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Vietnam War: History and Facts of War That Began in 1959 Essay

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Updated: Feb 15th, 2022

Introduction

The Second Indochina War began in 1959, five years after the division of the country, according to the Geneva Agreement. Vietnam was divided into two parts: the communist regime in the North under Ho Chi Minh and a democratic government led by Ngo Dinh Zyem in the South. Concerned about the situation, the Kennedy administration decided to increase aid to South Vietnam. The armed forces and military advisers were also provided to the Republic of Vietnam in order to assist them in fighting partisans.

Main body

In August 1964, a US warship was attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. As a result, Congress passed a resolution on Southeast Asia that allowed president Lyndon Johnson to conduct a military operation in the region without declaring war. In 1965 the US aircraft launched military operations in Vietnam, and the first troops arrived. Then Nixon became a president, and the US decided to begin so-called “Vietnamization” to train local troops, so American soldiers begin to return home. Meanwhile, the protests against the US politics in Southeast Asia intensified after such bloody battles as Hamburger Hill, the killing of civilians in Mai Lai, the invasion of Cambodia, and the leak of Pentagon documents (1971).

South Vietnam’s troops failed to substitute American soldiers, and in 1974 the peace agreement was signed in Paris to end the conflict. American military forces left the country. After a short period of peace, North Vietnam resumed hostilities in late 1974. They captured Saigon in April 1975, forcing South Vietnam to surrender and reunite. The conflict was deeply rooted in the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. It was a bloody war that took more than 3 million lives of people, including 58 000 American soldiers. Moreover, Americans lost their confidence because of failure to stop the spread of communism, and the Truman Doctrine eventually was abandoned.

Conclusion

The status of the US as a world’s defender was undermined due to atrocities, while many Vietnam veterans faced psychological after-effects. The conditions of veterans encouraged the rebellion movement of the Hippies, who stood against war and for sexual freedom, nature, equality, and love. Moreover, the war intensified the civil rights movement of the 1960s. For instance, many Afro-American Vietnam veterans joined the Black Panther Party, which fought for social justice. The dispute over whether or not to back the war ignited the struggle for racial equality.

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IvyPanda. (2022, February 15). Vietnam War: History and Facts of War That Began in 1959. https://ivypanda.com/essays/vietnam-war-history-and-facts/

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IvyPanda. (2022, February 15). Vietnam War: History and Facts of War That Began in 1959. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/vietnam-war-history-and-facts/

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"Vietnam War: History and Facts of War That Began in 1959." IvyPanda, 15 Feb. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/vietnam-war-history-and-facts/.

1. IvyPanda. "Vietnam War: History and Facts of War That Began in 1959." February 15, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/vietnam-war-history-and-facts/.


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IvyPanda. "Vietnam War: History and Facts of War That Began in 1959." February 15, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/vietnam-war-history-and-facts/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Vietnam War: History and Facts of War That Began in 1959." February 15, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/vietnam-war-history-and-facts/.

References

IvyPanda. (2022) 'Vietnam War: History and Facts of War That Began in 1959'. 15 February.

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