Impacts of the Vietnam War on Australian Society

Essay by galdorixHigh School, 10th gradeA-, July 2008

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Attitudes towards Asia and communism: Australia's attitudes towards Asia and Communism were Vastly affected by politics, war, Allying capitalist countries and current affairs. Australia was under a Capitalist government and therefore had a strong Anti-Communist belief: e.g. "Reds under the beds". When Australia was threatened by the prospect of Communism reaching Australian shores from South-East Asia by the "domino's effect", Australia decided to send their forces into South Vietnam to join forces and to fight the Communist North (Viet Minh) and obtain Communism from spreading. Australia also felt obliged to fight as America was fighting and they felt that they needed to support their strong alliance with the US, as they were helping Australia stop communism from spreading in the South-East pacific region, as Australia had done for the US in Europe during the Cold War, and in the Korean War. Australia was afraid that Communism would spread into Australia, and thought it would be better not to be fighting in their own country, but to keep Communism at bay in a way that wouldn't impact on Australian citizens welfare.

Primary source: Quotes from Prime minister Robert Menzies: "There can be no doubt of the gravity of the situation in south Vietnam. There is ample evidence to show that with the support of the North Vietnamese and other communist powers, the Viet Cong has been preparing on a more substantial scale than hitherto insurgency action to destroy South Vietnamese Government control, and to disrupt by violence the life of the local people…We have not, of coarse, come to this decision without the closest attention of the question of defence priorities. We do not and must not overlook the point that our alliances, as well as providing guarantees and assurances for our security, make demands upon us…Assessing all this, it is...