Paris Peace Accord
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The Paris Peace Accord dramatically impacted the Vietnamese people, and it also gave credence to those who argued that the United States "lost" the Vietnam conflict. Never in the history of the United States was the government forced to end a conflict on such disadvantageous terms. Perhaps most important was the fact that the Paris Peace Accords gave closure to what was one of the most turbulent periods in American and Vietnamese history.
The following are some excellent topic suggestions for further research on the Paris Peace Accords:
- How did the US rally against the Peace Accord?
- Was Vietnam ready to be on their own?
- What was the real reason behind not wanting to let Vietnam govern their own people?
- Who drew up the Paris Peace Accord?
The Terms of the Paris Peace Accords
Inspection of the terms of the Paris Peace Accords reveal that the United States basically had to end the Vietnam conflict by completely removing any hint of a military presence. First, Article 1 of the Paris Peace Accord demanded that " The United States and all other countries respect the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Vietnam as recognized by the 1954 Geneva Agreements on Vietnam" Like it or not, the United States was forced to accept that Vietnam had the right to govern itself, and that there would be an additional Communist presence on the Asian continent.
Article 2 Of the Paris Peace Accord
Article 2 of the Paris Peace Accord stipulated that " the United States will stop all its military activities against the territory of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam by ground, air and naval forces, wherever they may be based, and end the mining of territorial waters, ports, harbors, and waterways of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam" This was essentially the equivalent of the schoolyard bully being told to stop beating up other kids on the playground and go home. The United States was seen as somewhat of a "world policeman" by many around the world for establishing such a huge military presence in Vietnam. Article 2 of the Paris Peace Accord stated under no uncertain terms that the United States had to completely withdraw, which obviously undermined the foreign policy that had dictated and justified America's presence in the region. Article 21 of the Paris Peace Accord further obligated the United States to "contribute to the healing of wounds of war and to postwar reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and throughout Indochina".
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