The Vietnam War

May 7, 2008
By Kirsten Youngblood, Boise, ID

The Vietnam War was a very tragic time that was destructive and enormously violent. It was a time that many people remember and a time when our county was divided by their opinions.
There were many different phases of the Vietnam War. It all started with the first phase beginning in 1946 when the Vietnamese fought France for control over Vietnam. At that time, Vietnam was part of the colonial empire in Indochina. Finally the first phase was over when the Vietnamese defeated the French in 1954. While all of this was going on, Vietnam was being split into North and South Vietnam by their governments.
The Vietnam War also had many different stages. In 1957 to 1963, North Vietnam aided rebels opposed to the government of South Vietnam. The United States gave aid and advisory personnel to South Vietnam in order to fight the northern rebels. From 1964 to 1969, North Vietnam and the United States did most of the fighting. South Vietnam also got help from New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand. By April 1969, the number of U.S. forces in South Vietnam had reached its peak of more than 543,000 troops. By July, the United States had slowly begun to withdraw its forces from the region. Then finally in January of 1973, a cease fire was oddly arranged.
There are many important things to know about the Vietnam War, but I will mention just a couple. The Vietnam War was the longest war in which the United States took part. It was also a war trying to keep communism from spreading. Our President Truman had declared that the United States must help any nation challenged by communism. North Vietnam was communist and they were fighting the government to reunite the country. While on the other hand South Vietnam wasn’t communist so they and the United States fought North Vietnam.
Then the war ended. The United States didn’t have a very good ending to the war while North Vietnam was overcome with joy. North Vietnam helped rebels overthrow the U.S. backed government in nearby Cambodia. After the war, North Vietnam united Vietnam and helped set up a new government in nearby Laos.
Still today, many Americans disagree on the goals, conduct, and lessons of the U.S. participation in the Vietnam War.

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