The Vietnam War After American Involvement: Learning Objectives & Activities

Instructor: Jessica Lyons
This chapter will teach you about the end of the Vietnam War as well as about the feelings of Americans following the war. You can use key questions and learning activities to apply your knowledge after watching the lessons.

What's This Chapter About?

The Vietnam War After American Involvement chapter will teach you how the war came to an end and how communism spread after its conclusion. You'll also learn about how Americans felt about their involvement after the war.

Learning Objectives

After completing this chapter, you'll be able to:

  • Analyze measures by Congress to limit the president's ability to send troops to Vietnam
  • Outline the conclusion of the Vietnam War
  • Explain how Cambodia and Laos fell to communism
  • Outline the United States' support of Laos
  • Explain what post-war America was like

People to Know

  • President Richard Nixon - in office when the Paris Peace Accords were created and said he would return Americans to Vietnam if the peace agreement was violated by North Vietnam, although legally he could not.
  • Nguyen Van Thieu - president of South Vietnam at the time of the Paris Peace Accords who later resigned on April 21, 1975.
  • President Gerald Ford - took office after President Nixon's resignation and asked Congress for additional aid to send to South Vietnam, but was denied.
  • Duong Van Minh - former president of South Vietnam who returned as its leader after Nguyen Van Thieu resigned.
  • Lon Nol - an anti-communist leader in Cambodia.
  • Pol Pot - a leader of the Cambodia community group the Khmer Rouge.
  • Prince Souvanna Phouma - Laos's anti-communist leader.

Vocabulary to Know

  • Paris Peace Accords - this brought an end to US involvement in the Vietnam War and included a ceasefire between North Vietnam and South Vietnam.
  • Case-Church Amendment - passed by Congress in June of 1973, this created financial restrictions that would prevent US military activity from occurring in Southeast Asia.
  • War Powers Resolution - another Congress measure, passed in November of 1973, made it so that the president would need Congress to approve international deployments of troops.
  • Operation Frequent Wind - this removed about 100 military personnel and thousands of civilians from South Vietnam over the course of two days.
  • The Vietnam Syndrome - a feeling in the US of staying isolated and avoiding losing war efforts.
  • The Amnesia Period - this describes the time following the Vietnam War when Americans tried to forget about it.

Key Questions

Once you've completed the lessons in this chapter, answer the below questions to apply your new knowledge.

  • How did Congress try to limit the President's ability to support the war in Vietnam?
  • How did Americans feel about the country's involvement in Vietnam?
  • Why was communism able to take over Cambodia and Laos?
  • Why did the United States get involved in Laos?
  • What were common feelings among Americans after the Vietnam War?
  • How did the results of the Vietnam War impact the US involvement in future wars?

Build on Your Learning


After the Vietnam War, some Americans supported a more isolationist policy. Do you think it would have been good or bad for the United States to be isolationists? Explain your opinion.

The United States left Vietnam two years before the war ended. Do you think they should have stayed in Vietnam longer? Why or why not?


Although the Geneva Accords of 1962 included neutrality agreements, the United States still fought a 'secret war' in Laos. Do you think violating the accords was the right thing to do? Why or why not?


Immediately following the Vietnam War, there were not many benefits for soldiers or services to support them. Imagine that you are an elected official at the end of the Vietnam War. Create your own proposal for providing support to the troops returning home from Vietnam.

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