Research Paper: Vietnam War
Professor: Thomas Wilson
May 12, 2012
The Vietnam War greatly changed America forever. It was the longest war fought in America’s history, lasting from 1955 to 1973. The Vietnam War tarnished America’s self- image by becoming the first time in history the United States failed to accomplish its stated war aims, to preserve a separate, independent, noncommunist government. The war also had great effects on the American people. It was the first war ever broadcast on television. The public was able to see what happened on the battlefield. One of the chief effects of the war was the division it caused among the people. This war would have lasting affects on the United States. During the short span of the Vietnamese war, 2.5 million people died, and millions more displaced. More bombs were dropped than all of World War II, and over one quarter of Vietnam's forests were killed by Agent Orange. No war has divided the American public like the Vietnam War. In the beginning, the United States joined the war in Vietnam to stop the spread of Communism. The government believed that if Vietnam was able to become Communist, then the whole of Asia would fall to Communism, especially with the help of China and Russia. This is known as the domino affect. The Vietnam conflict began long before the U.S. became directly involved. Indochina, which includes Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, was under French colonial rule. The Vietnam communist-nationalist, also known as the Vietminh, fought for their freedom from the French. The French were being slaughtered, and were doing little to keep the communist North Vietnamese out of South Vietnam. The U.S. sent financial aid to France to help them eliminate the communist threat. At the Geneva Conference in 1954, the major powers tried to come to an agreement on Indochina. There would be a temporary division on the 17th parallel in Vietnam. The Vietminh would...
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