With few questions asked about its justification, by the Congress or the national media, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution became law. It gave President Johnson the authority he wanted to direct U.S. military affairs in Vietnam. This document, now maintained by the U.S. National Archives, allowed U.S. involvement in Vietnam to drastically increase.


On August 7th, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. It was as close as America would ever come to actually declaring war on North Vietnam.

The President signed the resolution before a standing-room crowd on August 10th. Within a week, his power had dramatically increased. He had moved from providing military advisor support in South Vietnam to doing whatever he thought was necessary.

For the most part American journalists, barely questioning what was really going on, reported whatever government officials told them.

Full-scale war, with many American casualties, was just around the corner.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Sep 01, 2005

Updated Last Revision: Jan 19, 2018

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"EXTRAORDINARY POWERS" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 01, 2005. Nov 19, 2019.
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