Impact of Conflict in Indochina on Citizens

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Assess the impact of the conflict in Indochina for the citizens of Vietnam and Cambodia

The conflict in Indochina had both short term and long term social, cultural, environmental, economic and human impacts on the citizens of both Vietnam and Cambodia. Civilians in both countries were affected by political oppression due to American intervention which had, and continues to have, a detrimental effect of all aspects of society in Vietnam and Cambodia.

The conflict in Indochina had a detrimental immediate and lasting social impact on the citizens of Vietnam and Cambodia. The arrival and direct involvement of US soldiers following the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 led to the rapid westernisation of Vietnamese society. Western material and commercial values gained supremacy with the introduction of American goods such as cars, music and fashion. The influx of western wealth also aided the growth of corruption, prostitution and the drug trade and ultimately led to the decline of traditional village life and a shift from the agrarian society due to migration to the urbanised cities. Similarly, the conflict in Indochina had a negative impact on civilians in Cambodia not only due to the effects of American intervention on Cambodian society, but most importantly the disastrous impact of Khmer Rouge rule which attempted to rebuild Cambodia as a pre-revolutionary society.

The Americanisation of Vietnamese cities and the breakdown of traditional village structures as a result of American intervention in the conflict in Indochina had an extremely negative effect on citizens in both North and South Vietnam. The pervasive US presence during this period threatened the survival of traditional Vietnamese culture due to the introduction of Western culture and consumer goods. The Strategic Hamlet Program was introduced to peasant villages in 1962 in an attempt to quell the influence of the National Liberation Front (NLF) on the peasants, however this strategy failed as...
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