The Vietnam conflict began long before the U. Indochina, which includes Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, was under French colonial rule. The Vietnam communist-nationalist, also known as the Vietminh, fought for their freedom from the French. The French were being slaughtered, and were doing little to keep the communist North Vietnamese out of South Vietnam. At the Geneva Conference in , the major powers tried to come to an agreement on Indochina.
There would be a temporary division on the 17th parallel in Vietnam. There was to be an election held in two years to set up the permanent government. After the conference, the U. The National Liberation Front, also known as Vietcong, was a guerilla group who supported the communist North Vietnamese and opposed to the Diem rule. At first the United States attention was diverted from Vietnam to other foreign affairs, but with the threat of communist taking over all of Indochina, the U.
This would hopefully help stop the communist North Vietnamese from taking over. Despite American financial aid, South Vietnam was still being defeated and needed serious intervention from the U. With the Cold War, the United States had vowed to keep communism from spreading. President Truman stated that any nation challenged by Communism would receive aid from the United States.
The Truman Doctrine, initially for Europe and the Middle East, was adopted by the future presidents and applied to the Vietnam conflict. They feared that if one of the Southeast Asian nations fell to communism, that all the others would eventually follow.
This was known as the domino theory. Kennedy took office in , Vietnam was not a major issue. There were more pressing situations to be taken care of, such as the Cold War. The Vietnam conflict became more of an issue when civil war broke out in Laos. Vice President Johnson was sent to Vietnam, and when he returned he greatly urged President Kennedy to become more involved in the conflict.
Kennedy decided to send military advisors and special forces Green Berets to work with and train the ARVN troops instead of sending combat troops. Aerial spraying of herbicides like Agent Orange were used to try and deprive the Vietcong of their food and their jungle cover.
The leader of Vietnam at the time was Ngo Dinh Diem. He was a Catholic, which caused much dispute because the majority of Vietnam was Buddhist.
He was blamed for the worsening situation in Vietnam. On November 22, President John F. Kennedy was riding through the streets of Dallas, Texas, when he was killed by an assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. After the death of the president, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was appointed president of the United States. Johnson felt that the U. Johnson decided to escalate the war. He ordered bombing of different North Vietnam targets.
The operation would consist of bombing of North Vietnam, more air power, and increase the number of ground troops. In June , U. This would shift the U. Johnson tried for peace talks, but nothing was agreed upon. In January of , the Vietcong and North Vietnam prepared for a major attack. Every important city in South Vietnam was attacked, including the capital Saigon. The fighting lasted for about a month. America was able to witness much of this footage on the news. The outcome was a major military victory for South Vietnam, but it was a great political victory for North Vietnam.
It proved that the war was nowhere close to being over, and proved how determined the Vietcong was. It also demonstrated how costly the war would be. When the Pentagon announced the number of U.
President Johnson knew his popularity was lost and decided not to run for reelection. On January 20, Richard Nixon was inaugurated. A few months later he announced the removal of 25, United States troops by August of and another 65, to be sent home by the end of the year. This would allow American troops to gradually come home. Vietnamization would also set up a self sufficient South Vietnam government. The Communist soon agreed on a peace plan, but it fell through when they claimed the U.
The same year Nixon ordered secret bombing of Cambodia to try and wipe out the Vietcong and North Vietnam base camps. On April 30, , President Nixon informed the American people that troops would be sent to Cambodia. This outraged people even more. Nixon had promised peace, but was now bringing on more war. Many more young students became worried that they would be drafted.
On May 1, Kent State University became grounds for anti-war rallies. About fifteen thousand dollars worth of damage was inflicted on downtown Kent. The Governor decided to call in the National Guard. On May 4 rallies started again on campus, and the National Guard used tear gas as a means to try and disperse the crowd. The crowd had become very rowdy and all of a sudden shots were fired. No one is certain as to why the shooting started, but 4 people were shot dead, and 9 were wounded.
Two of those that died were innocent students switching classes. This tragic news caused much uproar across the nation. A great deal of respect for authority was lost by many citizens. The tragedy made many people realize that protest can go too far, and law enforcement can also go too far in trying to maintain the law. In , Congress repealed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution as to limit the power of the president with the war.
In January , a cease-fire was negotiated. May of , two years after Nixon pulled out of the war, South Vietnam surrendered. Vietnam was reunified under a communist Vietnam regime.
By the end of the war the United States suffered 57, casualties and , soldiers were wounded. For one thing the North Vietnam and Vietcong armies were much stronger than anyone anticipated. Their guerilla warfare tactics was something the U.
The fact that there were no clear combat zones also made fighting confusing. The Vietcong also would dress as peasants to trick the soldiers before they would attack. This made it hard for soldiers to distinguish between the enemy and friendly civilians.
The Vietcong was also fighting for a cause they were willing to fight to the death for. They had heroic determination and fighting spirit. There was no direct threat to their own country and there was no support from the general population. The soldiers were also angered by the government lies they had to witness.
Those who returned from war joined the forefront of the antiwar movements. They began wearing peace symbols and other signs of their digression. Fragging was when soldiers would attack their officers, usually by tossing fragments of grenades into the officers sleeping quarters. Some soldiers also openly refused their orders.
The military also experienced financial corruption, theft, murder, and suicide. All these factors seriously hurt the U. At first many people volunteered to fight. When the draft came into affect many questioned its fairness. Until local boards had selected those for the draft, and most of those selected were usually minorities and poor working class youths. In , 20, men per month were drafted, by , 40, were drafted per month, and served months.
Some people tried to avoid the draft. People moved to Canada, burned draft cards, and went to college. Others served prison sentences, like Muhammad Ali, or avoided the war on moral grounds and instead served a set term of community service.
The working-class communities were also another area where resistance was strong because these were the people usually drafted. People began to see the body bags return home and video clippings from the fighting. These factors greatly worried the American people. The country had already been under French rule since the late s, and the Japanese presence caused a man named Ho Chi Minh, inspired by communism of China and the Soviet Union, to form the Viet Minh, or the League for the Independence of Vietnam.
They were successful in forcing Japan to withdraw its forces in With only the French to worry about, the Viet Minh quickly rose up, gained control of the northern city of Hanoi, and declared Ho as the president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam Vietnam War Facts. This meant France had to take the lead in Vietnam.
France sought to regain control in when they set up the state of Vietnam, also known as South Vietnam, and declared Saigon to be its capital. The two groups, the French and the Viet Minh, struggled for power until , when a battle at Dien Bien Phu ended in defeat for France.
This led to the Geneva Agreements , made a few months later, which granted independence to Cambodia and Laos, who had also been under French rule. In July of , North Vietnam called for a socialist revolution in all of Vietnam as a whole. As the battles became more ferocious, President Kennedy watched from the United States and sent a team to report on the conditions of South Vietnam.
In , it was suggested that the president sent American troops to produce economic and technical aid in the fight against the Viet Cong. After the assassination of President Kennedy, it was decided by both his successor, Lyndon B. Both the American military and the North Vietnamese forces came to the same conclusion; a steady escalation of the war would ensure victory.
By June of , eighty-two thousand United States troops were stationed in Vietnam. One month later, one hundred thousand more were dispatched, followed by another one hundred thousand in Vietnam War History.
By the end of , there were almost five hundred thousand American military members stationed in Vietnam, and the death toll had surpassed fifteen thousand. Soon, the physical and psychological deterioration of American soldiers became apparent. Maintaining military discipline was difficult. Drug use, mutiny, and cases of soldiers attacking officers became regular occurrences for United States troops.
On the last day of January in , North Vietnam launched a series of merciless attacks on more than one hundred South Vietnamese cities. Despite the surprise, the United States and South Vietnam forces were able to strike back, making the communist fighters unable to maintain their hold on any of their targets. Attempting to limit American casualties, Nixon launched a program to withdraw troops, increase artillery and aerial attacks, and give control over ground operations to South Vietnam Vietnam War History.
In the years that followed, carnage and bloodshed were abundant. By the end of that year, North Vietnam was finally ready to compromise; however, they rejected the original peace agreement, causing Nixon to authorize bombings of North Vietnamese cities Vietnam War History. By the end of the war, the number of Americans killed reached over fifty-eight thousand, while the number of slaughtered Vietnamese numbered over two and a half million Vietnam War History.
From this point forward, the Vietnam War would be known as America's bloodiest war since the Civil War more than a hundred years' earlier. Military leaders once thought Germany's military policies during WWII were the most deceitful until the Viet Cong started employing their tactics. One of the most prominent types of warfare during the Vietnam War was guerilla warfare. This tactic consists of stealthy, surprise attacks aimed to eliminate opponents Guerilla Warfare and Attrition Warfare.
Widely used by the Viet Cong, this enabled them to sneak up on unwary enemies, kill them, and escape before causing alarm. In addition, Viet Cong fighters often disguised themselves as farmers or civilians before attacking when least expected. This led to the accidental killing thousands of innocent Vietnamese citizens. By , the Viet Cong had gained access to machine guns, which they mainly used to shoot American helicopters down from the sky.
They would also utilize American land mines, which they sometimes found undetonated and would steal for their own use Battlefield: In a single year, enemy forces obtained almost twenty thousand tons of explosives from dud American bombs. The official position of the United States government on their involvement in the Vietnam War was that they were there at the request of South Vietnam to repel communist forces that were growing during the Cold War Reaction to the War In the United States.
Nov 20, · There were several players in the Vietnam War: South Vietnam, North Vietnam, the USA, South Korea, People’s Republic of China, Russia. The major consequences of the war The Vietnam War had an enormous impact on the life of Americans, including various spheres of public and private life.3/5(19).
The Vietnam War greatly changed America forever. It was the longest war fought in America’s history, lasting from to The Vietnam War tarnished America’s self image by becoming the first time in history the United States failed to accomplish its stated war aims, to preserve a separate, independent, noncommunist government.
The Vietnam War was a domesticated civil war between the communist, North Vietnam, and the democratic, South Vietnam. The North was supported by the Chinese communist, and the leader Ho Chi Minh. The Vietnam War introduced the United States to the Vietcong and Guerrilla warfare. Vietnam War Essay The Vietnam War spanned from to and had the name, the Second Indochina War, prior to the United States involvement. The initial cause for the war was a battle between communist North Vietnam and its southern allies, the Viet Cong, against South Vietnam and its allies, the key ally being the United States.
The Vietnam War was the first war that was broadly documented and reported on by the media. Almost every day, news about Vietnam was broadcasted on American television. At first the general opinion was positive, but as the war escalated and more American soldiers died, the opinion shifted. Read this American History Essay and over 88, other research documents. Vietnam War. France occupied all of Vietnam by Independence was declared after World War II, but the French continued to rule /5(1).