Vietnam War Influence

Words: 1153
Pages: 5

The Vietnam War was by far the most unpopular American-involved war of the 20th century. From the harsh stories of war to the images shown on the television, the Vietnam War was, simply put, one of the most detested wars in 20th century American history. The Vietnam War created a questioning for US moral superiority and the United States’ status as a “rightful, freedom fighting country”. This created a new era of literature, where war protests were accompanied by overwhelming amounts of anti-war literary works.
A big part of the beginnings of the Vietnam War was the French Indochina war. This event took place from 1946 to 1954. “In late November 1946 French naval vessels bombarded Haiphong, causing several thousand civilian casualties; the
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On one side was North Vietnam which was supported by communist countries such as China and the Soviet Union, and on the other side was South Vietnam and supporting anti-communist countries, such as the United States and other members of the SEATO. “South Vietnam was backed by anti-communist countries and members of the South-East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) which included the United States, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Thailand, Khmer Republic (later overthrown by Khmer Rouge), Kingdom of Laos and Republic of China (Taiwan). North Vietnam was backed by the communist allies which included People’s Republic of China, Soviet Union, Pathet Lao (Laotian Communist insurgents), Khmer Rouge (Cambodian Communist insurgents) and North Korea.” (Passage 2) Instead of the main goal of the Vietnam War being the independence of Vietnam, the countries backing the North saw it as an opportunity to spread communism and the countries backing the South saw it as a war against the spread of communism. This was crucial for countries such as the Soviet Union, China, and the United States because they all have a past of conflicting ideals and government, and because of the Cold War that never ended. That being stated, the Vietnam War could be considered as a “proxy war” between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold …show more content…
Soldier accounts, fiction novels depicting the war overseas and at home, and speeches were all created to protest the war. “Charming Billy” by Tim O’Brien is a piece of anti-war literature focused on the impact that the Vietnam war had on the soldiers that were there. The story follows Private First-Class Paul Berlin, and his internal struggle to make it out of the war alive and with his sanity intact. His platoon decided to take a break from walking, and Paul Berlin started to talk to a soldier named Toby about how Billy Boy, a fellow soldier, stepped on a mine and instead of being killed by the mine, he died of a heart attack. This must have triggered something in Paul, since he could not stop laughing. “The giggles were caught in his throat, drowning him in his own laughter: scared to death like Billy Boy.” (Passage 4) Since Paul was thinking about how unlikely it was for Billy to die of a heart attack in a war, he was stuck laughing in fear. This shows just how psychologically changed Paul was by Billy’s death, and how most veterans of the Vietnam War were psychologically affected in some way. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was first officially recognized as a mental disorder just five years after the conclusion of the Vietnam War. It is still reported that Vietnam veterans to this day suffer from PTSD as a result of the events witnessed in