Ch 4: Lyndon B. Johnson and the Vietnam War

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons and learn about the Gulf of Tonkin crisis, Operation Rolling Thunder, the People's Army of Vietnam and more. Use our easy-to-follow presentations and quizzes to make sense of the Vietnam War.

Lyndon B. Johnson and the Vietnam War - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Watch this chapter's video lessons to learn how Johnson's administration escalated U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Our experienced instructors can help you examine events factoring into this decision and sort through the sometimes confusing alliances between forces fighting in North and South Vietnam. By the end of this chapter, you should be familiar with the following:

  • Leadership changes in South Vietnam
  • Consequences of the Gulf of Tonkin crisis
  • Significant U.S. air and ground campaigns
  • North Vietnamese and U.S. military tactics
  • American responses to the war at home

Video Objective
Gulf of Tonkin Crisis and Resolution: Events and Congressional Response Unravel the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin crisis and explain the subsequent congressional resolution in response to these events.
A Revolving Door of Leadership in South Vietnam Develop an understanding of the fluid and often questionable leadership in South Vietnam following the Diem assassination.
The Air War: Events and Key Operations Detail Operation Rolling Thunder as well as other Johnson-era air campaigns.
Johnson Americanizes the War in Vietnam Learn about Johnson's decision in March of 1965 to introduce American combat troops to the war and further escalate U.S involvement in July. Outline his decision-making process from the time of Kennedy's death to July 1965.
Johnson's Military Strategies for American Success Examine the military strategies and tactics for defeating North Vietnam, including Westmoreland's three phase strategy, search-and-destroy missions, body counts, pacification, the Combined Action Program, the draft and more.
Opposition to the Vietnam War, 1965-1968 Analyze the first wave of American dissent against the war in Vietnam.
People's Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front Identify the leadership and tactics of the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and the National Liberation Front (NLF), also known as the Viet Cong.

9 Lessons in Chapter 4: Lyndon B. Johnson and the Vietnam War
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Lyndon B. Johnson and the Vietnam War: Learning Objectives & Activities

1. Lyndon B. Johnson and the Vietnam War: Learning Objectives & Activities

Use the lessons in this chapter to understand President Lyndon B. Johnson's strategies related to the Vietnam War. Then apply your knowledge to the key questions and learning activities below.

Gulf of Tonkin Crisis and Resolution: Events and Congressional Response

2. Gulf of Tonkin Crisis and Resolution: Events and Congressional Response

The Gulf of Tonkin Crisis further enhanced the United States' involvement in Vietnam after Vietnamese patrol boats exchanged fire with the U.S.S. Maddox. Learn the context of the events that transpired, Congress's response to the incident, and the resolution that followed.

Primary Source: Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

3. Primary Source: Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

The Gulf of Tonkin Incident drew the United States into the Vietnam War in 1964. President Lyndon Baines Johnson greatly increased American participation by creating a resolution that easily passed through Congress.

A Revolving Door of Leadership in South Vietnam

4. A Revolving Door of Leadership in South Vietnam

A revolving door of leadership in South Vietnam began after the coup against Ngo Dinh Diem and resulted in a carousel of leadership for the duration of the Vietnam War. Learn about South Vietnamese military leaders and the civilian government.

The Air War: Events and Key Operations

5. The Air War: Events and Key Operations

From 1965 to 1968, the United States engaged in air campaigns over North and South Vietnam and Laos. Examine the key events and operations of the air war in Vietnam, such as Operation Rolling Thunder, and the failures of President Johnson's strategy.

Johnson Americanizes the War in Vietnam

6. Johnson Americanizes the War in Vietnam

President Lyndon B. Johnson did not initially intend to escalate American involvement in the Vietnam War. Delve into Johnson's initial strategy of limiting American operations and how he was forced to increase American involvement over time.

Johnson's Military Strategies for American Success

7. Johnson's Military Strategies for American Success

From 1965 to 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson adopted General William Westmoreland's military strategies to defeat North Vietnam in the Vietnam War. This lesson explores the three-phase plan and how it was implemented over these three pivotal years.

Opposition to the Vietnam War, 1965-1968

8. Opposition to the Vietnam War, 1965-1968

During 1965-1968, the antiwar movement was sparked and driven by the opposition to the Vietnam War. Discover more about this movement, its crystallization, its progression from 1966 to 1967, and the breaking point in 1968.

People's Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front

9. People's Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front

The People's Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front were two forces that represented North Vietnam in the Vietnam War. Learn these forces' motivations for fighting, their military operations throughout the war, and their combat strategies.

Chapter Practice Exam
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Practice Final Exam
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