Interactive and engaging History lesson plans

Wars In Korea and Vietnam

PowerPoint and Keynote Presenter’s Notes

Source: World History, Patterns of Interaction

Chapter 33, Section 3

Presenters Notes, Higher Order Questions, Concepts

Slide 1

Wars In Korea and Vietnam

Chapter 33 Section 3

Slide 2

War: A conflict that results in military action between groups or nations

Slide 3

In Asia, the Cold War flares into actual wars supported mainly by the super powers

Slide 4

A Divided Land

    -38th Parallel: Line dividing Korea into North and South Korea

        -Northern Korea: Japanese Surrender to Soviets

        -Southern Korea: Japanese surrender to U.S.

The Northern Part of Korea was industrial and the Southern Part was mostly agricultural.

Slide 5

War In Korea

    -By 1949, the Soviets and Americans had withdrawn their forces from Korea

Slide 6

Invasion: The act of attacking a country or region with an armed force

Slide 7

Standoff At The 38th Parallel

    -On June 25th 1950, North Koreans invade South Korea with Soviet Support

    -South Korea requests UN assistance; 15 nations send troops

    -Douglas MacArthur leads UN forces against North Korea

The Soviets didn’t think the United States would protect South Korea- so they built up the North Korean military so they could invade and take over South Korea.

Slide 8

Higher Order Question: Why didn’t the Soviet Union veto the UN resolution to help defend South Korea from the Communists

Answer: They were protesting the fact thatNationalist China was admitted to the UN instead of Communist China- so they were absent!

Slide 9

-President Truman resolved to take action against the aggressors

-North Koreans control most of the peninsula when MacArthur attacks

    -UN Forces hurl the North Koreans back!

-Half of the North’s Army surrenders, the rest retreat.

Slide 10

The Fighting Continues

    -UN troops push North Koreans almost to the Chinese border

    -October 1950, Chinese send 300,000 troops against UN Forces and capture Seoul

    -MacArthur calls for a nuclear attack on China and The Soviet Union: removed from command

The Chines felt threatened by American Troops so close to their border and the U.S. Naval Fleet sitting off the coast of China.

Slide 11

Higher Order Question: Why do you think the UN was able to push back the numerically superior Chinese?

Answer: better equipped, more firepower

Slide 12

Aftermath of the War

    -4 million soldiers and  civilians died

    -North Korea builds collective Farms, Heavy Industry, Nuclear Weapons

    -South Korea establishes Democracy, growing economy with U.S. Aid

Slide 13

Comparing the Korea’s Today

    -South Korea

        -Economy: G-20 Major World Economic Power

        -GDP: 1.62 Trillion

        -Life Expectancy: 79.3 Years

    -North Korea

        -Economy: Poor, Underdeveloped economy, struggles to meet basic needs

        GDP: $40 Billion

        Life Expectancy: 69.2 Years

GDP: Gross Domestic Product, measures the amount of goods and services produced.

Slide 14

Higher Order Question: Did the United States win the Korean War?

Slide 15

War Breaks Out In Vietnam

The United States Containment Policy (Communism) was the principle reason for the U.S. getting involved in the war.

Slide 16

Imperialism: The policy of expanding a nation’s power and influence through diplomacy or military force.

Slide 17

The Road To War

-In the early 1900’s France controlled:




-Nationalistic Independence Movements were developing

Slide 18

Ho Chi Minh

-Vietnamese Nationalist

    -Turns to Communism to gain independence

    -1930’s led strikes and protests against the French

    -1941, founded the Vietminh Independence League

The French Captured Ho Chi Minh and other protesters and were going to execute him, but he escaped.  He returned in 1941 to fight the Japanese occupation.

Slide 19

The Fighting Begins

-Vietnamese Communists and Nationalists join to fight the French

    -Cities controlled by France

    -Countryside controlled by The Vietnamese

    -Vietminh wage Guerrilla War on French Army

Slide 20

French Surrender

-French People begin to doubt Indochina is worth the cost and lives

-In 1954, French surrender to Vietnamese after major defeat: Dien Bien Phu

-Domino Theory: U.S. theory of Communist expansion in Southeast Asia

Slide 21

Vietnam- A Country Divided

-International Peace Conference agrees on a divided Vietnam

    -North Vietnam: Communist

    -South Vietnam: Democratic

Slide 22

Higher Order Question: How did the Cold War influence the International Peace Conference’s decision to divide Vietnam?

The Soviet Union wanted a Communist State and the United States wanted a Democratic State, so they spilt it in two.

Slide 23

An Unpopular Government

-Ngo Dinh Diem: leads anti-Communist Government in South Vietnam


    -Assassinated in 1963

-Vietcong: South Vietnamese Communist Guerrillas fighting against Diem

Slide 24

The United States Gets Involved

Slide 25

U.S. Troops Enter The Fight

-The South was nearing collapse

    -Gulf of Tonkin Incident:

        -U.S. Destroyer attacked by North Vietnamese Patrol Boats

    -Congress authorizes troops to be sent to Vietnam

        -185,000 by 1965

        -500,000 by 1968

Slide 26

The Tet Offensive

-U.S. fights a guerrilla war defending an increasingly unpopular government

-Vietcong gain support from Ho Chi Minh, China, Soviet Union

    -Ho Chi Minh Trail

-Vietnamese Offensive in the South

    -Military Defeat: North

    -Demoralized the U.S.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail was a series of supply routes and secret ways into Vietnam through Cambodia and Laos.  

Slide 27

Higher Order Question: Why couldn’t a superpower, like the United States, defeat a small country like North Vietnam?


1. The South Vietnamese Government was corrupt

2. Most of the American Army was drafted

3. The Vietcong didn’t have to win

    -Example: Tet Offensive

Slide 28

The United States Withdraws

-War grows unpopular the U.S.; in 1969 Nixon starts to withdraw troops

-Vietnamization: Nixon’s plan to withdraw U.S. from the war gradually

-Last U.S. Troops leave in 1973; South Vietnam overrun in 1975

Slide 29

Legacy of the War

-58,000 Americans killed in Vietnam

-1,500,000 Vietnamese killed

-The South eventually overrun by Communists

-Saigon renamed Ho Chi Minh City; Vietnam united as a Communist Nation

Slide 30

Postwar Southeast Asia

Slide 31

Cambodia in Turmoil

-Khmer Rouge: Communist Rebels who take control of Cambodia in 1975

    -Leader: Pol Pot

-They slaughtered 2 million people; overthrown by Vietnamese invaders: 1978

-In 1993, Cambodia adopts democracy, hold elections with UN help

Cambodia was heavily bombed by the U.S. during the Vietnam War, to get at North Vietnamese and Vietcong soldiers and supplies.

The Khmer Rouge killed 25% of their population!

Vietnam left Cambodia in 1989.

Slide 32

Vietnam After The War

-About 1.5 million people flee Vietnam, some settling in the U.S. and Canada

-In 1995, the United States normalizes relations with Vietnam

Slide 33

Higher Order Question: Do you think the war in Vietnam prevented all of Southeast Asia from falling to Communism? Explain your theory:

Slide 34

The End

These materials were prepared by Harms LLC and have neither been developed, reviewed, nor endorsed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, publisher of the original WORLD HISTORY: Patterns of Interaction work on which this material is based.

Cold War: Wars In Korea and Vietnam Presentation

Cold War: Wars In Korea and Vietnam PowerPoint

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      Mr. Harms has designed a number of PowerPoint and Keynote presentations to help students understand history. Designed by a teacher for teachers, this PowerPoint focuses on "Wars in Korea and Vietnam". This presentation is designed to give them an overview of the events leading up to and during the wars in Korea and Vietnam. Students will be shown maps, animations and descriptions of some of the major events surrounding the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
      The presentation is totally customizable, allowing you to add your own pictures, graphics and animations to take what we've done even farther.  It comes with presentation notes to help you discuss the subject and engage them in the events of the Cold War. At less than $4.00, it will save you time and lay the foundation for presentations that help students understand and remember.  
The Topics include: Cold War, Korean War, 38th Parallel, Douglas MacArthur, United Nations,  China, Harry Truman, North Korea, South Korea, Vietnam War, France, United States, Ho Chih Minh, Communism, Dien Bien Phu, Domino Theory, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, Vietcong, Tet Offensive, Vietnamization, Richard Nixon, Cambodia, Khmer Rouge, Laos, Pol Pot.
Number of Slides: 36  $3.60

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Chapter 33, Section 3 "Wars In Korea and Vietnam"