How the Vietnam War Effected the American People and the American Presidency

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?The Vietnam War was fought during 1960 to 1975. It began as an attempt by Communist guerrillas?in the South to overthrow the ?government of South Vietnam. The struggle widened into a war between South Vietnam and North Vietnam and ultimately led to a international conflict. The United States and some 40 other countries supported South Vietnam by supplying troops and the?USSR and the People's Republic of China furnished munitions to North Vietnam and the Vietcong. ?Despite the massive American aid, the VC numbers continued to increase. By November 1961, the VC fighting forces had grown from the ?2,000 fighters that had been left after Diem's ruthless anti-Communist ?campaign in 1957, to nearly 16, 000. Regardless of American weapons and money, the VC was winning the support of the villagers.?The US military response to the deteriorating position in South ?Vietnam was to apply more military force. The Joint Chiefs of Staff?wanted six US divisions and 200,000 men sent immediately to South ?Vietnam. In response, Kennedy refused to send in US?ground forces. Under Kennedy, the US commitment remained at an?advisory level. On November 22 of 1963, a tragic event took place. President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed while riding in a limousine through the streets of Dallas. The same day, Deputy Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as President. Johnson further increased the number of ?advisors and equipment being sent to Vietnam. He wanted to declare war, destroy North Vietnam and Communism as soon as possible, even if ?he had to sacrifice his plans for a ?Great Society.? ? ??Losing the Great Society was a terrible thought, but not so terrible ?as the thought of being responsible for America's losing a war to the ?Communists. Nothing co... ... middle of paper ... ... the right thing, and the ?US had a right to stop what it thought was wrong. In conclusion, I believe that the Vietnam War had a massive impact?upon US society and domestic politics. The war bitterly divided the ?nation and caused protests and political conflict between supporters ?and opponents. It ruined Johnson's chances of being re-elected ?president in 1968 and even damaged Bill Clinton when he stood for the ?presidency in 1992. It may be that after more than 20 years the war ?now causes fewer problems in the United States. But some of the ?effects of the war have remained. The Pentagon Papers proved that ?American governments had misled the people and even lied to them about ?the war. As a result, many Americans are much less willing to believe ?what their government tells them. Today, governments won't win back the?trust of these Americans that easily. ??

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