Effectsof the Vietnam War
Oneof the wars that significantly transformed the American Society isthe Vietnam War. Ideally, this was one of the longest battles byAmerica in her history. The war lasted from 1955 to 1973. Theself-image of America was soiled as it failed for the first time tomeet the goals of the warfare. America wanted to ensure that Vietnam,as a state, was separately preserved, and independent from theCommunist affairs. The war also had a profound impact on theAmericans. The proceedings of the war were live on the Americantelevision, and the public had a picture of what was going on in thebattlefield. An analysis of the war reveals several impacts that itbrought both on the society and the social institutions, likejournalism.
Impactsof the Vietnam War on the American Society
Themajor facet of the society that led and underwent transformations isthe media, and it played a pivotal role as it aired the horrors ofthe war to the citizens. For the first time, what was happening onthe battlefield was brought to life. The Americans were able to seethe destructive impacts of fighting and the deaths that it caused.These happenings had a profound effect on the Americans view on war.The media also underwent a transformation. Unlike in other caseswhere it focused on the positive sides of the war and the aspectsthat were of interest to the citizens, they became skeptical aboutthe battle and started publishing biased reports. Initially, moneywas not a major factor in journalism. Therefore, the competition wasweak, and the central role of the journalism profession as tomaintain the confidence of the public and make them optimistic.However, after traveling to Vietnam, they were able to obtain crucialinformation and stories (Baumann 102). They accessed reports from theDefense Department and realized that the government had duped thepublic of its war intentions. The trust that the Americans had on thegovernment was distorted. The techniques that were employed by thearmy attracted critics as the media unearthed the horrors of the war.The level of completion in the press houses rapidly grew as theycompeted for money, popularity and success using the information theyobtained.
Thepublic opinion on the activities of the government also changed. Forinstance, people began revolting and opposing the war publicly afterseeing the horrific pictures. They started to question thegovernment activities particularly, its presence in Vietnam. Theydid not imagine how a small country like Vietnam would make the worldturn to communism. The number of rallies, demonstrations and sit-insincreased in the learning institutions to air the publicdissatisfaction. Teach-ins were also a significant method that wasused to absorb people into the anti-war protests. The religiousgroups also joined the movements. Soldiers who were initially seen asheroes were labeled baby killers (Gold et al 66). The pride that camewith wearing an American army uniform back from war became a thing ofthe past and soldiers avoided putting it on due to embarrassment.
Lastbut not least, the war had profound effects on the American economy.There was need of the supplementary budget to sustain it. The cost ofliving became high during this period as prices of items increased.
Thewar led to significant changes in the American society some which arefelt up to date. The citizens question every action taken by thegovernment since they no longer trust the elected leaders. The mediahas cemented its place as the watchdog of the public. The views ofthe public on the government changed.
Baumann,Robert F. "America in Vietnam: The War That Couldn`t Be Won."MilitaryReview91.1 (2015): 102. AcademicSearch Premier.Web. 15 Jan. 2017.
Gold,Sarah F., et al. "They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace,Vietnam and America, October 1967 (Book)." PublishersWeekly250.33 (2013): 66. AcademicSearch Premier.Web. 15 Jan. 2017.