Power Of The Poster: Vietnam War

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The Power of the Poster – Vietnam War The social, political and cultural Revolutions of the 1960’s and 1970’s, brought upheaval and dissent on an international scale. Mao Tse-tung’s Cultural Revolution stimulated the proletariat in the People’s Republic of China (at it’s height from 1966 to 1968, and continuing until his death in 1976). African colonies struggle for independence from the European empires. Nationwide strikes staged by students and workers in France brought terror to the Gaullist government and riots to the streets of Paris in May 1968. Youth movements launched against authority and ‘the establishment’ (the old social order) spread from the United States of America to Great Britain and Europe. Civil rights and black power,…show more content…
history. Fearing the spread of communism, President Kennedy committed the people of the United States of America to defending the fledgling democratic government of South Vietnam. Despite its arguably noble intentions, the war in Vietnam would prove the greatest challenge to American democratic idealism since the Civil War. The war was fought in Vietnam from 1959-75, involving the North Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front (NLF) in conflict with the United States, Australian, New Zealand forces and the South Vietnamese army. The conflict’s roots took shape in July 1954, when France was forced out of Vietnam after one hundred years of colonial rule. In the peace process, the country was partitioned into northern and southern sections, with a U.S.-supported government in the south and a communist republic in the north. On December 20, 1960, the northern Communist Party formed the National Liberation Front (NLF), with the ultimate goal of reunifying the country. In response, U.S. President John F. Kennedy began supplying military equipment and advisors in 1961. Matters escalated when North Vietnam launched an attack against the C. Turner Joy and the U.S.S. Maddox, two American ships on call in the Gulf of Tonkin, on August 2, 1964. In the U.S. Congress, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed, allowing for an expanded war effort. Despite hopes for a limited, “controlled” war, the conflict would drag…show more content…
firepower and technology, the North Vietnamese forces were successful in fighting a protracted, guerrilla-style conflict. American fortunes changed for the worse with the Tet Offensive in 1968, in which major South Vietnam cities were attacked. Historians disagree on the literal success of the offensive, but it proved to be a huge boost for North Vietnamese morale, and had the opposite effect on the South Vietnamese and U.S. forces. Serious negotiations to end the war began after U.S. President Lyndon Johnson’s decision not to seek re-election in 1968. Contacts between North Vietnam and the United States in Paris in 1968 were expanded in 1969 to include South Vietnam and the NLF. The United States, under the leadership of President Richard M. Nixon, altered its tactics to combine U.S. troop withdrawals with intensified bombing and the invasion of Communist sanctuaries in Cambodia (1970). Ultimately, lacking a credible plan for winning the war, on January 15, 1973 President Nixon ordered a suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam which was later followed by the unilateral withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam. The Paris Peace Accords were later signed on January 27, 1973 that officially ended US involvement in the Vietnam conflict. However, the South Vietnamese continued to battle the Communists from March 1973 until the fall of Saigon and the capture of the South Vietnamese presidential palace on April 30, 1975, in the following months Vietnam

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