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The Vietnam War Was a Defining Point in History

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The Vietnam War Was a Defining Point in History

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  • October 2008
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During 1968 the Vietnam War was a defining moment in American history, in that due to the Tet Offensive, American morale concerning the war and President Johnson decreased, mistrust in the government increased, and the end of the Vietnam War seemed nearer. This year was truly a turning point in American history; the three listed examples are only a few reasons why. The Vietnam War in general changed the history of America, but the year,1968, especially affected the American society. During this time, fear and suspicion were prevalent due to the decisions of the government, and battles occurring in Vietnam.

On January 31, 1968, the Tet Offensive officially began (Feldmeth). The Offensive began on the first day of Tet, which was the Vietnamese festival of the lunar New Year. The North Vietnamese armies surprised the American and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) armies as they attacked almost every major city in South Vietnam (Battle of Khe Sanh). Although, many of these attacks were resisted, Americans at home saw the Offensive as an American defeat. For the first time in history, the whole war was broadcasted on television, allowing the American public to watch all that occurred in Vietnam. When they saw the Tet Offensive, they realized the power that North Vietnam possessed was greater than they expected. While this brought public opinion of the war down, it also affected their belief in the government. Before this had occurred, military leaders such as General Westmorland were telling Americans that the United States army had everything under control and other sanguine views of the war (What Was the Tonkin Resolution?). This occurrence proved to be contradictory to previous statements made about the war. This Offensive affected President Johnson as well. After the Tet Offensive, he lost popularity as Americans began to question Johnson and his presidency. His loss of popularity increased so much that in the end he decided to drop out of the next...