The Vietnam War and the Protest Against It Essay

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Secretary of State John Kerry once said “I saw courage both in the Vietnam War and in the struggle to stop it. I learned that patriotism includes protest, not just military service.” The Vietnam War was a conflict that lasted from 1956-1975 which the United States participated in along with the South Vietnamese who fought against the Communist North Vietnamese. Many Americans strongly disapproved of the war which caused many protests and riots. The war lasted 25 years killing many people and eventually the North Vietnamese won. The Vietnam War was important to Americans back home because it tested the citizen’s right to free speech, effected future foreign policy, and created many issues for returning veterans.

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When World War II was resolved with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Vietnamese thought that they would finally be free, but were disappointed when the French returned to power following their liberation from German control (Pendergast 14).

Following the French return, the Communist regime of Vietnamese people had decided it was time for a rebellion and started waging war versus the French (Pendergast 14). With Vietnam’s neighbors to the north, China, following Russia’s principles and becoming a Communist nation, the Vietnamese Communist Regime, also known as the Viet Minh, gained strategic military support (Pendergast 15). The fighting between the Viet Minh and the French continued for many years and in the spring of 1954 the Viet Minh won a very decisive battle known as the Battle of Dien Bien Phu (Pendergast 17). This battle proved to bring the fighting between the French and Viet Minh to a close because in the summer of 1954 there was a conference held in Geneva, Switzerland to bring the fighting to a close (Pendergast 19). The results of this conference were the Geneva Accords which called for a temporary ceasefire, and a split of the country into a communist sector in the north and republic in the south along the 17th parallel (Pendergast 20). The plan however was not well liked and

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