• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Vietnam Coursework Comparing sources

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Vietnam Coursework 2 Many historians assert that media coverage of the war in Vietnam was the major reason for the inevitable withdrawal of American and allied forces from the conflict. This is the theory presented in Source M, a statement made by a prolific British media commentator in 1970 which asserts that the advent of cover television and mass media will make it impossible to wage any kind of long-term conflict. The first source, Source D, is a North Vietnamese propaganda poster depicting a group of American soldiers hunting for Vietcong partisans or other enemy combatants. Forced to leave their vehicles behind, the Americans are depicted as black silhouettes against the white backdrop of the Vietnamese jungle. In the foliage around them they are surrounded by invisible Communist soldiers, waiting for the right time to strike the group of Americans. All though the reliability and accuracy of the source is dubious due to it's use as a propaganda poster, the source does present the theory that America's inexperience with guerrilla warfare was the main reason for the failure of American forces in Vietnam. America was accustomed to waging wars that revolved around decisive battle engagements, whilst they were fighting the North Vietnamese in their own land where anyone in the North or South could be a possible Vietcong combatant. ...read more.

Middle

Many were shocked, stunned and horrified by the crimes - some so horrified that they refused to believe that American troops could have been responsible for such an act, instead choosing to belief that the story was fabricated. Following the events at My Lai public opinion turned massively against the war, possibly explaining the fact that it came to a conclusion seven years later. It is also worth noting that First Lieutenant William Calley, the man who ordered the attack, was the only participant to be convicted of any crime. Whether or not Source G supports Source M is debatable - one the one hand, it attributes defeat largely to crimes such as those committed at My Lai but at the same time it represents the impact the media had on the war effort by exposing those crimes. It is logical to assume that Source G can be used to support Source M, all though it does not support the theory as explicitly as other sources do. Source H, the fifth source, depicts the impact of the war on the American home front. A satirical cartoon drawn for the British magazine Punch a year before My Lai in 1967, it depicts a train representing President Johnson's vision for the 'Great Society' - a State where the vision to "Feed and shelter the homeless [and] to provide education and medical care" has been realised. ...read more.

Conclusion

The majority of the sources agree, at least fundamentally, with the idea that the media held enough power over the public to force the American government to capitulate on their position. If it were not for the media's readiness to expose the horrific crimes committed by the American armed forces in coalition with South Vietnam, the war may well have continued for a long time afterwards. Nonetheless, we must also consider the superior fighting capabilities of the North Vietnamese and the Vietcong partisans, both of whom established their doctrine of warfare based off those developed by Mao Zedong in the People's Republic of China and Kim-Il Sung of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The inability of the Americans to earn the support of the South Vietnamese people also further fuelled the fires of war and made it increasingly difficult to maintain an effective military presence in the South. One must also consider the vastly superior social and economic policies of the Communist North which played a key role in winning over the South Vietnamese people who came to see the Americans as an occupying force of aggression. All though it was the media that inevitably brought an end to the war, America would not have been able sustain the conflict in the long-term regardless of the level of media intervention in the conflict. Peter Gaffney - R11 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Vietnam 1954-1975 essays

  1. Vietnam war, representation work. In this essay I will evaluate the content, accuracy ...

    They both also lack context - they fail to say exactly why they are against the War. And again as with the 2nd Representation, the 3rd Representation was made by a group which means it does not represent the majority of the US public's opinion - which means you this

  2. vietnam coursework

    One of the reasons why the Americans got involved in Vietnam is because they have a promise to keep that they would support any country threatened by communism this was called the Truman doctrine it was a public announcement given by President Harry .S Truman in 1947 promising to give

  1. What was the impact of the My Lai massacre?

    a good boy, and they made him a murderer." The very statement depicts how the experience of Vietnam War made soldiers go through a dramatic metamorphis which apparently robbed them of empathy and compassion - though it could be argued that the traumatisation of the Vietnam War itself could have had some effect.

  2. John Keegan, a modern military historian, suggests that Haig was an efficient and highly ...

    In the second part of this source Haig was writing on the 30th June 1916, the day before the attack by troops and towards the end of the artillery bombardment.

  1. using the sources available, why did America loose to Vietnam?

    Another source which I think is very useful to help me answer my question correct would be source J. I think that it is very useful because it helps to emphasise greatly how people felt about the war in Vietnam, lining the pavements and roads are people who clearly objected

  2. Is there sufficient evidence in sources A to F to explain why there was ...

    In the picture, there is also a track running next to the train, I think this signifies the other route which President Johnson could take, which would not stop at the station of war. The alternative route President Johnson could take would be to solve the problems of Vietnam without using force.

  1. This statement suggests that television was an important reason why the United States lost ...

    This lost both American and Vietnamese support because napalm burnt thousands of innocent civilians including children and was also viewed on television by millions of Americans. Another tactic that was used was Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant. This was used to strip the forests, so the Vietcong would have no hiding places.

  2. John Keegan, a modern military historian suggests that Haig was an efficient and highly ...

    It shows Haig is to blame for all the British casualties which most facts and various historians agree with this because Haig's tactic attrition which on a number of times failed. Haig's biggest failure was his incapability to change his orders.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work