Effects from the Vietnam War

Background on the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War lasted for more than 20 years dating from 1955 to 1975. Vietnam, which is located in Southeast Asia, was divided into two regions, North and South Vietnam after gaining their independence from France. North Vietnam was under communist control, where it was supported by the Soviet Union and China. South Vietnam was anticommunist and its main ally was the United States (Vietnam War). The U.S. was so involved in the Vietnam that Glenn Hastedt, who wrote an article on the Vietnam war, stated, "The United States's involvement in Vietnam spanned the terms of six presidents" (Hastedt). The Vietnam War affected many civilians in Vietnam as many were homeless and often caught in the middle of combat warfare. Many Americans also opposed the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. According to Michael Genovese, a Vietnam War historian, stated, " The legacy of Vietnam extended further, as U.S. servicemen and -women returned from that unpopular war not as heroes but to a nation that wanted to ignore, condemn, or forget their contribution" (Genovese). As an effect, the United States not only affected the lives of the civilians in Vietnam but also to its own American citizens.

Why was the U.S. so involved in the Vietnam War?

As the Vietnam War occurred during the Cold War, the U.S. wanted to contain the spread of communism. The U.S. believed in the domino theory which explains that if a country, in this case, Vietnam would become a communist country, then all the countries bordering Vietnam would also become communist (Vietnam War). In order to stop the spread of communism, the U.S. created the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) to form an alliance against North Vietnam (Hastedt). However, North Vietnam, with its support from China and the Soviet Union, dominated South Vietnam. In order to stop South Vietnam from being defeated, the U.S. sent an increasingly amount of soldiers to support South Vietnam (Vietnam War). The U.S. great fear that Southeast Asia would become an all communist territory caused them to be so involved in the Vietnam War. This involvement was opposed by many Americans as the war dragged on for several years and a victory for the U.S. was nowhere to be seen.

Annotated Bibliography

Genovese, Michael A. "Vietnam War." Encyclopedia of the American Presidency, Revised Edition. 2009. American History Online. Web. 19 Sept. 2015. <http://online.infobase.com/HRC/LearningCenter/Details/2?articleId=209196>.

This article is a secondary source, which allowed me to learn about the causes and effects of the Vietnam War. Its main purpose is to explain how the Vietnam War ended and its effects on American citizens. As its limitation, this article gives little information about the beginning of Vietnam or when the U.S. was first involved in the Vietnam War.

Hastedt, Glenn. "Vietnam War." Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy. 2004.American History Online. Web. 19 Sept. 2015. <http://online.infobase.com/HRC/LearningCenter/Details/2?articleId=166286>.

As a secondary source, this article is able to give me an objective article about the Vietnam War. Its main purpose is to give information about the Vietnam War within each presidency. It is valued by its purpose as it gives detail about the decisions each president made during their term but its limited as there is no little information about the perspective of the Vietnamese and the actual war.

Powers, Rod. “History Of the Draft.” About.com US Military. Web. 20 Sep. 2015. <http://usmilitary.about.com/od/deploymentsconflicts/l/bldrafthistory.htm>

As a secondary source, this gives me updated information about the history of the draft. Since this article's purpose was to give the history about the draft in the U.S., it is only valued because the draft played a controversy during the Vietnam War. Its limitations, however, is that it does give me the reasoning into why the U.S. eliminated the draft system.

"The War in Vietnam." Vietnam War Reference Library. Vol. 4: Primary Sources. Detroit: UXL, 2001. 113-115. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.



"Agent Orange." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 19 Sep.

2015. <http://school.eb.com/levels/middle/article/4018>.

"Vietnam War." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 19 Sep. 2015. <http://school.eb.com/levels/middle/article/277599>.