The Nadir Of The American Century : The Vietnam Disaster

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The Nadir of the American Century: The Vietnam Disaster The Vietnam War commenced during a time of great social and political unrest in America. It came during the middle of the Cold War, a fierce worldwide battle between Eastern communism and Western democracy. There was already division going on in America at the time, with events like the “Red Scare” in Washington creating a growing fear of worldwide communism. The U.S. involvement in Vietnam began with Harry Truman aiding the French in an imperial war from 1946-1954, which the French eventually lost to the Vietminh. This loss began the controversy surrounding Vietnam. The U.S. once again entered Vietnam in 1965, this time involved in a civil war between the democratic South and the communist North. What ensued was one of the most controversial wars in American history, which had a lasting impact that is still felt today. The Vietnam War created many tensions across the United States. On the social side, there was racial tension due to the segregation in America at the time. There was class tension that was shown through the biased draft process. Generational tension existed as well, as the youth of the nation were in a battle with the older generations over the purpose of the war itself. In terms of political tensions, the war created a severe credibility gap between the government and the people. The war was also viewed as a threat to constitutional democracy. Lastly, the war lacked justification in the minds of many
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