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The Vietnam Conflict

In the Vietnam War — which lasted from the mid-1950s until 1975 — the United States and the southern-based Republic of Vietnam (RVN) opposed the southern-based revolutionary movement known as the Viet Cong and its sponsor, the Communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam (the DRV, or North Vietnam). The war was the second of two major conflicts that spread throughout Indochina, with Vietnam as its focal point (see Vietnam). The First Indochina War was a struggle between Vietnamese nationalists and the French colonial regime aided by the United States. In the second war, the United States replaced France as the major contender against northern-based Communists and southern insurgents. Communist victory in 1975 had profound ramifications for the United States; it was not only a setback to the containment of communism in Asia but a shock to American self-confidence.

(1998 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia)

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