Vietnam War Impact on New Zealand

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The Vietnam War had several social effects in New Zealand. The New Zealand publics’ opinion was polarized due to New Zealand’s involvement in the war, and public debate was generated over New Zealand’s foreign policy in particular how it relied on an alliance-based security. An anti-war movement developed in New Zealand, who disagreed with the strategy of forward defense. They also questioned the validity of the domino theory, and thought communism in south-East Asia did not in any way threaten New Zealand. The members of the anti-war movement also condemned the western intervention in Vietnam; they argued that they should not support a corrupt regime such as Ngo Dinh Diem, that it was immoral. The anti-war activists urged the New Zealand government to get a more independent foreign policy, instead of being submissive to the American government. The anti-war movement grew steadily, by the 1970s mobilizations that involved thousands of New Zealanders marching to protest the war where occurring in cities all over New Zealand. Young and highly educated New Zealanders made up a most of the anti-war war movement, which was also supported by church groups, students, and growing numbers of the public. This was a large social effect the Vietnam war had on New Zealand as it meant people where coming together to protest the war, and it caused New Zealanders to be more aware of politics and become more politically involved. The Vietnam War also had large political impacts in New Zealand. While New Zealand troops where in Vietnam the political ideas of National and labor towards the war became markedly different. Initially both parties supported sending troops, national publically stating New Zealand had a duty to support its ally, but as the war continued Labor began to adopt the ideas of the anti-war movement. From 1969 labor promised if they were elected New Zealand troops would be withdrawn from Vietnam. Labor supported a more independent foreign policy, which would...
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