The Vietnam Conflict, 1945–75 Edexcel IGCSE Resources

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A4 The Vietnam Conflict, 1945–75

In this module, students will focus on events in Vietnam. Students will analyse how and why conflict occurred the reasons that made peaceful resolution difficult. This module also considers the roles and influences of key leaders and organisations and their part in fostering or hampering international relations.

This module covers the following themes:

The struggle against France for independence, 1945–54

  • The origins of the First Indochina War, especially the aims of the Vietminh
  • The tactics of General Giap
  • The search for a diplomatic solution
  • The French defeat at Dien Bien Phu and its immediate consequences

US policy and intervention, 1954–64

  • The aims of the Geneva Conference (1954) and the US response
  • Eisenhower and the Domino Theory
  • The formation of South Vietnam
  • Life in North and South Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh and Ngo Dinh Diem
  • The impact of Ho’s policies to unite Vietnam, the NLF, and the Ho Chi Minh Trail
  • The response of US, the Strategic Hamlet Programme, the fall of Diem (1963), the Gulf of Tonkin incident (1964)

Confrontation in the Vietnam War, escalation 1964–68

  • The nature of the Second Indochina War
  • The roles of Johnson, McNamara, Westmoreland and the jungle war (1965–68)
  • Search and Destroy
  • The bombing campaign, Operation Rolling Thunder
  • A televised war
  • The siege of Khe Sanh to the Tet Offensive and the Battle of Hue (1968)

Nixon and Ford’s policies – Vietnamisation, peace and Communist victory, 1969–75

  • Failure of peace talks
  • Widening the war in Cambodia and Laos: ‘secret bombing’
  • Relations with China and the roles of Kissinger and Le Duc Tho in the Paris peace talks (1972)
  • Nixon’s policy of Vietnamisation and withdrawal by 1973 and the renewed North Vietnamese offensive, the effects of Ford’s diplomatic response, the final offensive (March–April 1975) and the fall of Saigon

The impact of conflict on civilians in Vietnam and attitudes in the USA

  • The effects of the war on civilians in Vietnam
  • US response to guerrilla warfare
  • Hearts and Minds, My Lai, Phoenix Programme, defoliation, bombing
  • The effects of the war in the US, university protests
  • Media coverage, opposition to war in USA
  • Pro-war demonstrations
  • The Fulbright Hearings (1971).

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