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Explain why there was an anti-war movement in the united states during the late 1960 - source based work.

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Introduction

IS THERE SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE IN SOURCES 'A' TO 'E' TO EXPLAIN WHY THERE WAS AN ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES DURING THE LATE 1960s AND EARLY 1970s? Source 'A' shows that people were sent off to war against their own will as they would not have usually been let into the army as they scored so low on intelligence tests. This is a reason for people to oppose this war as these people who are being drafted are being forced to do something against their own will and are risking their lives in the process. It also says that a lot of men had died, especially in the first few months. They were not given proper training and so were more likely to die or become a casualty. People were wondering if Vietnam was worth dying for and whether it mattered if communism spread through Asia. ...read more.

Middle

It seems as if they are just trying to stop communism from spreading past Vietnam and not to it. This bad treatment to innocent people would upset the American public and encourage them to support the peace movement. I know that the US did treat innocent civilians harshly and that they also tried to cover incidents up by lying. This is because the government papers known as the Pentagon Papers were stolen and publicised. They show that the US did not always act correctly. Source 'C' backs up source 'B' in the way of attacking/killing innocent civilians. It shows how it is immoral and not the way to persuade the people of the evil of communism. The bombing of civilians gave people a reason to protest against war, as war was obviously not the way to achieve the aims of the US. ...read more.

Conclusion

Source 'E' says how the media, especially television portrays the war as being more gruesome than it really is. This would show why there was so much protesting as they had been unknowingly mislead into what the war was really like. I think that the sources do give some good reasons and motives for the public of the US to protest against the war, but some aspects are not mentioned. These include the unfair executions and torturing of men without trial, and that some of the chemical weapons used by the US were harmful to the environment, as scientists discovered. Also, these sources do not show what the secretary of defence, Robert McNamara, said about the bombing of North Vietnam and how it was not helping, as this drove many people to the protests. They believed that if the main politician, the expert, agrees that the bombing should be stopped, then it must be. After all, he was the secretary of defence for seven years. ...read more.

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