Vietnam War Vs. Great Society Essay

2098 words - 8 pages

Vietnam War vs. Great Society

Anonymous: "[Johnson] had miscalculated: Even the richest and most powerful nation in the world could not do it all" (qtd. in Turbulent Years: The 60s 36). Lyndon Baines Johnson is a president torn to pieces by war. He glows in the passage of bills benefiting American society. He is someone who has suffered through an entire generation of rebellious teens. What impact did LBJ's foreign policies concerning Vietnam War have on American society?

The Vietnam War really isn't a war. Congress never declared war and thus, it is constitutionally considered police action. The United States can have troops in an area for ninety days, but how ninety days became twelve long, bloody years is beyond my knowledge. The war actually started in 1959, but U.S. involvement did not start until 1961. We withdrew from Vietnam in 1973, and it raged on for another two years. This was Vietnam's civil war, where 58,000 Americans lost their lives and Vietnam was lost to the Communists.

If it hadn't been for the French-Indochina War, America might not have been so deeply involved in Vietnam. The area of Indochina, present-day Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, was taken away from France during the Second World War and afterwards, they tried to get it back. France lured the U.S. into paying 80% of the costs used to fight Ho Chi Minh and Communist North Vietnam by the end of the French-Indochina War. As author Gini Holland put it, "This [paying the costs] committed the United States financially, although not yet militarily, to the region" (qtd. in Holland 41). So, when Vietnam was into their civil war, the U.S. felt the need to help South Vietnam. In addition to fighting Communism, the American soldiers faced the very devoted and very martial Vietcong, the pro-Communist guerilla force of South Vietnam. Look what a little help to a friend can do to you.

"It was in Southeast Asia that [Johnson] ran into his greatest difficulties" (qtd. in Encarta "Johnson, Lyndon Baines"). He finished John F. Kennedy's term starting in 1963 and completed another term, ending his presidency in 1969. As many of us are, he was reluctant to get fully involved in the war. After ordering air strikes against North Vietnam in retaliation for U.S. ships being attacked by torpedoes, he stated, "We will seek no wider war" (qtd. in Hargrove 69). Even though he did not want war, his peaceful policy concerning it was widely protested by the country.

While there was a war in Vietnam, there were several wars at home, of which included Johnson's wars on poverty and racial segregation. Even before Johnson became president, he had visions of a perfect society (Turbulent Years 67). When he did become president, he pushed as many of those ideas through Congress as possible. For instance, several medical aid and civil rights bills went into Congress and were approved. This was the crowning glory of Johnson's presidency.

Unfortunately, the Vietnam War ate a lot of government...

Find Another Essay On Vietnam War vs. Great Society

The Subversion of Peace: America in Vietnam The American government went to great lengths to insert itself into a place it did not belong.

1306 words - 5 pages The Geneva accord was signed on 21 July 1954. The decisions made there determined the fate of IndoChina to this day. What was agreed upon had the potential to rectify the harm done by colonization. Unfortunately, none of what was decided upon in Geneva was upheld.In May of 1954 representatives from France, Great Britain, The United States, China, The Soviet Union, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam were several weeks into a session in Geneva discussing

At the greatest level, what was the extent of the US combat power in Vietnam? Is the US better or worse off because they lost? Is Vietnam better or worse off because of the North?

926 words - 4 pages lasted for thirty years. In these years, the government could have focused on building a 'Great Society' as LBJ's slogan had said than fighting in a country on the other side of the world with no great reason. Secondly, the US spent 346.7 billions in the currency of 1990 for the Vietnam War (1964-1972). It was more than the expenditure for WWI or the Korean War, which were 196.5 billions and 263.9 billions respectively in the currency of 1990

Vietnam Films

978 words - 4 pages Understanding Media and prominent media analyst, once said, "Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America--not on the battlefields of Vietnam." Yet for a war that often goes misinterpreted by the media and misunderstood by the American people, the damages that Vietnam had on the troops, the innocent people of Vietnam, and citizens at home are great. The films Dear America

Advancing the Peace Movement: Music During the Vietnam War

1502 words - 6 pages rock groups in society during this period. Not only were The Beatles the first band to use the recording studio as a writing tool and had unique an innovative chord progressions, but they were one of the first groups that used music as a medium for social activism” (Tillu). The Beatles had started as a teen-focused pop group, but when the Vietnam War lingered, the group focused their lyrics on anti-war sentiment. One of the Beatles’ most famous

The History of the Vietnam War

1608 words - 6 pages lie their lives down on battlefields. The greatest increase of Americans presence in Vietnam was in time of John F. Kennedy's presidency. When John Fitzgerald Kennedy became the President in 1961 American role in Vietnam dramatically enlarged. In spite of Eisenhower's warning against the growing militarism in American society, John F. Kennedy even deeper involved the United States into the civil war in Vietnam, rather than to try to pull it out

Australia in the Vietnam War (1965-1972) “There was overwhelming support for Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War (1965 to 1972).” Why did Australia become involved in the war? What were the...

1884 words - 8 pages the Vietnam War (1965 to 1972).", however many were against it. The Vietnam War had great impacts on individuals and groups throughout Australian society, and was certainly a war that will never be forgotten.Australia became involved in the Vietnam War because the possibility of the spread of communism from Asia to Australia was beginning to be regarded with increasing significance, as changes in politics began to spread throughout the region

Why USA Became Involved in Vietnam

1290 words - 5 pages time before he sent his troops/advisors to Vietnam. A fifth reason why the USAbecame involved in Vietnam was the 'Great Society'. This was the domestic program of US president Lyndon. B. Johnson and it was described in one of Johnson's speeches as one which federally sponsored programs which would improve the quality of life for all American's, especially the poor people of America. In order to get money to put this

Alice Walker's Color Purple - Historical and Political Insight

727 words - 3 pages women’s struggle for freedom in a society where they are viewed as inferior to men. The events that happened during and previous to her writing of The Color Purple had a tremendous impact on the standpoint of the novel. The Civil Rights Movement was the largest influence on Walker’s writings. In a decision handed down by the Supreme Court in 1954, the beginning of civil rights occurred. In the decision of Brown vs. The Board of Education, the


2286 words - 9 pages Vietnam and the Czech Republic greatly differ by geography, population, political situation or religion, but not just by that. Differences between Vietnam's and Czech's society are also cultures and behavior. The aim of my project is learn more about differences of human resources between these countries, Vietnam as my homeland and Czech Republic as country, where I live. I can say that Vietnam made a very impressive progress after war and now


2286 words - 9 pages Vietnam and the Czech Republic greatly differ by geography, population, political situation or religion, but not just by that. Differences between Vietnam's and Czech's society are also cultures and behavior. The aim of my project is learn more about differences of human resources between these countries, Vietnam as my homeland and Czech Republic as country, where I live. I can say that Vietnam made a very impressive progress after war and now

The causes and results of the Vietnam War were those of a post-colonial situation rather than of the Cold War. How far is this true from the period from 1953-80?

1986 words - 8 pages have a great effect on the world and its relations after 1945, a new dilemma was appearing. The five century long European domination of Non-European countries had been coming to an end as more and more countries were emerging from the European Colonialism. The post-colonial situation in the country resulting from the French rule was another dominant factor rather than only the Cold War. We notice that the result of the Vietnam War had been a

Similar Essays

Vietnam War Vs. War In Iraq

592 words - 2 pages conditions that are unfamiliar and foreign to the Americans.The war in Iraq is a great deal more dangerous than Vietnam because of the weapons that exist. The Vietnam War consisted of guns only, as opposed to the war in Iraq, where there are more weapons that are more treacherous. Iraq is developing biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons; which imposes a threat to all United Nation countries. Even the little things that make a difference, such as

Why Was It That A Great Many Of Americans Opposed Us Involvement In The Vietnam War?

989 words - 4 pages The Vietnam War was one of the most time-consuming, energy, money and manpower consuming wars to the US. There were many reasons why a lot of Americans oppose their country's involvement in this war in the late 1960s and early 70s. Ranging from military to social and economic factors, and the propaganda in America also played a significant role in influencing the general public's opinion of the war.Militarily, many US citizens were disillusioned

Impacts Of The Vietnam War On Australian Society

1758 words - 7 pages all of Australian society supported the Vietnam war effort (except for Communist parties and religious groups). However, after time, division and dissent caused a large diversity in between those who supported the Anti-war movement and those who agreed with the Government actions. The Anti war movement was strongly connected to the introduction of a limited type of conscription. This Conscription was Introduced in 1950, which stated that men had

Vietnam War Students Vs Politics Essay

1061 words - 4 pages subculture. The Hippies during this time were strongly active in preaching Peace/Love to anyone who would listen. They were also a part of the Anti-War Movement that started in the 50’s and would continue until the late 60’s. It was during this movement that many student and political figures would collide in a “I’m right you’re wrong” debate that would last until and even after the Vietnam War was finished. Antiwar protest began popping up