The personality and policies of President Johnson

The personality and policies of
President Johnson
Learning Objectives:
• To consolidate our knowledge of JFK and his
involvement in Vietnam up until November 1963.
To explore the personality and policies of President
To discuss how Johnson as the President of the USA
will react to the situation in Vietnam.
JFK and US Involvement in Vietnam
• JFK expanded US commitment in Vietnam – saw
it as a communist aggression within the Cold War.
• Kennedy’s initial concerns were with Laos in 1959
– Civil War – US and USSR supplied opposing
• In Vietnam US support for Diem increased even
as popular support for him declined.
• JFK shifted emphasis towards COUNTER
INSURGENCY – Army special forces – The Green
Berets – trained the ARVN in guerrilla warfare.
JFK and US Involvement in Vietnam
• Kennedy also endorsed the Strategic Hamlets
programme. By 1962 nearly 3,000 fortified
villages. USA agreed that without MORE help the
Communists would seize control of the South.
• 15th October 1961 – JFK sends General Maxwell
Taylor to Vietnam to report on the potential
impact of sending US troops in. Taylor reports
that despite a crisis existing this could be turned
around by introducing military advisers.
• 22nd November 1961 – Kennedy provides aircraft,
intelligence equipment, training for ARVN and
additional economic aid.
JFK and Involvement in Vietnam
• Diem was failing to achieve a mass following – many of
his family members in governmental positions.
• Ngo Dinh Nhu – brother and closest adviser – trouble!
• Diem continues to resist military efforts that might lead
to casualties.
• 1962 – advisers undecided about the success of the
situation in Vietnam.
• Several American doubted the success of the strategic
hamlets programme.
• 1963 – Situation in Saigon (South) worsened –
American officials intensified their efforts.
JFK and Involvement in Vietnam
• 2nd Jan 1963 – Ap Bac – ARVN refused to take the
initiative of the Advisers – disunity and loss of faith.
• By mid 1963 2,600/3,700 strategic hamlets had been
destroyed by the NLF. Controlled a large proportion of
South Vietnamese villages and the population.
• Diem’s relationship with the Buddhists had been
contentious for years – culminated in a revolt in
Summer 1963.
• 8th May 1963 – troops in Hue attacked Buddhist
demonstrators and killed several people. Diem failed to
acknowledged their demands to end his repressive
• Madame Nhu: “Buddhist barbecues”
JFK and Involvement in Vietnam
• 22nd August 1963 – Ambassador Lodge informed of a
military coup against Diem.
• JFK publically expressed unhappiness with Diem and
Nhu. What role did he play?
• 1st November 1963 – military coup – execution of
brothers. USA did support however did not expect
murder and struggled to adapt.
• Challenge of Vietnam became even more complicated
on 22nd November 1963 – JFK assassinated.
• Johnson inherited US military force of 16,000 in
Vietnam and commitment to a war that was not going
• JFK had avoided, as had Eisenhower, making
the ultimate decision to leave Vietnam or to
introduce combat troops.
7 minute Challenge:
• Using the large sheet of paper in the middle of
the room, as a class you must create a
detailed mind map on the situation in
Vietnam before Johnson comes to power.
• Note down the key points from the minilecture.
• Use all your prior knowledge to create a mind
map that is as detailed as possible.
Who was Lyndon B Johnson?
Who was Lyndon B. Johnson?
• Remained committed to Vietnam as a battle in
the Cold War.
• Johnson believed that failure in Vietnam would
have serious political repercussions from
Republicans who used Democratic presidents in
the past as scapegoats for communist advances in
• Johnson remained committed to Kennedy’s policy
– he found it easy necessary to increase
involvement in order to preserve the Saigon
• He came to realise there was no easy option.
• WWJD?.. What would Johnson do?
Facebook Profile
• Your task is to create a Facebook profile for
Lyndon B. Johnson.
• You need to research:
• His background
• His education
• Early career
• Political career
• Likes and dislikes
• Leadership pros and cons
History Sessions 
• Monday after school – UNLESS I HAVE MEETINGS
 but room still free.
• Wednesday after school
• Friday lunch time
• This week: Friday lunch – questions/issues/exam
• After half term: Wednesday after school/Friday
lunch: timeline, catch up on topics so far.
A Socratic Summary
• Find somebody else in the room to sit with.
• You need to pair up – but with somebody NOT on
your table!
• You need to discuss what you think Johnson will
be like as the President of the United States and
predict what will happen next in Vietnam.
• Take it in turns to discuss – USE SPECIFIC
• You must listen to each other and take notes on
the key points which are raised.
• We will review as a class.
What is next for Vietnam?...