Detrimental Effects Of The Vietnam War

3104 words - 13 pages

The Vietnam War was, and continues to be, one of America's darkest moments, one that nearly tore the nation apart. In order to stop the spread of communism in Europe and Asia, the United States aided French imperialists and their reoccupation of Vietnam. At first, the U.S took a position of neutrality to both countries, but by early 1947, they began fighting in support of France. This war, lasting over 20 years, became the longest and most unpopular war in the 20th century. Overall, the Vietnam War was detrimental to the United States because it caused a massive debt from the 1960s to the 1990s, turned the American people against their government, and many troops were neglected and despised upon their return.
According to Dictionary.com, Communism is a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party. In short, it is when one political party rules and controls everything. America defined all these governments as enemies, and took it upon themselves to try and stop it from spreading, much like a disease. In contrast, Dictionary.com defines Nationalism as devotion or loyalty to one's country; patriotism. Starting in 1949, a civil war between Nationalist and Communist Chinese broke out. This resulted in a Communist victory that brought a surprisingly effective government to power, that united China and regained its independence, although ruled by Communist parties. Since America defined all Communist governments as enemies, the relationship between the U.S and China quickly deteriorated, breaking their bonds and eliminating them as an ally for the future. America chose to act on this, intervening by placing U.S fleets in Taiwanese straits, in an attempt to protect the remaining Nationalist Chinese, who had fled from their country.
The Korean War was a small battle in comparison to World War II, but it was a key event leading up the the United State's involvement in Vietnam. At the end of World War II, Korea was divided at the 18th parallel. The U.S supported Koreans below the 18th parallel, and controlled the area from a headquarters located in Tokyo, by a military administration lead by General Douglas MacArthur. Above the 18th parallel in tn the North, Soviets that backed a Stalinist regime under Kim Il-Sung had taken over, creating the North Korean People's Army (KPA), an anti-Japanese guerilla army. Both the Soviets and Americans wanted their client countries to unite under their cultures and beliefs. With tensions rising on both sides of the parallel, war broke out between North and South Korea in June 1950. The Soviets, immediately coming to aid the North, had an advantage over the South and their American allies, who were caught by surprise. The U.S then immediately intervened with their own forces, which triggered the Chinese to get involved. This war lasted three years, and ended with a cease fire, but no peace treaty...

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