Vietnam War and American Culture

Topics: Lyndon B. Johnson, Vietnam War, John F. Kennedy Pages: 6 (1684 words) Published: February 7, 2014

Vietnam Wars Impact on American Culture
Donna Whittle
DeVry University
Introduction to Humanities

I. Introduction and Thesis Statement
In the 1960’s America went through many cultural changes. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights activist, delivered his famous, “I have a dream” speech. African Americans were fighting for peace, freedom and equality. The United States was involved in the Vietnam War, committed to anti-communism. African Americans were deployed to Vietnam. The Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement coincided. African Americans believed fighting for democracy abroad would help gain civil rights at home.

II. Events that Led to the Advancement
January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy became president of the United States. Americans believed this was the beginning of the golden age. Contrary by the end of the sixties it seemed the nation was falling apart. Kennedy was assassinated and Lyndon B. Johnson became president (, n.d.). Vietnam War escalated and was backed by the White House. President Johnson failed to realize the racial nightmare the American involvement in Vietnam would create (Gallagher, 2006).

III. Effects of Advancement
Domino theory of cold war containment policy of the United States held that if one country in a region turned communist, other surrounding countries would soon follow; this theory convinced many that to save all of Southeast Asia, it was necessary to resist communist aggression in Vietnam (Armstrong, 2014). College and high school students became increasingly empowered, hundreds and thousands protested against the Vietnam War. Students were increasingly involved in political affairs, other young people supported cultural instead of political revolution (Armstrong, 2014). Vietnam was a pawn in the anti-communist agenda of the United States; Vietnam was a pawn in the late nineteenth-century colonial race between Britain and France (Maga, 2010).

IV. Evolution if the Advancement
January 1973, United States and North Korea concluded a final peace agreement, ending open hostilities between the two nations. War between North and South Korea continued (, n.d.). Vietnam War was a war against communism: a war to promote liberal democracy instead of dictatorship. Black Americans trusted that if they defended democracy abroad they were more likely to receive it at home (Gallagher, 2006). The United States spent billions of dollars during Vietnam. Soldiers returned home disrespected and alienated. Blacks remained discriminated against.

V. Conclusion
In the 1960’s America went through many changes. African Americans fought for peace, freedom and equality. The United States involvement in the Vietnam War led to a divided America. President John F. Kennedy pushed for social reform prior to his assignation. Reforms were passed under Lyndon B. Johnson, including civil rights. . The war changed the attitudes and beliefs of the American people forever. Vietnam War impacted America through foreign affairs, social and political history.

The 1960’s was a time period in which Vietnam War and civil rights heightened. The United States became involved in the war believing communism would take over the world. Vietnam War was costly, lasting three decades. United States was already suffering from poverty. African Americans were fighting for civil rights at home. They were also sent to Vietnam to fight against communism. Uprisings began against the war in the United States. Americans wanted nothing to do with the war after seeing unthinkable violence exploited on their televisions. Americans lashed out. People rebelled against the government. Campus rallies, anti-war demonstrations and drugs swept the nation. Americans lost faith and trust in our government. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and Lyndon B. Johnson took over. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against...

References: Armstrong, S. (2014) AP*U.S. History. New York: McGraw Hill Education.
Maga, T.P. (2010). The Vietnam War (2nd ed.). New York: Penguin Group.
The 1960s. (2014). The History Channel website. Retrieved 12:51, January 14, 2014, from
Vietnam War. (2014). The History Channel website. Retrieved 12:52, January 14, 2014, from
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