At the Geneva Conference in , the major powers tried to come to an agreement on Indochina. There would be a temporary division on the 17th parallel in Vietnam. There was to be an election held in two years to set up the permanent government. After the conference, the U. The National Liberation Front, also known as Vietcong, was a guerilla group who supported the communist North Vietnamese and opposed to the Diem rule. At first the United States attention was diverted from Vietnam to other foreign affairs, but with the threat of communist taking over all of Indochina, the U.
This would hopefully help stop the communist North Vietnamese from taking over. Despite American financial aid, South Vietnam was still being defeated and needed serious intervention from the U. With the Cold War, the United States had vowed to keep communism from spreading.
President Truman stated that any nation challenged by Communism would receive aid from the United States. The Truman Doctrine, initially for Europe and the Middle East, was adopted by the future presidents and applied to the Vietnam conflict. They feared that if one of the Southeast Asian nations fell to communism, that all the others would eventually follow. This was known as the domino theory. Kennedy took office in , Vietnam was not a major issue. There were more pressing situations to be taken care of, such as the Cold War.
The Vietnam conflict became more of an issue when civil war broke out in Laos. Vice President Johnson was sent to Vietnam, and when he returned he greatly urged President Kennedy to become more involved in the conflict. Kennedy decided to send military advisors and special forces Green Berets to work with and train the ARVN troops instead of sending combat troops.
Aerial spraying of herbicides like Agent Orange were used to try and deprive the Vietcong of their food and their jungle cover. The leader of Vietnam at the time was Ngo Dinh Diem.
He was a Catholic, which caused much dispute because the majority of Vietnam was Buddhist. He was blamed for the worsening situation in Vietnam. On November 22, President John F. Kennedy was riding through the streets of Dallas, Texas, when he was killed by an assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. After the death of the president, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was appointed president of the United States. Johnson felt that the U. Johnson decided to escalate the war. He ordered bombing of different North Vietnam targets.
The operation would consist of bombing of North Vietnam, more air power, and increase the number of ground troops. In June , U. This would shift the U. Johnson tried for peace talks, but nothing was agreed upon. In January of , the Vietcong and North Vietnam prepared for a major attack. Every important city in South Vietnam was attacked, including the capital Saigon. The fighting lasted for about a month. America was able to witness much of this footage on the news.
The outcome was a major military victory for South Vietnam, but it was a great political victory for North Vietnam. It proved that the war was nowhere close to being over, and proved how determined the Vietcong was. It also demonstrated how costly the war would be. When the Pentagon announced the number of U. President Johnson knew his popularity was lost and decided not to run for reelection.
On January 20, Richard Nixon was inaugurated. A few months later he announced the removal of 25, United States troops by August of and another 65, to be sent home by the end of the year. This would allow American troops to gradually come home. Vietnamization would also set up a self sufficient South Vietnam government. The Communist soon agreed on a peace plan, but it fell through when they claimed the U.
The same year Nixon ordered secret bombing of Cambodia to try and wipe out the Vietcong and North Vietnam base camps. On April 30, , President Nixon informed the American people that troops would be sent to Cambodia.
This outraged people even more. Nixon had promised peace, but was now bringing on more war. Many more young students became worried that they would be drafted. On May 1, Kent State University became grounds for anti-war rallies. About fifteen thousand dollars worth of damage was inflicted on downtown Kent. The Governor decided to call in the National Guard. On May 4 rallies started again on campus, and the National Guard used tear gas as a means to try and disperse the crowd.
The crowd had become very rowdy and all of a sudden shots were fired. No one is certain as to why the shooting started, but 4 people were shot dead, and 9 were wounded. Two of those that died were innocent students switching classes. This tragic news caused much uproar across the nation. A great deal of respect for authority was lost by many citizens. The tragedy made many people realize that protest can go too far, and law enforcement can also go too far in trying to maintain the law.
In , Congress repealed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution as to limit the power of the president with the war. In January , a cease-fire was negotiated. May of , two years after Nixon pulled out of the war, South Vietnam surrendered. Vietnam was reunified under a communist Vietnam regime. By the end of the war the United States suffered 57, casualties and , soldiers were wounded. For one thing the North Vietnam and Vietcong armies were much stronger than anyone anticipated.
Their guerilla warfare tactics was something the U. The fact that there were no clear combat zones also made fighting confusing. The Vietcong also would dress as peasants to trick the soldiers before they would attack. This made it hard for soldiers to distinguish between the enemy and friendly civilians.
The Vietcong was also fighting for a cause they were willing to fight to the death for. They had heroic determination and fighting spirit. There was no direct threat to their own country and there was no support from the general population. The soldiers were also angered by the government lies they had to witness.
Those who returned from war joined the forefront of the antiwar movements. They began wearing peace symbols and other signs of their digression. Fragging was when soldiers would attack their officers, usually by tossing fragments of grenades into the officers sleeping quarters. Some soldiers also openly refused their orders. The military also experienced financial corruption, theft, murder, and suicide.
All these factors seriously hurt the U. At first many people volunteered to fight. When the draft came into affect many questioned its fairness. Until local boards had selected those for the draft, and most of those selected were usually minorities and poor working class youths. In , 20, men per month were drafted, by , 40, were drafted per month, and served months. Some people tried to avoid the draft.
People moved to Canada, burned draft cards, and went to college. Others served prison sentences, like Muhammad Ali, or avoided the war on moral grounds and instead served a set term of community service. The working-class communities were also another area where resistance was strong because these were the people usually drafted. People began to see the body bags return home and video clippings from the fighting.
These factors greatly worried the American people. The anti-war movement is also blamed as to why the Untied States lost the war. The war was popular in the beginning, and most of the American public supported the war. Americans wanted to preserve their way of life and stop the threat of Communism. When involvement of the U. This collection of Vietnam War essay questions has been written and compiled by Alpha History authors, for use by teachers and students.
They can also be used for short-answer questions, homework activities and other research or revision tasks. If you would like to contribute a question to this page, please contact us.
Describe the politics, economics, social structures and culture of medieval Vietnam. How did ordinary Vietnamese people live prior to the arrival of Europeans? How did this contact shape or affect Vietnamese society?
Explain how the French assumed control of Vietnam in a relatively short space of time. What methods and justifications did they use to increase their power?
How did the Nguyen emperors attempt to rid their country of foreign influence, particularly religion, in the 19th century? Explain how the French colonial regime maintained its political, economic and social control over Vietnam. What role was played by Francophile Vietnamese? What was life like for Vietnamese peasants and workers during the French colonial period?
What problems and conditions did they face? Referring to at least three movements or leaders, explain how some Vietnamese resisted the French colonial regime. How successful was this resistance? Why did the Japanese invade Vietnam in ? What methods did they use to assert and expand their control?
How was this group formed? Who provided its leadership and its membership? When the Japanese surrendered in August , what arrangements were made for the transition of power in Vietnam?
In doing so, why did he refer to the United States Declaration of Independence? Why did the American position change after ? Discuss how the communist victory in China in October affected Western policies and attitudes to south-east Asia. What were the terms of the Geneva Accords pertaining to Vietnam?
What were they intended to achieve? Many historians trace the origins of the Vietnam War to the failure of the Geneva Accords. Did the Accords have any chance or success or were they destined to fail? Discussing similarities and differences, compare the development of Korea and Vietnam in the decade following World War II.
Describe the political evolution of North Vietnam during the mids. Who ruled the North and what were their objectives? Did these reforms make life better for the majority of people?
Nov 20, · The Vietnam War () essay. The Vietnam War is considered to be one of the most important events in the history of the United States. This event influenced the lives of millions of Americans because many citizens of the United States were enrolled in the army.3/5(19).
The Vietnam War greatly changed America forever. It was the longest war fought in America’s history, lasting from to The Vietnam War tarnished America’s self image by becoming the first time in history the United States failed to accomplish its stated war aims, to preserve a separate, independent, noncommunist government.
The Vietnam War Essay examples - The Vietnam War Of all of the wars fought by the United States, the Vietnam War was by far the most controversial. After the defeat of French forces, Vietnam was divided into two sections: North Vietnam, and South Vietnam. Vietnam War Essay The Vietnam War spanned from to and had the name, the Second Indochina War, prior to the United States involvement. The initial cause for the war was a battle between communist North Vietnam and its southern allies, the Viet Cong, against South Vietnam and its allies, the key ally being the United States.
The Vietnam War was the first war that was broadly documented and reported on by the media. Almost every day, news about Vietnam was broadcasted on American television. At first the general opinion was positive, but as the war escalated and more American soldiers died, the opinion shifted. Essay title: Vietnam War France occupied all of Vietnam by Independence was declared after World War II, but the French continued to rule until when communist forces under Ho Chi Minh, who took control over the north, defeated them/5(1).