Values and Beliefs
The Vietnam War was nearly a 20 year long war that took in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It was mainly fought between North and South Vietnam, specifically North Vietnam against the South Vietnam government. The North was allied with the Soviet Union while South Vietnam allied with the U.S, South Korea, Australia as well as other anti-communist territories. The U.S believed their presence was needed in the war to prevent total communist dominance in Vietnam. The goal was to prevent communism from further spreading. Values and Beliefs also changed because people can actually see what's going on in War and it shocked people. For the first time people were seeing what war was really like through film and photos, and people weren't happy about it.
Guerrilla Warfare was commonly used throughout the Vietnam war, although unconventional, it was effective. Guerrilla Warfare involves the element of surprise in order to eliminate the opponent. Vietcong guerrilla fighters would silently approach unsuspecting U.S soldiers and attack them before they were captured themselves. This was mainly done using over 200 miles of underground tunnels because Vietnam troops would be able to move around undetected.
Protests and the Homefront
While the War was at it's high in Vietnam, back in America was starting its Anti-war movement. It started with college campuses around the country but it soon escalated and the liberal minority was starting to speak out. Many students as well as artists and intellectuals were embracing the protest while the rest of America continued to support the administration policy in Vietnam.
With each day there were more U.S casualties and it was beginning to cost the U.S about $25 billion per year. As more casualties were reported, commanders were demanding more troops. However at home in America people didn't believe the war was being fought the right way. Part of this was because for the first time people at home could actually see what was going on at war, thus the reason the Vietnam war was also known as the Living Room War.
Music during the mid 50s to mid 70s consisted of a lot of protest music. The music showed emotions like anger and concern through the lyrics and the rhythms. As the anti-war movement continued to grow stronger anti-war music became more popular on the charts. Rock & Roll did well in this time period. Born in the 50s Rock & Roll was especially anti-war. It contained cultural as well as political statements that otherwise would not have been made.
America knew they would be entering the Vietnam war, it was no surprise President Johnson sent over combat troops. There was propaganda throughout 1954 in hopes to justify assisting South Vietnam in the War. However when the war did start a lot of the propaganda began to focus on ending the war and to stop fighting rather than continue.
In the beginning of the war the press had little interest in the war. It wasn't the biggest story out there like the rise of communism. However around 1960 the press did start to take an interest and they began sending reporters and photographers to Vietnam to document the events. The war and the realization that came with it came alive as the war entered living rooms across the nation. It usually held bad news and the media quickly started to change the public's views on the War.
Government/ Foreign Policy
This war caused the public to have a lot of mistrust in the government. People began to question the credibility of government officials. American citizens became suspicious, skeptical and cynical about the government. The Vietnam War affected foreign policy because from the views of other countries, America entered a war in which they were not invited.
The draft is what helped to provide the troops the commanders demanded the more casualties that were caused. However only 25% of those in combat zones were from the draft however many young men were corrupted. The draft was seemed as a death sentence and most of the troops didn't support the war. Draft dodgers were young men who would fake their age to prevent entering the draft. Some men even escaped to Canada. Those who were anti war said he draft was immoral and only intensified the anti-war protests.
The Vietnam War affected family life in many ways. Children would get used to parents specifically the father being away in war while the mother would work. However many women also volunteered in the war mainly as nurses ranging in all ages.
Re-integration into Society
The troops of the Vietnam War have seen so much, they've seen violence in it's most raw form, they have seen a friend lose their life. Going from the horrors of War back into reality was no easy task but they did it anyways. Not only did some soldiers face physical scars but many experienced emotional scars as well which may cause PTSD in the years after there return.
The purpose of the Vietnam War started with the conflict between North and South Vietnam. The purpose of the U.S entering the war was to aid South Vietnam in hopes of preventing the spread of communism. The Vietnam war left it's bloody mark on American history and the lives lost and the damage done is something that will never be made up for.
For the first time in American history we saw the highest number of African Americans serving in an American War. Over 12.6% of the soldiers in Vietnam were African Americans. This began to change the mind of many people back in America who believed African Americans were not fit for combat however African Americans had a better chance at being on the front line. In 1965 25% of casualties were African Americans.