War in Vietnam Reading with Questions | Student Handouts
 
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The War in Vietnam
Free Printable American History Reading with Questions for Grades 9-12 - American History Readings
 
 
Dissatisfaction with the Great Society came to be more than matched by unhappiness with the situation in Vietnam. A series of South Vietnamese strong men proved little more successful than Diem in mobilizing their country. The Viet Cong, insurgents supplied and coordinated from North Vietnam, gained ground in the countryside.

Determined to halt Communist advances in South Vietnam, Johnson made the Vietnam War his own. After a North Vietnamese naval attack on two American destroyers, Johnson won from Congress on August 7, 1964, passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which allowed the president to "take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression." After his re-election in November 1964, he embarked on a policy of escalation. From 25,000 troops at the start of 1965, the number of soldiers – both volunteers and draftees – rose to 500,000 by 1968. A bombing campaign wrought havoc in both North and South Vietnam.

Grisly television coverage with a critical edge dampened support for the war. Some Americans thought it immoral; others watched in dismay as the massive military campaign seemed to be ineffective. Large protests, especially among the young, and a mounting general public dissatisfaction pressured Johnson to begin negotiating for peace.
 
 
The War in Vietnam - Reading with questions for high school United States History students. Free to print (PDF file).
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Directions: Read the text above, then answer the questions below.
 
1. What group of insurgents gained ground in the Vietnamese countryside? 2. Describe the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. 3. Who won the presidential election of 1964? 4. Why were many Americans opposed to the war in Vietnam? Click here to print.
 
 
 
 
Text courtesy of the U.S. State Department, Bureau of International Information Programs, 2005
 
 
United States History Readings with Questions for High School