The Vietnam War had a huge impact on America. It caused conflict within the United States that divided the people. It all started when President Johnson sent troops to fight in Southeast Asia, that was how we became active in the Vietnam War. The reason President Johnson deployed troops to this area was because of how much communism was growing in Asia and we feared that all of Asia could fall to communism. President Johnson’s decision led to many Americans protesting against the war.
This war also affected the U.S. economy in a really negative way. The U.S. put over $100 billion into this war and had increased spending in other areas too. The problem was that taxes weren’t being raised and therefore inflation increased very drastically, very quickly. Along with an increase of inflation, our high spending also caused trade between the U.S. and other countries to become unbalanced and unfair. Trade becoming unfair for us just shows that we were spending too much money on a war we shouldn’t’ have been apart of.
A heavily debated controversy that was bought to the spotlight during this war was the draft. It became very much talked about because of how unfair and biased it was toward lower class people. This draft being biased only made the antiwar movement even stronger and it also caused more people to resist getting drafted into the war. Once President Nixon took over in office he had plans to stop the draft. He thought that once the younger aged people knew they weren’t going to have to go to war that they would slowly stop being apart of the antiwar movement. He was successful in removing the draft in 1973.
This war also affected some America’s policies. One policy that Congresses changed as a result of the war was the Wars Power Act. The Wars Power Act took away the presidents ability to deploy American Troops for more than 90 days without consent from congress. Another policy change the war created was the age to vote (26th amendment). The age to vote was lowered to 18 years old due in part that the government was forcing young men 18 and older to enter the draft and rick their lives. They couldn’t tell these young men or their families that they had to risk being killed but couldn’t vote.
The media affected America for the worst during this war. Seeing images of this gruesome war caused many men to refuse to go to war. It also showed an ugly side of America. The media showed how heartless and cruel that America could be. Through images and stories we know that American troops killed, raped, and tortured many many innocent civilians in Asia. Racial issues also come into affect here. When you have soldiers attack and torture a group of innocent civilians caught in the middle of a war, you begin to wonder what was going through their minds. It almost seems as if they saw these people as enemies just based on their appearance. They saw these people as enemies and felt as if there were no laws preventing them from their actions. As a result they did cowardly and inhuman things to innocent people.
Overall the Vietnam war caused a huge impact on America. We saw our country spend 100’s of billions or dollars on a war we had no reason to be in, we saw the draft be removed which stopped forcing young men to risk their lives for something they didn’t believe in, and we saw policies implemented ti benefit the American people.