The Vietnam War had a great impact here in America. America was fearful that all of Asia would fall under complete communism. Truman and Eisenhower introduced the domino theory, which was the fear that communist Vietnam would open the door to a complete communist takeover of Southeast Asia (Keene, 785). America was willing to pay for the war, but wanted the French to do the actual fighting. By 1954, America was funding 80% of the war. When Kennedy became president, he sent more financial aid and increased the number of American “advisors” in South Vietnam. When Johnson became president, Americas involvement of the war became more intense.
When America became more involved in the war, many Vietnamese civilians suffered. America would use Agent Orange and harmful chemicals as a part of their combat tactics. This energized the US peace movement. Americans knew about the happenings of the war through television. Vietnam was the first war that Americans could watch from their living rooms. Many Americans wanted the war to end and for Washington to negotiate peace. Because of television, the American people had a voice. In 1968, Johnson became more focused on ending the war peacefully.
America was very much divided in the late 1960s, not only because of the Vietnam war but also because of cultural and class divisions, this hindered the antiwar movement. African Americans and the lower class did not want to march alongside the upper class whites, even though the opposed the war and believed that the war was destroying American democracy. African Americans believed that they were not being treated fairly when it came to the war, and they believed that there were more African American casualties than there were white.
There were many protests around America. In 1965, University of Michigan faculty and students organized a sit in to protest the war. In New York men gathered around to burn their draft card. There were people who supported the war and people who did not support the war. People who did not support the war were rumored to be communists. To me, this seems a little unfair to categorize them as communists. There were thousands of Americans who were dying over in Vietnam, and it was a very expensive war. I do not blame people for not supporting the war. The Vietnam had a big impact in America and shaped America into what it is today.