History: Does the past affect the future?

Topics: Vietnam, Cambodia, South Vietnam Pages: 4 (590 words) Published: May 12, 2014

History: Does the past affect the future?
Debra Sharpton
Vietnam and the 20th Century Experience
Traci Sumner
May 10, 2014
History: Does the past affect the future?
History is “The study of past events in human affairs”. (Oxford Dictionary, n.d.,) Why should we study history? How does history affect people today? Historical knowledge is nothing more than collective memory. Historians work to reinterpret the past, search for new sources and new meanings in old documents to find a new perspective and understanding of the past. (McNeill, 1985, p.2) More specifically, how did the Vietnam War affect the Vietnamese people? The Vietnam War was a very long struggle to attempt to unify the Vietnam country under the communist government and the United States, with the help of South Vietnam. (Rosenberg, 2014, p.1) The Vietnamese people had suffered through fighting in their country for many years. Before the Vietnam War, France had rules Vietnam for about 6 decades. The effect of the French on this country can be considered to have positives and negatives. Not all people in Vietnam resisted the French rule. Some even welcomed it. Unfortunately, the French Colonial rule was politically repressive and economically benefited the French and not the Vietnamese people. There is still evidence today of the French rule as you see many French structures in Vietnam. The people of Vietnam, both the North and South were affected. With the North being the victor, this forced the South to communist rule as well. Many people were sent to concentrations camps and many were sent to develop land. There was also much poverty and many Vietnamese fled the country. There was widespread use of chemical warfare in Vietnam. The long lasting effects of this are still evident today with many people suffering from cancer and defects, including disabilities and malformations. Many of us take for granted the freedoms that we enjoy on a...

References: Brainy Quotes. (n.d.). www.brainyquotes.com
McNeill, W. H. (1985). Why Study History? Retrieved from www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/aha-history-and-archives/archives/why-study-history-(1985)
Oxford Dictionary. (n.d.). www.oxforddictionaries.com
Rosenberg, J. (2014). Vietnam War-A History of the Vietnam. 20th Century History, 1-2. Retrieved from www.history/1990s.about.com/od/vietnamwar/a/vietnamwar.htm
Vietnam War. (n.d.). www.vietnamwar3tripod.com
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