Year 11

Changing US policy in Vietnam

I can evaluate the USA's changing policy in Vietnam and how it affected public opinion towards the war.

Year 11

Changing US policy in Vietnam

I can evaluate the USA's changing policy in Vietnam and how it affected public opinion towards the war.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Nixon attempted a change in policy in Vietnam in order to reduce US involvement.
  2. The change in policy had mixed results and led to an expansion of the war.
  3. US public opinion towards the war was mixed, although the popularity of the war declined overall as it wore on.

Common misconception

Nixon was the only president who wanted to remove US troops from Vietnam.

Kennedy and Johnson wanted the same, but, like Nixon, found themselves getting more involved in order to prop up the South Vietnamese govt.


  • Vietnamisation - Vietnamisation was the US policy of withdrawing troops and transferring responsibility for the war to the government of South Vietnam

  • Public opinion - public opinion refers to the popular view in society about a particular issue

  • Veteran - a veteran is a person who has served in the armed forces

Adapt the exam-style questions to fit your class: if you know that your students struggle with a particular question type then change one of the questions on the slide deck to fit that particular question type.
Teacher tip


Content guidance

  • Contains depictions of discriminatory behaviour.
  • Contains subject matter which individuals may find upsetting.
  • Contains conflict or violence.


Adult supervision suggested.


This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).



6 Questions

Across the country, how many people took part in the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam demonstrations in 1969?
roughly 1 million
roughly 10 million
Correct answer: roughly 15 million
roughly 25 million
Complete this sentence: Nixon publicly stated that demonstrations would have no effect on him because 'policy made in the streets equals __________'.
Correct answer: anarchy
How do we know that many American people liked Nixon's 'Silent Majority' speech?
There were public demonstrations supporting Nixon immediately afterwards.
Anti-war demonstrations decreased dramatically.
Correct answer: His approval ratings jumped by more than 30%.
Historians are unsure whether people did like it or not.
What does 'patriotism' mean?
Correct answer: a great love for one’s own country
a deep dislike for one's own country
a fear and hatred towards foreign countries
a desire to travel and see foreign countries
Complete the sentence with a fraction: more than 100 people were injured in the Hard Hat Riot, roughly of them women.
Correct Answer: a quarter, one quarter, 1/4
What two gifts were presented to President Nixon by the leaders of the Hard Hats?
Correct answer: American flag badge
a signed photo
Correct answer: a hard hat
a Macy's gift card
a pair of overalls

6 Questions

What does 'popular opinion' mean?
what the most popular people think about something
Correct answer: the popular view in society about a particular issue
an opinion that have been voted for by the public
Place the events relating to Vietnamisation in chronological order.
1 - Vietnamisation strategy begins; US troop numbers also peak at 543 400
2 - secret negotiations with North Vietnam begin
3 - US ground troops invade Cambodia
4 - US provides air support for ARVN invasion of Laos
5 - Operation Linebacker, the heavy bombing of North Vietnam, begins
Which two of the following were reasons why some Americans opposed the war in Vietnam?
The USSR was allied with North Vietnam, and many Americans liked the USSR.
Correct answer: It was felt there were too many American deaths.
Many people did not know where Vietnam was.
There were lots of communists in America who opposed war with other communists.
Correct answer: The war was very expensive.
Complete the sentence: many Americans supported the war in Vietnam because they did not want America to look __________.
Correct answer: weak
How did public opinion towards the war change as the war went on?
Correct answer: more people were against the war
more people supported the war
people felt the same about the war
public opinion changed too much to be measurable
Roughly how many Vietnam veterans publicly opposed the war?
Correct answer: 25 000
50 000
75 000
100 000