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Effects of the Vietnam War

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Ion Teale Q3 There were essentially are range of effects on the USA and its peoples, caused by the Vietnam War. Among the effects were a number of relatively new situations that arose from the war; such as the discomfort it seemed to cause America's younger generation. This was a first and something that America was not prepared for. America was not ready to deal with the kind of youth opposition that it was to face. Four students were killed and nine wounded at Kent University, Ohio when national guardsmen opened fire on a seemingly peaceful protests. The demonstrators were among a growing group of youths that felt that the American government were breaching peoples rights to decide for themselves weather to go and fight or not. Some burned their draft cards as a form of protest. Due to this students were not called up. However people who did burn their draft cards were imprisoned and those that also attempted to avoid the war by leaving the country or claiming insanity to avoid the draft were branded 'draft' dodgers. This feeling of 'anti Vietnam' grew among families and the media very rapidly and the impact of the war was again demonstrated outside the democrat party convention in 1968 with massive riots outside it. ...read more.


If this happened he would be left with virtually no support. As it happened he did not go up for re-election and Nixon was elected president. The short-term impact of the war included the resentment of the government by its people thus creating mass protests. The economy was also hit badly by the war with 150 billion spent on it and the 'great society' neglected. Other short-term impacts of the war on the US and its people that were badly hit were the military. The US army was left in a dire situation by the end of the war. Around 500,000 had deserted it and the relationship between the troops and their officers had almost completely deteriorated. There seemed to be no authority or order left in it by the end of the war. It had affected the troops to such an extent, mentally, that soldiers were 'fragging' their own officers. This was common to avoid the platoon being led into a dangerous situation by the officer in charge. People would do this by blowing him up with a fragmentation grenade especially if you were nearing the end of your service and were not willing to lose your life so close to going home. ...read more.


The US then passed a future intervention plan that in meant the president had to justify any involvement in another war within the first 90 days. This was in fear of another Vietnam type war. The US army was now also far more cautious about taking casualties in time of war. They would do anything to try and prevent the US army taking casualties on the scale that it did in Vietnam. Later war's such as the Gulf war was then seen as vindication for Vietnam in a National feeling of Vietnam debt. As president Bush later added 'We have kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all'. Probably the last long term affect of the war was the overwhelming feeling of guilt. Many US citizens feel very guilty about the war. This lasting impact upon the people led to the war crimes tribunal being set up. And perhaps the longest ongoing affair to do with Vietnam and the most corrupt was the 3 billion US dollars never paid in reparations to Vietnam that still stands today. Along with the My Lai massacre where Lieutenant Calley of the US army led his platoon into the town of My Lai and killed all of the village occupants. What's more is that he only served a small prison sentence before later being pardoned. ...read more.

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