Vietnam War


Vietnam was a small Asian country, 9000 miles away from the United States. Yet America felt that its national interest was threatened strongly enough to fight a war there. The explanation for this lies in the fear caused by the spread of communism at that time. The role of communism was extremely important in this conflict. You see, the US had to enter the war to stop the spread of communism in Asia since North Vietnam was communist. If North Vietnam was to succeed in converting Vietnam into a communist country , it could become very powerful and go on to persuade other countries to become communist. The US believed that Vietnam could become powerful, and it was willing to go through anything to stop that, including sending millions of US troops to Vietnam and watching them die live on TV, and this greatly effected the American culture and society.

The Vietnam war. It changed the lives of many people, and in many unfortunate cases eliminated those of others. "By the end of 1965, 184,314 troops were in Vietnam" (Internet), sacrificing their future, their lives. "Within a year, the number had grown to 385,000"(Internet). For those back in America, the hardship was felt as their sons died overseas. imagine waking up one morning and turning the local news of and seeing your son's face on the TV screen as one of the few hundred who died just last night. It was horrifying . All this effected American society greatly. Moms were losing sons, sisters were losing brothers, and children were losing dads. The Vietnam war had a harsh outcome. "More than 47,000Americans were killed in action,11,000 died of other causes, and 303,000 were wounded"(Internet). As more and more Americans continued to leave for Southeast Asia, the American people responded with disillusionment and it caused the American society to lose faith in the government ,as a series of powerful protests took place across the nation.

Opposition to the Vietnam war in the United States developed immediately after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Early protests were organized around questions about the morality of Us Military involvement in Vietnam. As each key event of the war occurred, the antiwar sentiment steadily rose. "Students and professors began to organize "teach-ins" on the war in early 1965 at the university of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, and the University of California at Berkeley"(Encarta). eventually, virtually no college or university was without an organized student movement. During this time, the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was formed. At its 1964 national convention, the SDS members voted to protest the war by organizing a march on Washington for the following April. No one expected more than a few thousand marchers. "In April1965, 20,000 people participated in the march"(Encarta). This really showed how the war had effected America society, causing protests, marches, and much more to come.

When Johnston sent in the first combat troops, and ordered the bombing of North Vietnam in 1965, the antiwar movement in the US erupted. "Many Americans felt cheated and betrayed by Johnson because they had considered him as a peace candidate in 1964"(American Odyssey). SDS now led a long mission. A mission into ending the war in Vietnam. The Washington,20,000 person march, was the first of greater, more militant protests. that took place. That spring, the SDS also organized "teach-ins" in major universities, where thousands of students and teachers got together and sang, talked, and debated on the war. Opposition to the war also caused students to resist the draft. They refused to be selected for military services because they thought the war was wrong. Too many 19 year old boys were dying. Too many. College students received deferments, or postponement of military services , because of their occupation. "So this drafting fell unfairly on the poor and working-class, and minorities. In fact, poor and working - class men were twice as likely to be drafted, and if drafted, twice as likely to fight as men from the middle class."(American Odyssey). As a number of men being drafted rose form 5,000 per month in 1965 to 50,000 per month in 1967, more and more draft resistance groups formed and by fall of 1966, more than 3 dozen groups had begun in college campuses across the nation. People had started to stand up for something that was wrong, and they weren't about