First World War (1914-1918) = The Great War = The War to End all Wars = Total War Long Term Causes: [animal]

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In 1975, two years after the Americans left, South Vietnam was united with the North - it was now a communist state.

image icon: vietnam was united

Vietnam united
- Although the Americans left Vietnam in 1973, they continued to support the South Vietnamese army - the ARVN - with financial and military aid.
- In April 1975 the South Vietnamese regime collapsed and Vietnam was united.

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The impact on Vietnam
- The North Vietnamese army - the NVA - massacred thousands of South Vietnamese after the Americans had left. Many people tried to flee South Vietnam (eg the "boat people").
- The Vietnamese had to fight wars against Cambodia and China before their independence was secured.
- Vietnam was ruined - its infrastructure was destroyed, thousands of its people had been killed, and its farmland was polluted by American chemical warfare. It remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

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The impact on America
- 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam.
- The war had cost so much that President Johnson's Great Society program of social reform had to be cancelled.
- Loss of confidence: America had failed to "contain" communism. In 1973, Nixon announced that America was abandoning the Truman Doctrine. It was nearly 20 years before America again intervened militarily in world affairs.
- The domino theory was proved to be wrong. The fall of South Vietnam to communism was not immediately followed by a similar effect in other countries.
- News of atrocities such as the killings at My Lai lost the US its claim to moral superiority, and its status as the world's defender of freedom and right.
- 700,000 Vietnam veterans suffered psychological after-effects.

October 15th 1964


Nikita Krushchev removed from office. He was replaced by Leonid Brezhnev.

Brezhnev (1964-1982)

July 1965

Vietnam War

150,000 US troops sent to Vietnam.

August 20th 1968

Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia

Warsaw Pact forces entered Czechoslovakia in a bid to stop the reforms known as 'Prague Spring' instigated by Alexander Dubcek. When he refused to halt his program of reforms Dubcek was arrested.

Czechoslovakia 1968

For four months in 1968, Czechoslovakia broke free from Soviet rule, allowing freedom of speech and removing some state controls. This period is now referred to as the Prague Spring.

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1. There were no riots or demonstrations but, during 1967, students and writers were complaining about the lack of freedom, and the poor performance of the Czechoslovak economy.
2. But when Antonin Novotny, the Czechoslovak president, asked Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet leader, for help, Brezhnev did not support him.

3. Novotny fell from power and on 5 January 1968, Alexandr Dubcek - a reformer - took over as leader of the Communist Party (KSC).  

4. In April 1968, Dubcek's government announced an Action Plan for what it called a new model of socialism - it removed state controls over industry and allowed freedom of speech.

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5. For four months (the Prague Spring), there was freedom in Czechoslovakia. But then the revolution began to run out of control. Dubcek announced that he was still committed to democratic communism, but other political parties were set up.  

6. Also, Dubcek stressed that Czechoslovakia would stay in the Warsaw Pact, but in August, President Tito of Yugoslavia, a country not in the Warsaw Pact, visited Prague.  

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7. At a meeting in Bratislava on 3 August 1968, Brezhnev read out a letter from some Czechoslovakian Communists asking for help. He announced the Brezhnev Doctrine - the USSR would not allow any Eastern European country to reject Communism.

8. On 20 August 1968, 500,000 Warsaw Pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia. Dubcek and three other leaders were arrested and sent to Moscow.

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9. The Czechoslovakians did not fight the Russians. Instead, they stood in front of the tanks, and put flowers in the soldiers' hair. Jan Palach burned himself to death in protest.

10. Brezhnev put in Gustav Husak, a supporter of Russia, as leader of the KSC.

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