The United States originally aimed to squash the growth of Communism in Asia but ended up participating in the longest, bloodiest war in American history. Regardless of the justification for their involvement, the United States continues to hold the Vietnam War as a lesson and an example for how we, as a country, should conduct ourselves during times of conflict. The memories and aftereffects of the Vietnam War will continue to serve as a reminder for generations to come. If you have strong feelings about this bit of history, for or against, order your own essay from Ultius.
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Vietnam went through prolonged warfare in the 20th century. After World War II, France returned to reclaim colonial power in the First Indochina War, from which Vietnam emerged victorious in 1954. As a result of treaties signed two years later, Vietnam was also separated into two parts. The Vietnam War began shortly after, between the communist North, supported by the Soviet Union and China, and the anti-communist South, supported by the United States. Upon the North Vietnamese victory in 1975, Vietnam reunified as a unitary socialist state under the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) in 1976. An ineffective planned economy, a trade embargo by the West, and wars with Cambodia and China crippled the country further. In 1986, the CPV initiated economic and political reforms similar to the Chinese economic reform, transforming the country to a market-oriented economy. The reforms facilitated Vietnamese reintegration into the global economy and politics.
By 2015, 97% of the population had access to improved water sources. In 2016, Vietnam's national life expectancy stood at 80.9 years for women and 71.5 for men, and the infant mortality rate was 17 per 1,000 live births. Despite these improvements, malnutrition is still common in rural provinces. Since the partition, North Vietnam has established a public health system that has reached down to the hamlet level. After the national reunification in 1975, a nationwide health service was established. In the late 1980s, the quality of healthcare declined to some degree as a result of budgetary constraints, a shift of responsibility to the provinces and the introduction of charges. Inadequate funding has also contributed to a shortage of nurses, midwives and hospital beds; in 2000, Vietnam had only 24.7 hospital beds per 10,000 people before declining to 23.7 in 2005 as stated in the annual report of Vietnamese Health Ministry. The controversial use of herbicides as a chemical weapon by the US military during the war left tangible, long-term impacts upon the Vietnamese people that persist in the country today. For instance, it led to three million Vietnamese people suffering health problems, one million birth defects caused directly by exposure to the chemical and 24% of Vietnam's land being defoliated.
Vietnam's media sector is regulated by the government under the 2004 Law on Publication. It is generally perceived that the country's media sector is controlled by the government and follows the official communist party line, though some newspapers are relatively outspoken. The Voice of Vietnam (VOV) is the official state-run national radio broadcasting service, broadcasting internationally via shortwave using rented transmitters in other countries and providing broadcasts from its website, while Vietnam Television (VTV) is the national television broadcasting company. Since 1997, Vietnam has regulated public internet access extensively using both legal and technical means. The resulting lockdown is widely referred to as the "Bamboo Firewall". The collaborative project OpenNet Initiative classifies Vietnam's level of online political censorship to be "pervasive", while Reporters Without Borders (RWB) considers Vietnam to be one of 15 global "internet enemies". Though the government of Vietnam maintains that such censorship is necessary to safeguard the country against obscene or sexually explicit content, many political and religious websites that are deemed to be undermining state authority are also blocked.
Cambodia's history is marked with periods of peace and of great calamity. From its early cities to the introduction of Hinduism and Buddhism, the great kingdom of Angkor, colonialism, and the Khmer Rouge, this essay tries to put its current rebuilding of civil society in context of its incredible history and the challenges it faces today.
After Cambodia gained its independence from France, it entered a short period of peace and prosperity which many older Khmer now look back on as a golden age. By the late 1960s, however, Cambodia was drawn inexorably into the Vietnam War. In 1975, Communist forces, known to the outside world as Khmer Rouge or Red Khmers, overthrew the pro-American regime that had seized power five years before. In the Khmer Rouge era that followed , at least 1.2 million Cambodians died of malnutrition, overwork, executions, and mistreated diseases as the Maoist-inspired regime sought to achieve total communism overnight. Responding to Cambodian attacks, Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1979 and established a protectorate there that lasted for 10 years.
Today, our students may have relatives who fought or were nurses or doctors during the Vietnam War. But our students do not truly have the knowledge or understanding of the war or its veterans. It is imperative that this generation of young people comprehend the many facets of the Vietnam War because the lessons learned are numerous and valuable. The war risked American lives for military and political objectives that most people never really understood. In addition, it damaged the United States economy and its overall reputation as an example of democratic principles. There are a variety of ways to teach about the war. Within my course, students read primary source articles, poems, and first-hand accounts written by combat vets, medics, field reporters, and more. They watch PBS documentaries and then actively engage in meaningful Socratic discussions. Furthermore, guest speakers comprised of combat veterans, as well as protestors against the war, talk openly and frankly to the students. This event leads to an even deeper understanding of the issues surrounding the war. In addition, deliberate lectures, short-answer essays, and having students write in-depth prose are all effective forms of instruction that lead students towards analyzing important aspects of the war, its aftermath and consequences.
The Vietnam War cut short the promise of the Great Society. Democrats took large losses in the midterm elections of 1966, though they retained majorities in the House and Senate. By late 1966, Johnson could no longer get most of his domestic measures through Congress.
The Vietnam War touched millions of lives. Within these personal essays from people who took part in the filming of The Vietnam War, are lessons about what happened, what it meant then and what we can learn from it now.
My patriotism wilted in the South in 1963, after a short stint with the civil rights movement. Simultaneously, as the U.S. slid into war in Vietnam, skepticism nurtured in Mississippi led me to discover that we were stumbling into a quagmire.
As a reminder of this point, in August 1968, the Soviet Union led an invasion of Czechoslovakia that put an end to a period of political liberalisation in that country known as the Prague Spring. Like a similar invasion of Hungary in 1956 and military repression in Berlin in 1953, Soviet actions demonstrated what became known as the Brezhnev Doctrine: given the choice between short-term control of Eastern European client states and long-run political and economic reform, the Soviet Union would choose to maintain short-term control. The end of this policy would await a Soviet leader willing to choose long-run reform.
By this time, command economies in the Warsaw Pact were disintegrating. The Soviet Union was spending three times as much as the United States on defence with an economy that was one-third the size. Mikhail Gorbachev came to power with the intention of fundamentally reforming the communist system. When the East German regime began to collapse in 1989, the Soviet Union did not intervene, reversing the Brezhnev Doctrine. This time, the Soviets chose long-run reform over a short-run control that was increasingly beyond their capabilities, setting in motion a train of events that led to the break-up of the Warsaw Pact.
By the end of 1998, over 300 000 Kosovar Albanians had fled their homes during conflict between Albanian separatists in Kosovo and Serbian military and police. Following the failure of intense international efforts to resolve the crisis, the Alliance conducted air strikes for 78 days and flew 38 000 sorties with the goal of allowing a multinational peacekeeping force to enter Kosovo and cease ethnic cleansing in the region. On 4 June 1999, NATO suspended its air campaign after confirming that a withdrawal of the Serbian army from Kosovo had begun, and the deployment of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) followed shortly thereafter. Today, KFOR troops are still deployed in Kosovo to help maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origin.
This essay is based on a presentation at the Butcher History Institute for Teachers on Why Does America Go To War?, March 25-26, 2017, sponsored by the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the First Division Museum at Cantigny, and Carthage College.
The Vietnam War is living history. Throughout this class, we have engaged a variety of different types of sources, including oral histories, documentaries, music, podcasts, and videos, in addition to scholarly books and novels. In the same way that I have not assigned a traditional textbook, your final project will not be a traditional research essay. Although the research process is similarly rigorous, the creation and presentation of your historical knowledge will be more creative. 2b1af7f3a8