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Explain how the following were all important to the growth of the peace movement in America.’

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Introduction

Christian Hamilton-Smith Burnley Habergham High School History Syllabus B (Modern World History) Assignment 1 (Question 1) 'Explain how the following were all important to the growth of the peace movement in America.' -Soldiers' experiences in Vietnam. -Agent Orange & Napalm. -Blanket bombing. -My Lai, 1968. -Protest movement and the attitudes of the young, 1968-73. -The power of the media. All of the above were important and add to the growth of the peace movement in America. This was basically because it was the first real media war. The people in America actually witnessed on television, what was happening over in Vietnam. They were shocked by what was happening to the point that they created vast peace movements and protested until America finally withdrew in 1972. To begin with the American people were behind the war. They wished with their government to stop the spread of communism. The Americans were very much afraid of communism, as it had been used in many cases for bad. This was shown for the worse in places like Nazi Germany, as Hitler ruled and also in the conflict with Russia. ...read more.

Middle

The use of napalm also horrified people as they watched the news and various programs relating to Vietnam. The Napalm would stick to the bodies of its victims often this would include children, as they would bomb a whole village with it. Many people were opposed to the images they saw in the media because they had never really witnessed a war before. They had no real idea what a war was like, as the most they had heard would probably have been from a family member or someone close, telling them about it. The media turned round the views on the war completely. More People began to protest and campaign for peace because of this. Key incidents that were reported in the media included; the attack at My Lai. The American people were shocked and could not believe what happened there. The scenes that were expressed and shown in the media turned many to peace and protest. They would watch from their own armchairs as they were shown horrific images connected to, the My Lai incident. Their newspapers were full of facts and bad news about the war. They were upset to find that this had happened in all the wars. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was a change to the hippies and other such people that would normally protest against the involvement of America. By 1968 the cost of the war in cash and lives was beginning to have a political impact. They realised the strong views the people had and decided to decrease the amount of troops America had in Vietnam. This was known as the Vietnamisation and was introduced by President Nixon in 1969. As America is and was a democracy, the public were influential on the government in the 1960's as they wished for peace. The politicians have to be aware and listen to the public, but this can be changed through propaganda. Propaganda was used but because of the mass of input from the media it didn't have the same effect as it did in the other wars that America had fought in. By 1971 only a few thousand troops remained in Vietnam. A cease-fire was agreed and the war was over but North Vietnam broke this and invaded South Vietnam. By 1975 the whole of Vietnam was communist. It had seemed that America's involvement had been highly controversial and unproductive in Vietnam. They had wasted lives, money and angered their own people in an attempt to stop the spread of communism. ...read more.

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