Vietnam War and American Revolution Comparison Research Paper

October 14, 2020 by Essay Writer


The United States’ war in Vietnam and the American Revolution have a substantial influence on the history of the United States. The primary goal of this paper is to compare these events while using Mao’s phases of insurgency and finding a correlation between British and American problems. Mao implies that the participants of the war have to follow certain stages to avoid defeat (Perritt, 2008). The first intention is cultivating public support, the second phase aims at focusing on the particular areas while eliminating the power of the government, and the final attack eradicates the political regime (Perritt, 2008). Both events are associated with the changes in the administration, and public support is the requirement to cultivate the necessity of changes and military actions (Shabad & Slomczynski, 2010). Consequently, the presence of these matters explains the linkage of the United States’ war in Vietnam and the American Revolution to Mao’s stages of the insurgency.

The First Phase

The first stage implies the necessity of “building public support” and focusing on the limitations of military involvement (Perritt, 2008, p. 198). The support in Vietnam was a requirement, and the social opinion was vehemently affected by the press’ interpretation of the events (Gelpi, Feaver, & Reifler, 2009). The government tried to maintain social opinion at the desired level, but it declined. The core goal was to avoid the opposition, as it would have affected the division of the military.

As for the American Revolution, public support was an obligation to change the political regime. Nonetheless, it was performed more aggressively, as the opponents of the changes were “ridiculed in public” and enforced to sign the required approvals (Morton, 2003, p. 83). In this case, the support was received at both events, but the tactics were different.

The Second Phase

The second stage implies the minimization of the power of the opponent’s government and aims at particular aspects (Perritt, 2008). The first goal of the United States in Vietnam was to lessen the communistic powers by attacking the south of the country and disenabling China’s support (Gibbons, 2014). The initial goal of these actions was to destroy the order in Vietnam by aiming at the political entities. In turn, the U.S.A. was also attacking the airbases to decrease Vietnam’s response to the attacks (Gibbons, 2014).

The first acts of the American Revolution were portrayed with the assistance of the absence of desire to comply with various legal aspects such as Tea, Stamp, Sugar, and other acts (Morton, 2003). Nonetheless, events such as Boston Massacre were rather violent and unpredictable and could be considered as the first actions, which led to the rise of power in the United States of America (Morton, 2003). In this case, the primary difference is the disturbing nature of the events with the rising aggression to eliminate the power of Britain.

The Third Phase

As for the third stage, the final attack takes place to eliminate and modify the current regime (Perritt, 2008). In this instance, the subsequent actions in Vietnam could not be considered as successful, as America did not take into account the existence of the potential support from other communistic countries such as the Soviet Union (Gibbons, 2014). The lack of analytical information and insufficient actions during the first phase were the primary causes of the defeat of the American army in the Northern part of Vietnam due to the inability to lessen the power of the communistic government.

As for the American Revolution, the actions were thoughtful, as the establishment of the new legislation was applied via the armed actions simultaneously (Morton, 2003). In this instance, the actions of the United States of America could be considered as being successful, as they led to the development of the Articles of Confederation and the introduction of the American Constitution (Morton, 2003). The decisions of the government were more rational and subsequent than during the Vietnam War.


In the end, Mao’s principles are applicable in the context of both events and tend to explain the defeat of the American army in Vietnam and success during the American Revolution. In turn, the similarities between the British issues during the American Revolution and American problems in Vietnam are related to the inability of the countries to attract the attention of the masses and gain public support. In this case, Britain could not cultivate the perception of the absence of necessity of the American sovereignty, and it led to the political disobedience, as the masses supported the opposite opinion due to the well-developed and aggressive propaganda (Dickenson, 2014). A similar situation occurred during the Vietnam War, as the lack of internal and external support was a definer of the defeat. Consequently, the role of support determines the country’s success on the battlefield.


Dickenson, H. (2014). Britain and the American Revolution. London, UK: Routledge.

Gelpi, C., Feaver, P., & Reifler, J. (2009). Paying the human costs of war: American public opinion and casualties in military conflicts. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Gibbons, W. (2014). The U.S. government and the Vietnam War: Executive and legislative roles and relationships. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Morton, J. (2003). The American Revolution. West Port, CT: Greenwood Press.

Perritt, H. (2008). Kosovo liberation army: The inside story of the insurgency. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Shabad, G., & Slomczynski, K. (2010). Public support for military actions against terrorism: The effect of age, generations, and political orientations. Polish Sociological Review, 170, 171-190.

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