The Vietnam War is one of America’s longest lasting wars beginning in 1955, and lasting until 1975. The United States became involved in the Vietnam War because of its efforts to stop communism in Southeast Asia. The United States feared that if communist took over Southeast Asia it would cause a domino effect around the world. The United States began sending financial aid and military advisors to South Vietnam to help stop a communist takeover.
North Vietnam was run by communist leader Ho Chi Minh, and the South had a non-communist government.An election to unify Vietnam would be held in 1955, fearing that Ho Chi Minh would win the elections South Vietnam president Ngo Dinh Diem refused to hold an election that would unify the country. With the support of the United States South Vietnam and North Vietnam began to engage in war.
The United States continued its finical support but refused to send troops into Vietnam until 1965. According to History learning site (2010) “In August 1964, the Tongking Incident occurred when two American destroyers were attacked by North Vietnamese gunboats while they were in international waters.In response to this, the American Senate gave Johnson the power to give armed support to assist any country requesting help in defence of its freedom. ” In March 1965, America sent the first group of soldiers to South Vietnam.
By December 1965, there were 150,000 soldiers stationed in South Vietnam. After the United States involvement many people in America became frustrated, especially college students. Many college students opposed the Vietnam War because of the draft. Students believed that the draft was unfair to the soldiers who were drafted. Many students thought that the draft targeted minorities.
Many minorities were put on the frontline to fight against the enemy. The Vietnam War was the first war that received media coverage. Americans could receive a realization of what was going on in Vietnam. Some students opposed the war because they believed that too many innocent people were losing their lives. Many college students gathered together to protest against the war in Vietnam, oftentimes riots broke out at these protests. According to The history connection (2010) “Students protested and gathered, building rage against the war spurring events like the Kent State Massacre.
The Kent State Massacre is named after a calm protest uprooted when guards killed and wounded students by opening fire on a mass of students as they gathered on the Kent State campus. ” The student’s protest had little effect on the war effort; the United States continued the draft and the death toll continued to rise. The student unrest across America had an effect on the recruiting of potential military recruits. Students across the United States began to protest against the recruitment of soldiers. One example of such incidents occurred at the University of Iowa.According to Meller (2010) “The first major antiwar demonstration at the University of Iowa occurred in November 1967. Marine Corps recruiters were trying to sign up new recruits. A crowd of anti-war students blocked the entrance to the student union.
” Students during the Vietnam War began to organize student groups. All of these student groups began to form across America to oppose the War in Vietnam. Student groups like, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) led protest demonstrations against the war. The SDS also led a major anti-war demonstration in Washington, D. C. on November 27, 1995 the group received strong media coverage. Student unrest continued throughout the end of the war.
The war in Vietnam slowly began to come toward an end. One major event that set the United States in motion to end the war was a massive attack by the North Vietnamese Army, which took the Americans by surprise. The North Vietnamese Army attacked all the major South Vietnamese cities, and U. S. military bases.
As a result of the attack two million were made homeless and 160,000 civilians were killed (History learning site, 2010).With the death toll adding up, the United States began reducing the amount of soldiers in Vietnam. According to History learning site (2010) “In 1969, the American president, Richard Nixon, agreed to reduce the number of American troops in South Vietnam. He pursued a policy called “Vietnamisation” whereby the South Vietnamese would be assisted in material matters by the Americans but the fighting would be done by the South Vietnamese Army.
” In 1973 the war in Vietnam came to an end, The United States loss an estimated 58,159 United States soldiers.