The Vietnam War

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

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The Vietnam War Throughout the past century, there have been numerous controversial topics from suffrage to slavery. Perhaps one of the most controversial, at least in my opinion, was the war in Vietnam. Even today, right now, if you ask someone what he or she thinks about the Vietnam War, you are sure to get an earful. But, while opinions have their place, the real questions still linger. How did this war start? What was the United States involvement in the war? Lastly, was the price that the United States paid worth it? These are the questions I posed to myself, and then set out to try and answer here, in this paper.

The Vietnamese War, as defined to me in the New Standard Encyclopedia, was " an undeclared war for the control of South Vietnam, starting in 1957 and ending in 1975." The war began as a Communist guerrilla campaign supported by North Vietnam, who sought control of South Vietnam.

The United States feared that Communism would spread, and President Eisenhower's Domino Theory was born. By 1965 the United States assumed a major role when units of Marines became the first combat troops in South Vietnam. In April, the first North Vietnamese regular units infiltrated South Vietnam. President Johnson increased United States involvement in July of that same year by strengthening arms by 125,000 men. By the end of 1965, there were 181,000 American troops along with troops sent by South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.

August of 1968 was without a doubt the bloodiest and most horrific year of the war that the American soldiers had to endure. This was the year of the Tet Offensive, which had started in January of that year with the North Vietnamese launching major attacks on more...



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