The events that started the Vietnam War began after WW2. After Japan’s defeat in WW2 it withdrew its troops from Vietnam. Once Japan’s troops left, Emperor Bao Dai stayed in control but shortly after Ho chi Minh saw an opportunity to take control and created a military force. Ho Chi Minh forces took over the city of Hanoi (Located in the north) and declared it as a Democratic Republic of Vietnam. At the same time France was trying to regain control of Vietnam and backed Emperor Bao by setting up a new state of Vietnam (South Vietnam) in July 1949.
On March 8, 1965 American troops had official stepped foot into Vietnam in a city called Da Nang (northern coast of South Vietnam). The people of Vietnam greeted American Marines by placing leis (necklace made of flowers) around their necks after an official ceremony. In the coming years American troops had less warm welcomes after the U.S. Air Force began a major bombing campaign against the North Vietnam called rolling thunder. The main goal of the U.S. government in Vietnam was to prevent the communist takeover of South Vietnam and also to prevent what they called the domino theory which prevented the spreading of communism.
The war had created a divided America. Many American opposed the Vietnam War. Many peace activist wanted to end the war in Vietnam but each group had different arguments of why it should be done. Some say the war was unwinnable while another group said some war tactics were being more hurtful than Vietnam under Communist control.
During this time one of the biggest factors that played in America’s view on the war was the media. Before wars were not photographed often. At the time many Americans received their news from the television. With new technology such as audio and better video cameras journalist were able to publish pictures and videos that were uncensored which showed the brutality of war. With these new ways techniques of reporting it had influenced many Americans opinions about the war.
The war in Vietnam changed America in few was. The war showed for the first time what war is really like and how brutal it was. The war also created many peace activist and groups to come together and protest the war, which was never done before. The war also brought some new policies such as the right to vote at the age of 18, the thought was since they can fight they can vote. The draft had also became very controversial during the war so President Nixon signed a new law which ended the draft and created the Selective services.
Rohn, A. (2016, May 05). How did the Vietnam War affect America? https://thevietnamwar.info/how-vietnam-war-affect-america/
Cornell, Saul T., Keene, Jennifer D., O’donnell, Edward T. Visions of America: A History of the United States. (2017). Pearson Education, Inc.