The Vietnam War: 1955-1975
The Vietnam War was highly controversial throughout the world it was one of the most recent wars as it occurred between 1955-1975 this was primarily a civil war until the United States got involved this in turn pulled several other countries into the midst of the war. This was one of the major wars that occurred after the two biggest wars in history World War One and World War Two, although it is on a much smaller scale for instance there was a significantly smaller playing field. But like most historical events the Vietnam War had a significant effect on several people’s lives from all around the globe.
Cause and US involvement-
One of the biggest contributors to the war was the United States, the United States got involved in 1955 when President John Kennedy began sending soldiers to support the South Vietnamese and train them to fight better this caused controversy all over the world. During the 1950’s the United States greatly feared communism and feared a revolution much like what happened in Russia and China which ultimately led to communism. The United States decided to back the South Vietnamese in the fighting against the communist North Vietnamese; they thought that by supporting the South it would diminish the chance of communism spreading. The historical novel “The Fall of Saigon” stated that “Between 1950 and 1954, the USA gave France US$2.6 billion to fight against communism in Indochina” this indicates how desperate the United States was to keep communism at bay. At first most of Americans supported the war against communism but as the involvement intensified they began to disagree with the fighting, this meant that drafting began which forced men to join the war which made people even more upset with the war. Americans were being killed in the thousands this sparked anti-war protests which ended in further bloodshed “the protestes turned to tragedy when four students were shot and killed at Kent State University in Ohio and two more died at Jackson State College in Mississppi. They died i n clashes with policemen and soldiers who were trying to stop demonstrations. That spring, about 400 universities were shut down at least temporarily because of the violence.” (Butler, D. (1986). The Fall of Saigon). The US were fighting the Vietcong were the communists who began the war which was mainly a guerrilla war, this means that there were no great armies meeting on a battlefield but small groups using surprise attacks to fight. The Vietcong were incredibly hard to fight as it was difficult to tell them apart from the villagers they lived with. Although the South was continually being aided by the US the Vietcong were winning predominantly throughout the war this was due to their guerrilla war tactics which helped them take possession of several rural areas in South Vietnam and the South Vietnamese had a corrupt government due to their corrupt leader Ngo Dinh Diem.
What long term consequences did the Vietnam War have on the United States? The Vietnam War has various long term consequences on the United States, firstly it was the first war that thy had ever lost, this was quite a shock as they had fought in wars with much larger countries but this war changed it all. In a poll done by Time magazine 29% of the US public felt that the United States were wrong to get involved in the Vietnam war, whereas 58% of Vietnam veterans thought that the United States were right to get involved in the war. This is interesting as these two opinions obviously contrast; this may be because the veterans felt like they had done something of significant in the war. This gives an interesting insight to the perspectives of two different groups that were affected by the war. The poll also asked should the US re-establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam, the 48% of the US public said yes and 44% of the Vietnam veterans said yes, this shows me that that the Vietnam veterans are still not ready to re...
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