The Vietnam War and the U.S. South:Regional Perspectives on a National War

  • Lee Dixon

Student thesis: Phd


The American South's cultural distinctiveness has been a central historiographical issue debated by scholars since the first decades of the country's inception. Implicitly or explicitly, this debate centres largely on one question - why has the South retained its distinct identity for cultural, social, political and economic exclusivity? This thesis examines southern distinctiveness with specific reference to America's military involvement in Vietnam during the 1960s and 1970s, providing new insights upon an old question. Although a national effort, which encompassed the service over three million men, America's 16 year involvement in their war against the communist-backed North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Viet Minh/Vietcong (VC) forces was shaped by distinct southern influences attributed to the region's history and culture. This thesis demonstrates that the southern influence over America's political, economic and military theatres profoundly shaped the direction and administration of the Vietnam War. Southerners occupied crucial leadership roles throughout the Vietnam war era, including the presidency and Secretary of State, while both the Senate and the House of Representatives were led by men from South of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Date of Award1 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAna Carden-Coyne (Supervisor) & David Brown (Supervisor)


  • The Vietnam War
  • The U.S. South

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