Overview of Vietnam War

explanatory Essay
1777 words
1777 words

The Vietnam War was a lengthy and fairly costly armed conflict involving the communist North Vietnamese regime known as the Viet Cong, South Vietnam and the United States. The war began in 1954 although the area was in Conflict since the mid-1940s after North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh and his political party; Viet Minh took power during the Cold War. During the escalating standoff between the democratic United States and the communist Soviet Union; and at the end of the Red Scare, the United States attempted to stop the spread of Communism. The Vietnam War was never officially declared a war by Congress, but rather deemed a “conflict.” The “Conflict” began as a “proxy war” under President Eisenhower and Kennedy, but fully escalated under Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon. Although the American people wanted end the spread of Communism, the Vietnam War received a vast amount of opposition in the States, along with tons of media coverage and journalists reporting on the war. Unfortunately the Vietnam War was perceived as a failure due to many contributing factors such as the numerous unnecessary casualties inflicted on both sides (

During World War II, Japan occupied Vietnam, a nation that had previously been under French administration. Influenced by Chinese and Soviet communism, Ho Chi Minh formed the Viet Minh to fight against the French colonial administration and seized the capital city of Hanoi after the Japanese withdrew, and declared himself president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam ( Desiring to get control of the region the French backed the Vietnamese emperor Bao Dai, and established the state of South Vietnam with Saigon as its capital. After years of armed conflict the Viet Minh ...

... middle of paper ... war opponents, who viewed them as murders and supporters, who blamed them for losing the war. Veteran also began to report PTSD and resorted to drugs and alcohol to help. The Vietnam War left a stain on America’s record with an estimated 58,000 American soldiers that died or were missing during the war (

Works Cited

"55d. The Antiwar Movement." U.S. History Textbook (n.d.): 55-60.

Abernathy, Ralph. "The Vietnam War." The Sixties in America. Hackensack, New Jersey: Salem Press, March 1999. 753-755. 2009. 03 April 2014 .

Library of Congress Catalog Record. The World Book Year Book. Chicago: Chicago, World Book - Childcraft International, 1962-.

Pendergast, Tom. "The Antiwar Movement." The Sixties in America Primary Sources. Thomson Gale, n.d.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes the vietnam war as a lengthy and costly armed conflict involving the communist north vietnamese regime known as the viet cong, south vietnam and the united states.
  • Explains how ho chi minh formed the viet to fight against the french colonial administration and seized hanoi after the japanese withdrew.
  • Explains how ngo dihn diem, a strongly anti-communist, ousted the french backed emperor bao and became president of the newly formed republic of vietnam.
  • Narrates how the vietnam war escalated under the presidency of johnson, with the permission of congress, allowing for recurring bombings under operation rolling thunder.
  • Explains that the strategy for war was simple: a war of attrition, the military's primary goal was to kill as many enemy troops as possible, to wear them down.
  • Explains that there were 500,000 american soldiers stationed in vietnam in 1967 with 15,000 killed and more than 100,000 wounded. the war received tons of media coverage and many american's were vocally opposed to the war.
  • Explains that winning a long-drawn-out war requires more than powerful military. without support to back up and defend the war, it became harder to continue with the occupation.
  • Explains that the antiwar movement opposed the vietnam war for both moral and ethical grounds along with economic reasons. they saw the american leaders only attacking to protect foreign interests and supporting the corrupt regime in south vietnam.
  • Explains that the antiwar movement was a huge factor in the ending of the war and when peaceful protests became ineffective with demands and questions being ignored, demonstrations turned violent.
  • Analyzes how king's opposition to the vietnam war cost him a substantial amount of support among white allies, including president johnson, union leaders, publishers and journalists.
  • Explains that nixon introduced a new method for fighting the war in vietnam, which involved withdrawing american troops to limit further casualties, increasing aerial and artillery bombing, and giving south vietnam control over ground operations.
  • Narrates how nixon ended the draft and called for a volunteer army for the next year. after multiple failed offensives, the u.s and north vietnam compromised and created peace agreement.
  • Explains that the war between north vietnam and south vietnam did not end when the u.s made peace agreements, and continued until april 30, 1975 when north vietnamese forces captured saigon, the south vietnamese capital.
  • Explains that the vietnam war destroyed the american belief that they were invincible. many veterans returning from war also experienced negative reactions from both war opponents and supporters.
  • Cites the u.s. history textbook "55d. the antiwar movement." the sixties in america.

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