The Effects of the Vietnam War on Australia

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The Effect of the Vietnam War on Australia
The controversial Vietnam War had a huge impact on Australian society in the 1960's/1970's. Australia’s involvement in the key international Cold War conflict of the Vietnam War created instability and a significant shift in the nation’s military, social, political and economic status. Vietnam was known as a 'TV War'. A great deal of shocking and violent footage of the war was broadcasted right into people's homes. This caused a lot of social involvement and drama throughout Australia. People spoke and even protested their own opinions on what they believed were going on, although this was a very biased view of the war.

The Australian government was criticized for being selective in what it showed to the public. They altered it to suit their own opinions. One lie that the media pushed was that the war was helping the Vietnamese people, and also that the government was determined to disprove that it was blindly supporting and following the USA into an unnecessary war. This can be seen in this propaganda caricature of the President of America portrayed as a large eagle, dropping bombs and behind him a smaller bird representing Sir Robert Menzies. This represents America leading the war. Sir Robert Menzies behind him represents the alliance that Australia has with America; the bird being smaller represents the smaller influence and effect on the Vietnam War in comparison with America’s influence and effect on the war.

Because of these viewpoints and news coverage, Australian society itself seemed to split in who to believe and what was right. This resulted in protesting and social instability.
Conscription forced young men to fight away from their home country. Many people saw this as unfair and wrong. One of the main problems with the war was the issue of conscription.
In none of Australia's previous wars had any man been conscripted to fight outside of Australian territory. The Vietnam War was different; at...
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