Culture of The Vietnam War How did the Culture of War affect American life?

Values/Beliefs during the war

Many American's were opposed to the War. This was highly due to the Draft. The Draft occurred when the United States Military needed more soldiers. So, at the age of 18, by law, men would have to formally declare for The Draft which would pick and choose 18 year old men at random to come serve for the Military. Also, many people didn't like the concept of war. They didn't want bloodshed and wanted peaceful protests to be practiced instead of violence.

Medic attends to a wounded United States soldier
Flower placed within the names of those who lost their lives in fight for our country

Tactics During the war

Tactics during The Vietnam War was based around the concept of Guerrilla Warfare. Troops would sit and ambush each other, use raids, booby traps, sabotage, and hit-run tactics. All of these different tactics were used by many different armies.

Photo of a gorilla. Not a guerrilla.

Homefront During the war

While all the men had left for war, protests began to flare because American's were not in support of the war. Many women had to start to go to work now and work the jobs that men used to obtain. This created lots of tension because most American citizens did not support the war, and they were losing one source of their families income. Due to the men leaving, and the source of income also leaving, women had to provide for the family and make money.

Picture of the front of a home.

Music during the war

In past wars and hardships within American history, the songs were in support of wars and were positive to help bring American's together. In Vietnam, those past traditions were no longer used by Americans. During The Vietnam War, many songs were created that were anti-war rather than pro-war. This made the American public fight against the war and made the American public not in support of the war unlike previous times.

Vintage Guitar
Man standing with vintage piano

Propaganda during the war

During The Vietnam War, the Domino Theory was the first use of propaganda used by the United States Government towards the American public. The Domino Theory was a propaganda experiment that the Government told the American people. It stated that if we don't place troops in South Vietnam, then Vietnam could fall to communism, which would in turn lead to Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the rest of the world until it was time to attack the United States and spread communism into the United States. This "Domino Theory" is better understood by the term "Slippery Slope." One small tiny thing could have a reaction that leads to a huge problem.

Type of Propaganda. (just and example of what propaganda looks like)

Protests during the war

There were many protests during The Vietnam War. Many Americans protested the war because of the draft. They didn't want to have their loved ones (18 year old and older men) be drafted to go fight in the war. When people started getting drafted for the war, many Americans started protesting. Imagine losing your loved ones and having the thought in the back of you head that they may never come back. All because of a war that you never supported. That thought would haunt many for the rest of their lives, so they protested in a anti-war demeanor.

Media During the war

Media during The Vietnam War is said to have contributed to the negative opinions about the war. The media had a negative reporting style which led the American public to not support the war even more than they already did. The media also televised the war and families would sit down and watch the war while at dinner, which is very strange to think about nowadays.

Vintage Camera
Vintage Camera

Economics during the war

The Economy took hits during The Vietnam War and the requirements of the war strained production capacities of corporations. With men being gone, production quotas were already hard to meet, but now corporations and factories were told to stop producing and making their own products and to start producing products for the war. Also, how much the government was spending on the war caused major problems within the economy. The War caused the economy to fall.

Government/foreign policy during the war

The government spent so much money on the war that it sent the economy into an economic downswing. The government also used many "scare tactics" and "excuses" to tell the American public that made it sound like the war was a good thing for America to submerge themselves in. The United States supported the South Vietnamese, and we were focused on supporting them and providing social support.

The draft during the war

The Draft during the Vietnam War was when the government made most every 18 year old male and up, by law, enter their name to be selected at random to come serve for the United States Military. The Draft was against public opinion because many families didn't want their loved ones, or young 18 year old men going off and fighting in the war. They didn't want this because there was always a chance that those 18 year olds may never come back. The Draft was the reason the American public was not in support for the war in the first place.

Family Roles during the war

Family Roles were shifted dramatically during the war. Since all the men had left for the war, it was the women's job to cook, clean, and provide for the family. The women had to step up big time during this time period so the family would survive and not die due to starvation. Women wore the pants in the family over this time period.

Mom coming home from work with the "bread" aka "breadwinner"
Mom cooking some food

Re-integration into society

The re-integration of men into society was difficult. All the men wanted their jobs back, but the women had already been working them and had already become good at those jobs, and they didn't want to give them back. This caused lots of feuds because the men had just went to war to protect the freedoms, and they come back to a stolen job. Many men were out of work when they arrived back from the war.

Action shot of soldier hopping out of a helicopter

Purpose during the war

The purpose for the United States to get involved in the war was to keep allies and to give support for the South Vietnamese and South Korean's. Also, The United States was worried that the Communist struck North Vietnamese and North Korea would begin taking over different Countries and spreading Communism to each of those Countries. Eventually, The United States feared an invasion of Communism into our society. The purpose for the war was to stop Communism from spreading.

Soldier march through the marshes

Race equality during the war

The United States involvement in Vietnam coincided with The Civil Rights Movement. While African-American's were just started to gain their freedoms and rights, the Vietnam war was starting to begin. Not only were African-American's discriminated against in society, they were also discriminated against in the military. But, the strong civil rights movement that had begun was too much to keep the military segregated. The Vietnam War was the first race integrated conflict. That means that the Vietnam War was the first time Black and White's had fought for something together.


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