Vietnam War

Values/Beliefs (america)

The reason we went to war was because the United States wanted to show their military power to prevent other wars from occurring, (The Domino Theory). Before the war occurred the US needed to draft men, at first the draft was only 3,000 a month, but later turned into 33,000. This action caused mass protests, the men and families who had money draft dodged, leaving the poor families to be torn apart by an almost pointless war. Another common occurrence before the war was to burn your draft papers, which was done by Muhammad Ali, and many others. The American public was sold that this war would be a 1st world country demolishing a 3rd world with little casualties, which is the exact opposite of how it ended up. So midway during the war the Americans started more protests, the overall opinion on this war was that was unnecessary.

tactics

The Vietnamese used guerrilla warfare to surprise the Americans, this proved very successful for Vietnam because the US was way out of their comfort zone, working in 100% humidity and up to 105 degrees. Also they were located in a jungle which allowed the Vietnamese army to make hidden tunnels and traps without the US knowing. The US on the other hand used napalm strikes to counter act this, if they dropped incendiary bombs on the jungle, it would fill the underground tunnels with smoke and force them out into the flames.

Home front

Citizens in America were not supportive of the war, there were only a few large political figures who thought that the war was necessary for the US to prevent future wars, the people were so opposed to this during the war because they were doing the exact opposite, it was showing how stupid and out of their comfort zone the US military was in other countries. So people started to protest against the war to show their displeasure. Also during the war many families were in displeasure because they had to reverse the family roles, which means the women had to start working and the children either had to work or they had to take care of the house.

Music

The Vietnam war influenced the modern day music because of the time the war occurred. when the war was ongoing so was the rate of babies born in America, we were in the "baby boomer" era where there was a massive spike in child birth. These children were raised knowing that war was bad, so when the Vietnam war broke out they started protesting. And since these young adults were the new generation, they were also making the newest and most popular music.

PROPAGANDA

In the US the first example of propaganda would be Dwight Eisenhower's "Domino Effect" theory to justify the assistance of the south Vietnamese. The theory worked off of an idea that if we defeated the north Vietnamese we would be able to stop world wide communism, which at the time was a very big deal to American's in the 50s. Another example of propaganda during the war was the Passage of Freedom, this goes off the idea that the US and French forces moved as many people as possible into South Vietnam to encourage people to go with the draft.

PROTESTS

Protests were very common in America during the Vietnam war because of how hated this war was. Most Americans hated the idea of going into another war because they were raised thinking that war was horrible. So the new generation of kids that were 18-25 started creating protests against the war by marching in the streets, burning buildings, and writing music showing their opinion of the war.

MEDIA

During the War the media was a massive influence to the people's view on fighting against the Vietnamese. Most of the media was either spreading propaganda that is was needed, or saying that the war was unnecessary and was just ripping families apart. Most of the media sources at the time were large news papers and radio stations, but TVs were becoming very popular because the war was being broad casted live.

ECONOMICS

The Vietnam war affected the US economy in many ways. One being that the war slowed down our production rate of everything, which in turn caused a shortage of materials across the country. Large car manufacturers were too busy making military grade jeeps and tanks rather than cars for people to drive.

GOVERNMENT/FOREIGN POLICIES

The Vietnam War affected the United States in many ways. Including policy changes. The United States ended the military draft and switched to an all-volunteer army. Congress passed the War Powers Resolution over Nixon's veto in November 1973. The resolution limited the president's ability to send troops into combat without congressional consent. Its passage showed legislators' desire to restrain presidential power and to prevent U.S. involvement in a war like that in Vietnam. The Vietnam war changed the opinions of generations, making them more cautious about involving the country in foreign affairs.

THE DRAFT

During the Vietnam war, the draft was in full affect, taking away 33,000 men a month from their homes and families. This spurred protests across the US and started the trend of draft dodging by moving to Canada. After the Vietnam war the US government decided to make the military a volunteer program. Which has lasted all the way to today.

FAMILY ROLES

During the Vietnam war, family roles started to reverse, meaning the wives started to work in factories and doing what were considered "manly". Also during the war children started taking a lot more responsibilities such as taking care of the house or working part time jobs to help keep the house. For example, one of my grandpa worked at a gas station 10 miles away during the war to make money for the rest of the family at home.

Re-intergration Into society

The re-integration of Vietnam veterans back into society was horrible. Most veterans were treated with a high level of disrespect and disgust, even going as far as to have garbage thrown at them and being spit upon. Most veterans attempted to hide their service in the war and tried to live a normal life because of how ashamed they felt for serving. The reason why they were treated so badly was because the US citizens were very against the war after it was over, and the only way they could show that frustration was by bringing down former soldiers.

PURPOSE

The Vietnam war was held because the US was scared of a communist state moving to south Vietnam, our allies. They feared that if they didn't involve themselves in the war and wipe out north Vietnam that communism would spread. This is apart of the domino theory, meaning that if one country became communist, the influence would eventually spread to others and start an even larger war against the west. This ended up being a massive failure because the United States were way out of their comfort zone working in 100% humidity and constant rain and 100 degree weather. Also the US were not anticipating fighting in a jungle, so they didn't train their troops to look out for certain things like tunnels and traps. This caused over 58,220 american casualties.

RACE EQUALITY

Before and during the Vietnam war, African Americans struggled immensely to get treated like a white person did, with respect. In some way the Vietnam war helped with that because this was the first war where there weren't segregated units between the "whites and blacks". Although there will still some segregated units, this was by the unit's choice. There were obviously still some issues with race through out the war though, for example, "Draft boards themselves were, by their very nature, divisive and discriminatory: in 1967 no black Americans were present on the boards in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Jack Helms, a member of the Louisiana draft board, was a Grand Wizard in the Ku Klux Klan. He described the long established National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People black civil rights group, as “a communist-inspired, anti-Christ, sex-perverted group of tennis short beatniks.” After the war was over African Americans gained little respect amongst the community. http://www.americansc.org.uk/Online/Vietnam_Civil_Rights.htm

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Created with images by Elvert Barnes - "05.ConstitutionGardens.VVM.WDC.11nov06"

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