Culture of the Vietnam War By: Zac Fellers

Values and Beliefs

This was a very controversial war in America and there was public opinion that opposed the war because of cost and the blood that would be shed. Also, in the beginning Americans opposed if the war because Americans thought that the Vietnam War was going to determine the fate of the country and America should not interfere with that. In the months after the war started Americans supported the war because America was fighting to stop communism in South Vietnam. President Nixon signed a ceasefire in January 1973.

Tactics

Vietnam surprised the United states with guerrilla warfare by ambushing US patrols by setting booby traps, landmines, and planting bombs in towns. Also, the Vietcong would dress themselves up as citizens or farmers so it was hard for America to attack the enemy. America planned to use traditional tactics, but they were not used to the jungle terrain of Vietnam. Since this did not work the US used a method of attrition and this made peace groups mad and riots started in the United States because it targeted civilians also. Vietnam ultimately won the war because of guerrilla warfare.

HOME Front

People in America were very unsupportive of the Vietnam War. Citizens did not support the draft because they believed it was politically and morally wrong to be involved with Vietnam affairs. This caused riots, protesters, and tension between citizens themselves. American citizens believed the Vietnam War did not need to be fought. There was lack of support for the war and life was very different before the war.

Music

Music during the Vietnam War was all about anti-war. Songs during the Vietnam war had very deep meanings about the men that were fighting for our country Music was also a new way to protest back during the Vietnam War. All songs during this time had a very deep meaning and the music helped soldiers throughout the war. Music was very popular during this era.

Propaganda

The Domino theory was the first propaganda of the Vietnam War. This theory was that the importance of South Vietnam to prevent communism spread throughout the world. It was assumed that if South Vietnam fell to communism that Southeast Asia then New Zealand then Australia would fall to communism and be a threat to national security. This was proposed by President Eisenhower. Also, the Chieu Hoi program which encouraged defections from the Viet Cong to the side of the government called Chieu Hoi.

Protests

Anti-war movements began on college campuses because of the draft. This began in 1964 with the anti-war protests and grew larger and larger in the coming years. The United States became polarized between those who continued their involvement in the Vietnam War and those who wanted peace. Many students and mothers were in the peace movement. There were massive anti-war gatherings that helped bring attention to the public resentment of US involvement in the Vietnam War.

Media

The Vietnam War was the first televised war that people could see what was really happening in Vietnam. So families in America can just watch the war from their living room. Film was flown to Japan and quickly edited and then flown to the United States. The role of media is a big controversy in the Vietnam War. Some believe that media played a large role in America's defeat because the uncensored media provided valuable information for Vietnam. Many experts that studied the media believe the media was supportive to the United States.

Economics

The Vietnam War had several effects on Americas economy. The requirements of the Vietnam War strained the United States capacities for production that lead to the imbalance to industrial sector. Factories that were used to make consumer goods were being used for production for military items causing a controversy of the government's handling of economic policy. Also, there was a military spending problem during the war. Interest rates rose restricting the amount of capital available for businesses and consumers. Vietnam War was an important factor in bringing down America's economy.

Government/Foreign Policies

The final resolution of the of the war at the Paris Peace talks and the evacuation of American troops in 1973. A big thing after the Vietnam War is they toned downed the draft. They can not force you to join it is mostly volunteers. After this war people were scared to get into foreign affairs because of what happened in Vietnam.

The Draft

Men from the age of 18-25 have to register with the Selective Service System so they can be drafted if they need troops in the war. In the Vietnam War about two thirds of the American troops volunteered and the rest were selected through drafts. Most men that were drafted for the war were from poor working class families. Men that had mental or physical problems, were married, with children, and attending college could be granted deferments to avoid the war. Some people fled to Mexico and Canada to avoid the draft were referenced as "draft dodgers". There were also draft lotteries during the Vietnam War. As seen above in protests there were many protests about the draft during this war.

Family Roles

Family roles were very different than today. The men of the house over the age of 18 or 18 were expected to serve their role in the Vietnam War. Women in the family were expected to take care of the kids and do chores around the house. Children would also have to help around the house. Also, during this time women served as nurses during the war helping all of the wounded soldiers in Vietnam. There were so many deaths of young men and men in total during this war.

Re-Integration into Society

The Vietnam War impacted many soldiers in many different ways. Vietnam veterans carry emotional and physical injuries that impacted their daily lives from the horrors in the war seeing their friends lost in combat and the tremendous violence in Vietnam. Adjusting to life after their tours was very hard for these soldiers because they were used to the climate of war. A small percentage of veterans became drug addicts. Veterans who came back from Vietnam did not have a warm welcome because citizens saw the war as a disaster that did not need to happen. Some 15 to 25 percent of soldiers were affected by PTSD.

Purpose

The North Vietnamese government and Viet Cong were fighting to unify Vietnam. The United States did not see it this way. The United States government went to the war because they viewed their involvement in the war as a way to prevent communist takeover in South Vietnam. The United States wanted to stop the aim of communism. This was one of the most controversial wars in American history.

Race Equality

The Vietnam war was the highest portion of African Americans to serve in the war. African Americans made up 12.6 percent of the soldiers in Vietnam. The misuse of black soldiers brought charges of racism. Martin Luther King Jr said that African Americans faced a greater chance of seeing combat in the Vietnam War. African Americans played a huge role in the Vietnam War that changed the complexation of the United States armed forces.

Works Cited

http://www.ushistory.org/us/55.asp

http://www.pbs.org/battlefieldvietnam/guerrilla/

http://vietnamwar3.tripod.com/id2.html

https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/sixties/essays/protest-music-1960s

http://thevietnamwar.info/u-s-propaganda-vietnam-war/

http://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/vietnam-war-protests

https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Vietnam-War-and-the-media-2051426

http://www.historycentral.com/sixty/Economics/Vietnam.html

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

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

http://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/women-in-the-vietnam-war

http://www.americanforeignrelations.com/O-W/The-Vietnam-War-and-Its-Impact-American-veterans.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role_of_the_United_States_in_the_Vietnam_War

http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/s_z/stevens/africanamer.htm

Credits:

Created with images by jensjunge - "military cemetery war memorial memorial" • jimbowen0306 - "Florida's Vietnam War Memorial"

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