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How did the Vietnam War affect American society?

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calebbar | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted March 7, 2012 at 1:39 AM via web

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How did the Vietnam War affect American society?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 7, 2012 at 2:11 AM (Answer #1)

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The main impact of the Vietnam War was to help drive American society apart.  American society had been relatively homogeneous and united in the 1950s and early 1960s.  The war helped to break this homogeneity and bring on the "culture wars" that we now have.

The Vietnam War helped to split American attitudes towards things like patriotism and authority.  The traditionalists wanted to keep hold of ideas like respect for authority and support for US foreign policy.  People who were radicalized by the war, on the other hand, started to feel that patriotism and authority in general was corrupt and should be resisted.

The Vietnam War helped to force this change in American attitudes, creating a split that had not previously existed.

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