Differences Between Korean and Vietnam War

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Before the Vietnam War, the United States had to prevent the spread of communism, especially during the Cold War. After the USSR declared victory over Nazi Germany, Korea divided into the communist North with the Soviets, and the South with the United States. The Truman Doctrine was enacted, which called for the U.S financial and military aid to Greece and Turkey to help protect countries from being corrupted by communism. U.S troops engaged in the Korean War after the communist North Korea invaded South Korea in an attempt to create one large communistic state. The war ended in the 1950s, with an armistice agreement. America feared the idea that communist would spread all over south-east Asia, causing the Vietnam War. During the period of the Vietnam War, the United States presence led to the rise of advocacy for social justice, division over presidential power, and economic prioritization, which led to tensions within the United States.

During the Vietnam War, social advocacy rose due to the treatment of specific groups. Document B describes how the already crippled black population was being targeted and sent to their deaths in the Vietnam War. Document C talks about how the younger uneducated working class citizens were unable to avoid the draft, being sent to their doom in the war, while the educated upper-class were being deferred from the draft. This shows that both groups of people were looked at as dispensable to the United States, especially because the issue remained throughout the draft. The black population argued that it was unfair that they were being sent to another country to fight for social liberties that they weren’t even granted in the United States. The educated “harvard” men were avoiding the draft deliberately while the uneducated working class were being sent off to the war. As an African-American social advocate, MLK believed that all groups of people should be treated equally. Rights should be granted to everyone despite their class or color. He believed in these things, because he experienced them first-hand. He was even incarcerated due to his beliefs. He was a minister, so he was already an advocate for social justice. While incarcerated, MLK wrote, “The Letter from Birmingham Jail,” which defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism. He argued that people have a moral responsibility to take action and break unjust laws rather than waiting forever for justice from courts. It was a definite response to men who criticized MLK, thinking his campaigns would cause violence. The black population was told to be patient and wait for their social justice. As a Harvard man, James Fallows witnessed the draft experience of others and one himself. Him and other men purposely failed tests eliminating them from the draft so they didn’t have to go to war, while others were unaware of this, being sent to war to die. He felt sympathy for these people because it never occurred to him that these people didn’t know their way around the draft like him and other men did. He was aware of the issue but never made an effort to help people like the Chelsea boys.

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More presidential power caused tensions to rise within the United States. Document A is about the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which talks about how congress approved the president to take necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and prevent any further aggression. Document G is about the War Powers Act, which intended to check the U.S president’s power when committing to an armed conflict without the consent of congress. Document E from Nixon talks about how we need to be more unified at times like this, and the only people that can bring us down is ourselves. These documents show how the country is divided on war efforts. In Doc A, part of the American population thinks that we should exclude ourselves from affairs in other countries and leave those people to work out their problems on their own. Doc G, argues that the Congress should monitor the president’s power more strictly, instead of letting him use it so freely. Doc E addresses the divisions in America on issues like the presidential power, and describes that we are the most powerful nation and can conquer but only if we are united. As a political, Nixon was very influential and knew the efforts and struggles of both the moderates and the conservatives. He always tries to make sure he appealed to both sides. He showed this when becoming president of the United States. His term coincided with the Vietnam War, and he made sure to focus on his program to discern the U.S from Vietnam, but while also trying to help them out.

The United States had to prioritize their funding, at the demands of the United States citizens. Document D talks about how Foreign Policy was dragging the Great Society down. Document F talks about the proposition to conserve limited resources in the U.S, and only spend what is absolutely prudent for national security. This shows that there was only a limited amount of money the U.S could spend on the demands. In Doc D, there was the Great Society, which focuses on funding welfare, education, and the impoverished while foreign policy advocated for funding to help the war. There is obviously a division between the people who want to help fund internal affairs and those who want to help fund the war. In Doc F, it explains that we need to spend less money on the war because it will drag us down. It argues against foreign policy and creates feud with those who want to help fund the war.


The heightened tensions in the United States during the Vietnam War can relate to the tensions during the Korean War. In both wars, the U.S was fighting against communistic rule. The social tension that it created was whether or not people thought it was right to fight in a war that didn’t pertain to them. The political tension was if the containment policy should be upheld, considering this was a war that had no effect on the United States. Economically, this could easily put the United States in debt, because of their funding towards war efforts. It would cost them drastically for weapons, transportation, training and artillery. Ultimately, the Korean and Vietnam War had a vast amount in common regarding the tensions it created in the United States.

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Differences Between Korean and Vietnam War. (2022, November 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/differences-between-korean-and-vietnam-war/
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