American history paper: Vietnamese War and the American Revolution, a comparative analysis

Topics: United States, Vietnam War, World War II Pages: 6 (2089 words) Published: April 26, 2005
Freedom is something Americans strive to provide and maintain. It has become a necessary part of our culture and even now when people think of America, they automatically think of freedom and equality. The American Revolution and the Vietnam War were two products of this ideal. Both wars had similar beginnings as far as revolutions are concerned. The original thirteen colonies had been occupied by England, and Vietnam was occupied by France. At first it seemed as though the stronger nation in each of these wars would win the war, however these opinions changed after years and years of fierce combat. Although these two wars have their similarities, they also have various differences.

J.R. Pole states in his book, The Pursuit of Equality in American History, that the American Revolution plays an extremely important role in the history of equality in American society. "The American Revolution in all its aspects constituted an upheaval which was also a point of departure and reference for all subsequent definitions of equality; it was a major event in the ideology and rhetoric of world history." The mismanagement of the colonies, the taxation policies that violated the colonist rights, the distractions of foreign wars and politics in England had also played a role in the outbreak of the revolution. England passed many Acts that were despised by the colonies. The most hated of these Acts were the Stamp Acts. Lord Grenville enacted the Stamp Act which forced the colonists to pay for stamps on printed documents . Besides, taxation without representation other major events also created ill feeling towards Britain. The Boston Massacre was an event that occurred on 1770. Tensions caused by the military occupation of Boston increased as soldiers fired into a crowd of civilians. Five Americans died and six more were injured in this massacre. Another major event, the Boston Tea Party where angered Bostonians dressed as Indians boarded three tea ships and dumped it all into Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea party led to another unpopular act know as the intolerable act. This didn't go over well in Boston because both the innocent and the guilty were being punished equally. At this time, hatred of British rule escalted to the decision for independence. The Second Continental Congress met at Philadelphia in 1775 and developed the Olive Branch Petition, which was harshly rejected by King George III. In respnse to King George's rjection came the Declaration of Independence in 1776 drafted and written by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson had brought out the reasons for the revolution within this document. He wrote that every human had the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." The Declaration of Indpendence also blamed George III for a "long train of abuses and usurpation."

The British had many advantages in the war, including a large, well-trained army and navy and many Loyalists who supported the British empire. However, due to excellent leadership from George Washington, aid from France, and nationalism, the U.S. were able to beat all odds and came out victorious against one of the most powerful world powers in the 19th century. Major victories at Trenton and Princeton, N.J., in late 1776 and early 1777 restored patriot hopes, and victory at Saratoga, N.Y., which halted a British advance from Canada, all contributed to Britain's eventual defeat. In 1781, the last major battle fought between American and French forces defeat the British at the Battle of Yorktown. The revolutionary war finally ends in 1782 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which granted the U.S. their independence.

After the revolution the fouding fathers of America emphazied greatly on freedom and equality. The revolution also had other resounding effects. For the first time in the world, a democratic government is formed in the Articles of Confederation. From 1781 to 1789 the Articles of Confederation not provided the United States with an...

Cited: Begleiter, Ralph 1997. Aging leaders return to Vietnam to discuss missteps of war [online]. Available from
world wide website:
Higginbotham, Don. The war of American independence: Military attitudes, policies, and practice, 1763-
1789. Easton Press; Collector 's ed edition, 1993.
Kaiser, David E. American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War.
Cambridge Harvard U Press, 2000.
Pole, J.R. The Pursuit of Equality in America. University of California, 1979.
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