of the war. In Russia Extreme weather conditions and famine were happening at that time. People were tired of the old government and wanted change. This resulted in the Downfall of the CZAR and put forth a Communist country

The Zimmerman Note


Was a diplomatic note ended from the German Empire to Mexico in order for them to start a war against the US. If Mexico had agreed to this and the German empire did successfully defeat the allies with the help of Mexico, then half of the US would have been regained by Mexico

Pershing and the AEF

May 1917

On May 1917, Major General John J Pershing remained in command of the AEF (American Expeditionary Forces). He believed that American soldiers needed the best training to go to war.

Kaiser Abdicates the Throne


The Kaiser , "Wilhelm the 2nd" , relinquished the throne due to their not really being any empire anymore. Over the course of World War 1 the Empire of Germany was disintegrating and overtime it made clear sense that the people of Germany didn't rely on the "Empire" instead at the end of World War 1 it was mainly a military dictating country.

Second Battle of Marne

July 15, 1918

July 15, 1918 was the lat offensive the Germans had their last chance of advancing forward and instead were defeated by an allied counter attack led by French forces. This marked the beginning and the end of the war.

Alvin C. York

October 8, 1918

On October 8, 1918, Alvin C. York helped capture enemy positions and kill 32 German soldiers while capturing 132 other in the Meuse-Argone Offensive. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for this action.

War and the "Booming" US Economy


The boom was caused by the sending home of the soldiers after the war, more resources were needed and everything was in higher demand, so businesses produced more and more. The event later escalated to one of the reasons of the great depression.

Chapter 22: The Vietnam War Begins

Ho Chi Minh

May 19, 1890 - September 2, 1969

The primary Vietnamese nationalist and Communist leader during the twentieth century, who resisted French, Japanese, and American influence in Vietnam. Ho was president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, serving as the primary North Vietnamese leader throughout much of the Vietnam War.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

October 14, 1890 - March 28, 1969

Who popularized the domino theory that was later used to justify increased U.S. political and military involvement in Vietnam.

George F. Keenan

February 16, 1904 - March 17, 2005

A U.S. State Department examiner who first expressed the doctrine of containment in 1947.

J. William Fulbright

April 9, 1905 - February 9, 1995

A U.S. senator from Arkansas and a leading critic of the Vietnam War in the U.S. Congress.

Le Duan

April 7, 1907 - July 10, 1986

The primary leader of the North Vietnamese Communist Party after Ho Chi Minh’s death

Lyndon B. Johnson

August 27, 1908 - January 22, 1973

Limited U.S. commitments in Vietnam but ended up escalating the war drastically after the U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. he sent more than 500,000 U.S. troops to Vietnam and ultimatelychanged the conflict into a bitter war.

Le Duc Tho

October 14, 1911 - October 13, 1990

A senior North Vietnamese diplomat who engaged in secret negotiations in Paris with U.S. emissary Henry A. Kissinger in 1972, leading to the cease-fire that ended official U.S. involvement in Vietnam in January 1973.

Richard M. Nixon

January 9, 1913 - April 22, 1994

Richard Nixon promised the American public that he would reduce U.S. troop levels in Vietnam. He attended a plan he called "Vietnamization," whereby the U.S. would gradually withdraw from the war, leaving the South Vietnamese army to shoulder the start of the fighting. Despite his pledge to bring American soldiers home, American ground troop levels in Vietnam remained high and the Nixon administration expanded the war into the neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia.

John F. Kennedy

May 29, 1917 - November 22, 1963

whose decision to send U.S. “military advisors” into Vietnam in 1962 marked the first official U.S. involvement in the country

Henry A. Kissinger

May 27, 1923

A former political science professor who served as President Richard Nixon’s national security advisor and then as his secretary of state. The German-born Kissinger worked closely with Nixon to create and start the policy of Vietnamization and personally was a part of negotiations with North Vietnamese emissary Le Duc Tho in 1972 to cease-fire. Kissinger also assisted Nixon in using China and the Soviet Union to pressure North Vietnam to opt for a peace settlement.

Binh Xuyen


The Vietnamese mafia, headquartered in a Chinese-dominated Saigon suburb of Cholon. The Binh Xuyen influenced politics in southern Vietnam under the corrupt French-backed government.

William Calley

June 8, 1943

A U.S. Army lieutenant and the leader of the company of U.S. soldiers who killed several hundred unarmed Vietnamese civilians in the 1968 My Lai Massacre.

Viet Minh

1945 - 1954

Vietnamese Communist resistance forces, based in northern Vietnam and led by Ho Chi Minh, during the First Indochina War with France

Causes of the Vietnam War

1945 - 1975
  • Americans feared the domino theory of expanding communist empire; to stop the spread of communism.



A U.S. foreign policy strategy during the Cold War, developed in 1947 by State Department analyst George F. Kennan. Under containment, the United States would not challenge nations already in the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence but also would not tolerate any further Soviet or Communist expansion. Although containment was meant to apply primarily to Europe, it evolved into the domino theory that formed the basis for U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

Domino Theory


Governed most of foreign policy held that a communist victory in one nation would quickly lead to a chain reaction of communist takeovers in neighboring states. In Southeast Asia, the United States government used the domino theory to justify its support of a non-communist regime in South Vietnam against the communist government of North Vietnam, and ultimately its increasing involvement in the long-running Vietnam War

17th Parallel


The dividing line between North Vietnam and South Vietnam as established by the 1954 Geneva Conference. The 17th parallel was buffered by a demilitarized zone, or DMZ, between the two countries.

Geneva Conference


Peace conference at the end of the First Indochina War, prompted by the devastating French defeat at Dien Bien Phu. The conference issued the Geneva Accords, which divided Vietnam officially into North Vietnam and South Vietnam along the 17th parallel as a changeable measure and promised free Vietnam-wide elections for 1956

VIet Cong (VC)

1954 - 1975

Akin to the American slang word “Commies,” an originally mildly derisive term for Communist forces in South Vietnam who opposed the U.S.-backed government in Saigon. By the time of U.S. involvement, the Viet Cong was a sizable guerrilla force hidden among South Vietnam’s population, making its members extremely difficult to find or target. ; attack US soldiers and supply lines.


1956 - 1971

The FBI’s counterintelligence program, which President Lyndon B. Johnson authorized to spy on domestic anti–Vietnam War activists toward the end of his administration. COINTELPRO agents planted false evidence and arrested hundreds of antiwar activists on bogus charges of supporting Communism. These harsh and illegal tactics turned the American public away from the federal government and widened the credibility gap.

Vietnam War

1959 - April 30, 1975

North Vietnam and its southern allies, known as the Viet Cong, against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States.
The war began in 1954, after the rise to power of Ho Chi Minh and his communist Viet Minh party in North Vietnam, and continued against the backdrop of an intense Cold War between two global superpowers: the United States and the Soviet Union.

Search & Destory


A U.S. military strategy designed to send U.S. troops out into the field proactively to locate and kill Viet Cong forces.



President Richard M. Nixon’s 1969 plan that called for withdrawing almost all of the 500,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam over the next year and handing over more responsibility to the South Vietnamese. Although Nixon did remove troops, he also planned another intensive round of bombing in North Vietnam to convince Hanoi to end the war.

Christmas Bombing

December 1972

An intensive bombing campaign against Hanoi that President Richard M. Nixon launched in late December 1972, in an attempt to force the North Vietnamese into a peace settlement