SAT Subject US History Practice Question 659: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 659

10. An example of the change in U.S. policy toward Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War was best demonstrated by

A. increased aid given to North Vietnam by George H. W. Bush.
B. trade restrictions placed on Vietnam by George W. Bush.
C. recognition of the Vietnamese government by Richard Nixon.
D. criticism of Vietnam for its human rights violations by Jimmy Carter.
E. visits and trade talks conducted by Bill Clinton with Vietnamese leaders.

Correct Answer: E


Bill Clinton, who was criticized for not serving in Vietnam, normalized relations with that nation more than 25 years after the war had ended. In 1994, Clinton announced that the trade embargo against Vietnam was repealed, and the following year he established diplomatic relations between the two countries. Also, in 1995, Secretary of State Warren Christopher paid the first official visit by a U.S. secretary of state, and Clinton himself visited Vietnam at the end of his second term. George H. W. Bush did not increase aid to North Vietnam (A). In fact, North Vietnam no longer existed as a separate entity after the Vietnam War ended. No trade restrictions (B) were placed on Vietnam by George W. Bush. Richard Nixon was responsible for ending the war in Vietnam (C) through a program of "Vietnamization," giving more responsibility for the war to the South Vietnamese. However, when the American troops were withdrawn, South Vietnam fell to the North. Under Nixon, there was no recognition of that government as being the legitimate government of Vietnam. Jimmy Carter was critical of the actions of the Vietnamese government (D), a policy that represented no fundamental change in the continuing American dissatisfaction with the Vietnamese government after the Vietnam War.

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