Wednesday, August 19

Casualties of War + Vietnam War Unit

The Vietnam War was fought between communist North Vietnam and the government of Southern Vietnam. The North was supported by communist countries such as the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union. The South was supported by anti-communist countries, primarily the United States. The war lasted for twenty years, something the US never expected when it joined in the fight, and ended with the country of Vietnam going to the communists...

I’d Rather Fight Than Pay (Chuck Dockery)
In 1917, Congress passed the Selective Service Act, which required all men aged 20-30 to register for military service. This led to acts of civil disobedience by men refusing to register, which then led to the Sedition Act of 1918, which made it illegal to "willfully urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of the production" of the things "necessary or essential to the prosecution of the war."

During the Vietnam War, individuals could receive a deferment of service for being a college student; being a student at a divinity school, or being a clergy leader; having dependent children; being the sole supporter of a parent; and various forms of medical exemptions. Opposition to the draft during Vietnam was widespread, with some personally opposed to forced military service and some opposed to the war as a whole. The deferment system led to a disproportionately working class force in Vietnam, with as many as three quarters of those who served in Vietnam coming from working and lower class families. 

Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire)
From 1961 until 1971, the US military dropped more than nineteen million gallons of toxic chemicals on southern Vietnam. The chemicals were identified by the colors painted on their 55-gallon-drum shipping containers, with the most-sprayed being Agent Orange, a herbicide known by the late 1960s to contain often dangerous levels of persistent-organic-pollutant (POP) toxins. The goal of the spraying program was to deprive the resistance fighters of food supplies by destroying crops and to deny them cover through deforestation.

There is growing scientific evidence that those exposed during the war may experience increased incidence of cancer, type 2 diabetes, nervous-system conditions, reproductive problems, disabilities among offspring, and other health problems. The environmental impact continues in present-day Vietnam from the loss of forests and the presence of “hot spots” with high concentrations of residual toxins. 

Run Through the Jungle (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
Whereas World War II was an ‘airplane war,’ the Vietnam War relied heavily on helicopters to ferry soldiers in and out of the thick jungle. The helicopter design was improved upon between wars, and by the 1960s it had a speed and agility that no plane could match. This made it much easier to bring troops, weapons, and supplies into the difficult terrain while evading enemy fire. The CH-47 Chinook and Ch-54 Skyhook were two popular models frequently used.

The jungle was a difficult place to fight a war. The Northern and Southern Vietnamese looked the same, so it was difficult to know who the enemy was, and there were booby traps and underground tunnels. Troops were being ambushed constantly and had to deal with medical issues such as jungle rot, heat stroke, and digestive problems.

War is Over (John Lennon)
One of Richard Nixon’s first missions as President was to end the war. He began removing troops from Vietnam in July of 1969, and on January 27, 1973 a ceasefire was negotiated. In April 1975, South Vietnam surrendered to North Vietnam and the country became officially unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam - a communist country.  

Millions of Americans had watched the first televised war, with footage that literally brought the struggle into their living rooms, they had seen the lottery drawings each evening for the draft on the nightly news, and now they watched Nixon as he began to bring the troops home.  The troops were often poorly treated upon their return home, and many suffered from PTSD and other health problems that stemmed from their service.

  • November 1955 – The US helps Ngo Dinh Diem get elected in South Vietnam. This comes after the French leave a power void in the region and the country divided into two parts.
  • March 1959 - Ho Chi Minh declares war in order to unite Vietnam under one rule.
  • December 1961 - US military advisors begin to take a direct role in the war.
  • August 1964 - The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution is passed by the US Congress after two US Destroyers were attacked by the North Vietnamese, allowing US troops to use armed force in the area.
  • March 8, 1965 - The first official US combat troops arrive in Vietnam.
  • January 30, 1968 - North Vietnam launches the Tet Offensive, attacking around 100 cities in Southern Vietnam.
  • July 1969 - President Nixon begins the withdrawal of US troops.
  • March 1972 - The North Vietnamese attack across the border in the Easter Offensive.
  • April 1975 – South Vietnam surrenders to North Vietnam.

Our spine read for this unit is Casualties of War

 Access the complete unit in the American History Novel Studies Bundle!

Includes sixteen unit studies covering American History. Each unit addresses a new topic, spanning the Revolutionary War to Vietnam.  Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.

  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.
  • Some units also have cooking projects.

These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together. Our family has used unit studies as curriculum for many years, and we hope that your family will enjoy these, too!

Product sample:  Paper Son & Angel Island Immigration  & Within These Lines & Japanese Internment

  • Casualties of War & Vietnam War
  • No Promises in the Wind & the Great Depression
  • Out of the Dust & the Dust Bowl
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham & Civil Rights
  • Dusty Sourdough & Alaska
  • The King of Mulberry Street & Ellis Island Immigration
  • Paper Son & Angel Island Immigration
  • The Red Menace & McCarthyism
  • Johnny Tremain & Faces of the American Revolution
  • Sounder & Sharecropping
  • World War II Code Talkers
  • Flashback Four: Hamilton-Burr Duel
  • Within These Lines & Japanese Internment Camps
  • Flashback Four: Titanic Mission
  • Flashback Four: Lincoln Project
  • The Diviners / The Great Gatsby & Roaring Twenties

Looking for more World History?  Check out In-Depth Modern History for High School, one of 400+ courses included with a SchoolhouseTeachers membership.  In this history course, students will learn about some of the major events in history such as World War I and the fight for women’s right to vote. There are also lesser known events such as the Aboriginal Rights Movement and the South African Anti-Apartheid Movement. Included in each week’s lessons are reading, vocabulary, mapping, a quiz, and resources to go deeper into the topic.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.