Praxis II Citizenship

Category - US History

“Whereas these attackers are part of a deliberate and systematic campaign of aggression that the Communist regime in North Vietnam has been waging against its neighbors and the nations joined with them in the collective defense of their freedom . . . now, therefore be it resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that the Congress approves and supports the determination of the President, as Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.” The passage above was written in response to what event?
  1. The bombing of Cambodia
  2. The My Lai Massacre
  3. The Gulf of Tonkin incident
  4. The Tet Offensive
Answer: C - The passage above was part of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, a Congressional act written in response to the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Following two confrontations between U.S. and North Vietnamese vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin, President Lyndon Johnson and his administration distorted the nature of the events, telling the American people and Congress that North Vietnam had attacked U.S. ships. His intent was to encourage Congress to authorize his use of war measures despite the fact that they had not formally declared war against North Vietnam. Over the years, people involved in the event publicly acknowledged that the alleged North Vietnamese attack on U.S. ships was fabricated, including Johnson’s Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. In 2004, the U.S. government declassified documents that explicitly stated that an investigation concluded the attacks never occurred. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was the turning point in the Vietnam Conflict, which led to America’s involvement on a mass scale, ultimately costing the lives of nearly 60,000 American military personnel before the nation divested from Vietnam entirely in 1973.
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