Vietnam War By evelyn hunter

Values and Beliefs

  • 18 year old kids were finally aloud to vote. The cliche of "why can they go to war but you can't vote?" finally changed the law and gave them the right.
  • An all volunteer army was made rather than a military draft after the conflicts with it.
  • It was the first televised war in history, people were able to watch it from a couch in their living rooms, and they had to see pictures of the horrifying things going on across the world. It brought a new understanding for the war.

American Tactics

  • Harassing the southern part of the state, which would affect the whole state as the north wouldn't have the help from the south.
  • Fought using ambushes and traps that were built up around the towns and refused to fight head on unless victory was certain.
  • Eventually they disregarded the civilians and would bomb whole towns.
  • One of the worst weapons was called the napalm b- an incendiary device that would burn anything it came into contact with after being lit. It was mainly used as a weapon against enemy's, but it ended up hurting civilians too.

Home Front

  • People were not happy about the war, they didn't think it was necessary after the 2nd world war had just ended.
  • Protests started small among peace activists, but began to gain national prominence when the US started to bomb north Vietnam.
  • People believed the draft was unfair and unnecessary, and it was unnecessary, especially with 400000 people being drafted each month.


  • Peoples empathy, anger and other emotions were put into lyrics poetry and popular music.
  • Mainly anti war songs rather than pro war songs. In wars past pro songs were popular, but no one was really happy about it this time.
  • "Ballad of the Green Berets”was a very popular song along with “Okie from Muskogee”


  • Domino theory was seen as the first propaganda in the war. It promoted joining the war saying that it would stop communism from spreading over the world.
  • Posters with sayings on them encouraging people to join the war


  • Anti war marches were started by students for a democratic society and it attracted a widening base of support.
  • There were peace activists who didn't believe the war was necessary and thought that the draft was unfair
  • Anti war movement began with mostly college students on campuses along with artists and members of the hippie movement- young people who rejected authority and supported drug culture.
  • Many young men fled to Canada to avoid being drafted during the lottery draft.


  • This war was the first to be televised in history and it was the most important source of news for people during this time.
  • The media was now able to show uncensored photos and videos from the war with the advancement in photo and video recording products. This changed the public opinion of the war drastically.
  • At the beginning, most reporters were uninterested in the war, and very few reports were made. But their views on the Vietnam war were changing by 1960 when many civilians were killed.
  • Over one year, as the war became more intense between 1964/1965, the number of reporters in Vietnam multiplied by more than ten.


  • An imbalance of industrial sectors was created because of the war- what would've been a factory producing consumer goods was needing to produce war materials.
  • The war costed billions of dollars putting the government into more debt.
  • Interest rates rose which reduced capital availability for businesses/consumers.

Government/Foreign Policy

  • Many policy changes, such as ending the military draft and having a volunteer based military.
  • Congress passed the war powers resolution which limited the presidents ability to send troops to combat without congressional consent. It showed that legislators wanted to limit the presidential power and prevent involvement in wars like Vietnam.
  • Changed the attitudes of the generation. People weighed the risks of getting involved with foreign countries problems. The Vietnam war was humiliating for the nation.
  • Caused an increase in not trusting the government and its officials. People no longer believed them to be credible.

The Draft

  • 2/3 of the military were volunteers, but the other 1/3 were drafted.
  • All communities had a draft board which was made up of community members. Whenever someones name was called to join the draft, he would go there to be evaluated. Based on the evaluation, the draft board decided who would be drafted and who wouldn't.
  • Most people that were drafted came from poor or working class families. It seemed unfair that almost none of the draftees came from upper class families

Family Roles

  • Families were fighting to end the draft back at home
  • They were left wondering when they'd see a loved one again and why they had to be seperated
  • It left children feeling abandoned and wives feeling lonely


  • Many came home bearing emotional and physical damage
  • There welcome home was not very great, most Americans saw the Vietnam war as a disaster. Only prisoners of war were respected post war.
  • For some, transferring into a peaceful environment was difficult, and because of the fact that they didn't have any help transferring into that, they went for the comfort of drugs and became addicts.
  • Many reintegrated very well, getting married, finding jobs, many became successful business men. But even they have some scarring memories that will never be erased.
  • 15-15% of veterans suffered from PTSD


  • Trying to prevent communist takeover in south Vietnam, the United states supported south Vietnam rather than north
  • The US knew saw communism as a disease and if it took hold of
  • Most Americans thought that the war had no purpose and didn't understand why we were participationg

Race Equality

  • The Vietnam war had the highest number of African Americans serving in american war history.
  • In 1948, the president decided to desegrigate during combat
  • African Americans represented almost 25% of the deaths in combat


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