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US History – The Vietnam War, 1945-75

5. Tet and After

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About this Lecture


In this module, we explore how the US commitment in Vietnam came to end. The Tet Offensive of January 1968 opened up divisions in the United States that were impossible to rectify. Johnson’s declining political support persuaded him to not seek re-election and sue for peace. Despite this, the war continued for years under Nixon who attempted to achieve ‘peace with honor’. Unable to achieve this, Nixon shifted strategy to one of ‘decent interval’ in which South Vietnam would be maintained long enough so as not to damage the reputation of his administration.


In this course, Professor Mark Atwood Lawrence (University of Texas at Austin) explores the American experience in Vietnam. We start by introducing the Vietnam War and explaining its significance for the United States. In the following modules we will then explore five key questions: (i) why was there a crisis in Vietnam?; (ii) why did Vietnam matter to the United States?; (iii) why did the United States fail to achieve its objectives in Vietnam?; (iv) how did the United States end its commitment in Vietnam?; and (v) what were the legacies of the war for the United States?


Professor Mark Atwood Lawrence is Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as Director of the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum in Austin. Professor Lawrence has written and taught widely on the subjects of U.S. foreign relations, the Vietnam War, international history, and decolonisation. He has published two books on the Vietnam War - Assuming the Burden: Europe and the American Commitment to War in Vietnam (University of California Press, 2005) and The Vietnam War: A Concise International History (Oxford University Press, 2008).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Lawrence, M. (2021, October 26). US History – The Vietnam War, 1945-75 - Tet and After [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Lawrence, M. "US History – The Vietnam War, 1945-75 – Tet and After." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Oct 2021,