Culture of War-Vietnam BY Carson Oldemeyer P-7

Purpose

The Vietnam War began on November 1 in 1955. The war was 20 long, expensive years of continuous fighting in dense jungles in both South Vietnam and Cambodia. In the eyes of the United States government, the purpose of the Vietnam war was prevent a communist from North Vietnam from taking over South Vietnam. In the eyes of citizens, the purpose was to state a powerful message that says we are better, stronger, and smarter than the other countries. Nobody wanted to fight this war. We took a major defeat in this war.

Propaganda

Most of the U.S. propaganda during the Vietnam war was posters against the war. Nobody saw a benefit in fighting someone else war. Propaganda was essential to both sides in the Vietnam War and the end of conflict. Vietnam used the radio for most of their propaganda, and the U.S. used posters and television. Many US soldiers who fought in Vietnam will remember Hanoi Hannah, a communist radio correspondent who urged young American GIs to stop fighting and go home. She announced things like the names of American troops killed in fighting, and read clippings from U.S. newspapers about anti-war protests going on back home. The U.S. dropped billions of anti-communist poster around Vietnam to reduce communism during the war, but that wasn't effective at all. Political cartoons became popular throughout the course of the war also. It was a relatively new form of propaganda.

Media

By 1968, at the height of the war, there were about 600 accredited journalists of all nationalities in Vietnam, reporting for U.S. wire services, radio and television networks, and the major newspaper chains and news magazines. The Vietnam War was the first war to be broadcasted on television.

The Draft

During the Vietnam, young men would join the draft when they turned 18. They would be assigned a number, and if their number was called, they were now officially a soldier. This system worked just like a raffle drawing. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. drafted 2.2 million American men to war. The eligible pool had 27 million names in it. Men who got drafted that did not support the war fled to Canada if they did not choose to go to college. A lot of people saw the draft as a death sentence because there was no promise of return and it involuntary.

Music

The radio wasn't only used for communication during war. It was often used for music on the battlefield. Music played a big role in politics during the Vietnam War. Americas involvement in the war was slow at first with only 5,000 soldiers, but two years after the song "A Soldier's Letter Home" in 1963, the amount of voluntary soldiers almost doubled. Many songs during the Vietnam War era were about the draft and war. Music

Protests

Protesting started early in the war. People made posters, hung banners, and marched along the street mainly in college campuses. Protesting is an important part of the Vietnam War history because people didn't only protest the war. They protested the government because of a 10% tax increase to help fund the war. U.S. citizens were devastated when their family member got sent to war, and then all of a sudden taxes increase like crazy.

Gov/Foreign Policy

The United States became involved in Vietnam during the 1960s mostly because of America’s desire to assure that developing countries modernize as capitalist and democratic. American involvement began with both economic and social support in South Vietnam. Slowly, throughout the presidencies of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, the goal of modernizing South Vietnam and controlling communism became increasingly difficult by military means. Regardless of how much effort the United States fought towards Vietnam, American defeat was a given. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon all failed to realize that while U.S. time was limited in Vietnam, the North Vietnamese had all the time they needed to fight for the independence of their country. The South Vietnamese forces could not defend themselves and the United States had to withdraw.

Economy

The Vietnam War had several effects on our economy. The requirements of the war strained the nation's production capacities, leading to imbalances in industrial work. Factories that would have been producing consumer goods were being used to make military necessities, causing controversy over the government's handling of economic policy and government military spending caused several problems. The funds were going overseas, which contributed to an imbalance in the equal payments at work, since no corresponding funds were returning to the country. In addition, military , combined with social spending, created budget deficits which fueled inflation. Anti-war sentiments and dissatisfaction with government further eroded consumer confidence. Interest rates and taxes rose. Despite the success of Kennedy and Johnson's different policies, the Vietnam War was a important factor in bringing down the American economy from the growth in the early 1960s to the downfall of the 1970s economy.

Tactics

During the war, America dropped close to 7 million bombs on the Indochina jungles. Guerrilla warfare was different for us because we have never fought in these conditions. Tunnels were dug underground and hundreds of traps were made.

Homefront

Back home, protests were crazy. Most Americans wanted to bring back the troops from Vietnam. Women now outnumbered men in the work force, but when woman weren't working, they were doing all of the household chores and taking care of their children. War interviews and tragedies were shown on television back home, and music was being produced very fast. Political cartoons were also becoming very popular as they were used as propaganda.

Race Equality

The Vietnam War saw the highest proportion of blacks ever to serve in an American war. During the height of the U.S. involvement.

Values/Belifes

Protesting for soldiers to come home was the biggest part of the Vietnam war. Most Americans did not like the idea of fighting this war because it was "none of our business" (New York Times).

Family Roles

Men fought in the war while women worked tirelessly. Children went to school and some older kids got jobs.

Re-Integration to Society

Some veterans had emotional and physical injuries that the would now have for the rest of their life. The conflict in the Vietnam war impacted veterans in many ways. Soldiers lost friends and witnessed tragic events during war. It was hard to go back to simple life after the war because a lot of soldiers had PTSD.

Works Cited

http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/feature/african-americans-in-combat/

http://www.history.com

https://www.nytimes.com/subscriptions/Multiproduct/lp8RX3Y.html?campaignId=6Q7Y6&gclid=CIHsh6Hm1tMCFQKoaQodTqwFBw&dclid=CN32k6Hm1tMCFV2wTwod1ycApg

http://thevietnamwar.info/vietnam-war-protests/

http://digitalcommons.ric.edu/etd/94/

http://www.countriesquest.com/north_america/usa/history/foreign_policy_vietnam_war_and_watergate/the_impact_of_vietnam.htm

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