Culture of The Vietnam War By Hunter Johnson

Values and Beliefs

The values and beliefs of America shifted a lot before, during the Vietnam war and after the war. Before the war the civil rights movement had started and America was undergoing big changes in how it saw and valued each of it's citizens. This view didn't change during the war, but instead we saw people of different races come together to both openly support and protest against the war. We saw the peace movement start in America and the view was shifted from war to peace and preaching good to the people of the war. With the end of the war we saw Americans band together again in order to try and support the Veterans coming back home after the war. We also saw America trying to regain it's confidence after losing the war and trying to re-establish its key values as a nation.

Tactics During the War

The Vietnam war introduced many new tactics never before seen in the past wars of the world. North Vietnam sought to fight a war of attrition, with the goal of turning the American people against the American people. One of the most deadly tactics used by the Vietnam government was Gorilla warfare. In Gorilla warfare, soldiers dressed and acted like the local people in order to plan ambushes on the American soldiers. The Vietnamese soldiers also had another weapon up their sleeve, staying so close to the American soldiers at all times so that the American's couldn't supply air support without hitting their own men. The American's fought a hi tech war, using B52 bombers and artillery to supply air support for their men. They also used search and destroy to hunt the Vietnam soldiers.

American Households During the War

The civil rights movement was in full swing during the 1960's as African Americans fought for equality at and away from home. We also saw the start of the peace movement in America, who were one of the leading groups of protesters against the was and far bringing our troops back home. This is the first war that was ever televised live to the homes of Americans, earning it the name, the dinner table war. Also after the war we saw many veterans have a hard time readjusting to the American society due to PTDS and a lack of support.


During the Vietnam war, the 60's artists of the time started to write music to appeal to the people who wanted to see an end to the war. This lead to messages of peace and love, leading to the hippie movement in America. Music was one of the main forms of protest during the war, and was quite effective as it wove it's way into the very souls of the listeners. Songs like "The Times They are A-changin'" by Bod Dylan was a key song in the start of America's disapproval of the war.

Propaganda During the War

The Vietnam war was unique in the fact that there was just as much propaganda for the was as there was against the war. President Eisenhower use "the domino effect" in order to justify aiding the south Vietnamese government, his argument was that is south Vietnam fell to communism then it would spread to china and south eastern Asia and dominate the world. On the other hand the American anti-war movement also came out with propaganda, arguing against the draft and the taking our young Americans and sending them to war against their will.


Protests were a big deal in the Vietnam war. The start of the peace movement lead to many protests viying for the end of the war. Because the war was televised the people saw just how bad war was and therefor they felt a need to fight for the end of the war. The draft was also protested as it required our young men to go to war without a choice.

Media During the War

The Vietnam war was the first ever televised war in American history. This gave American's a view into the horrors of the war as families watched our young men die right before their eyes. Nothing was vented as footage strait from the front lines reached Americans at home. This durastically changed the American public's view of war. Americans were so invested in the war that the % of tv's in American house holds increased 700% with the start of the war.


The Vietnam war had a massive impact on the American Economy. The American government poured $168 million into the war, but the real cost was the impact on the economy. Without increases in tax rates, the inflation rate hit double digits. Not until 1969 was a 10% tax surcharge introduces but it was deemed too little too late.

Government and Foreign Policy

After the war the United States government saw durastic changes in their foreign policies and governmental policies. After the war the draft was changed back to an all volunteer army. Also the war powers Resolution was passed requiring the president to get congressional permission before sending troops into combat. The war also built mistrust between the U.S. and foreign nations.

The Draft

Family Roles

Family roles durasticaly changed during the Vietnam war. As all men above the age of 18 were drafted for the Army women had to take up the job of earning income at home as well as producing the goods needed to fuel the war. This is much like what happened in WWI where the men went off to war and women had to take up the jobs of the men in their wake. Many women volunteered for the army as nurses to take care of the wounded soldiers.

Re-integration back into Society

Integration back into society was very hard for veteranns of the Vietnam war. While the graphic above shows that only 15% had difficulty transitioning, that in out of the 2.7 million people who served. America was very divided on the Vietnam war where some people praised the veterans, others treated them like vermin. As a result of the war being very unpopular the American public tried to forget about the war and with it the veterans that served. America at the time lacked the technology and facilities to care for veterans that needed care and were left to their own devises.


While the outward purpose of fighting the Vietnam war was to prevent northern communist Vietnam from covering southern Vietnam to a communist country, the actual reason was for the American government to force an explosion in growth for the economy.

Race Equality

Race and equality was a big deal during the Vietnam war. this was when the civil rights movement was taking place in America for Black Americans to be able to have the same rights and opportunities and While Americans. In this time we saw figures like Martin Luther King, Malcolm S, and Rosa Parks speak out against how Black Americans were treated and fight for social change and equality for all. Their goal was achieved in 1964 with the passing of the civil rights act.



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