The Effects of the Vietnam War

Image: Map of Vietnam

The course of American History was drastically changed by the Vietnam War. The American policies on foreign affairs, domestic politics, and cultural and social history were greatly changed by this event.

Image: Huey helicopter in the BushThe Vietnam War was a military attempt by the United States to halt Communist aggression in Southeast Asia. On January 23, 1973 the United States and the North Vietnamese agreed to cease-fire arrangements. After this agreement the United States supplied only money to the South Vietnamese. It was the first time the United States as a whole country had lost a war. Americans began to feel that other nations should determine their own destinies and that the United States should take a less active role in foreign policy. Therefore we backed the colonial expansion French government after the war for fear of Ho Chi Minh and his communist group taking over.

In 1966 President Johnson lied about actions in Vietnam and because of this he lost favor with the American public (Author, pg?). Therefore he did not seek reelection in 1968. Before his injustices Americans had great trust in their leaders and in their government. After the exposure of this in the media Americans lost their innocence and henceforth the media became more of a watchdog in domestic politics.

Upon returning from Vietnam American soldiers received a cold welcome from the public. It stemmed from a deep hatred felt by many Americans for the war and the way it ended. This made many veterans feel alienated. Another problem faced by service people was exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange. Veterans also suffered from PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) which is an emotional illness caused by a certain incident such as combat, and this causes great stress.

The Vietnam War has changed the course of American History in the areas of foreign affairs, domestic politics, and cultural and social history.

Vietnam: Yesterday and Today: This link is the source of the graphic seen above. It contains a number of web sites that facilitate learning and teaching about the Viet nam era.

The 1960s Page also contains numerous Nam links.

Jacob Mongrain
Jason Karap
To AP US History Page


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