• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain why there were such different reactions in the USA to the country's involvement in the conflict in Vietnamin the 1960s?

Extracts from this document...


Explain why there were such different reactions in the USA to the country's involvement in the conflict in Vietnam in the 1960s? In the early sixties the American public opinion was very anti-communist thanks to conflict with Russia. This fear of communism was fuelled by the Domino Theory that said that if one country fell to communism so would all the surrounding countries. The country had also almost reached Nuclear War when the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in 1962. The American public was very against the communist ideals and the cold war caused great patriotic feeling among the American people. The media coverage of the war was generally positive and very supportive of the American war effort. As the death count grew people started to ask themselves was this war really a war to defend freedom and democracy against Communist tyranny. ...read more.


The protests reached a peak in 1968, when the 'peaceniks' brandishing only 'flower power' exhorted everyone to 'make love, not war' The positive coverage of the war soon changed when the Vietcong planned a full frontal attack on the American forces striking 100 cities throughout the south of Vietnam. This onslaught was known as the Tet offensive. This attack changed the outlook on the war dramatically as it surprised the American public by its scale. From this point onwards the media started showing powerful images of the war. People started to find out the true horrors of the war as pictures such as the one of a American soldier cold bloodedly executing a member of the Vietcong in the middle of a Saigon street. As reports of atrocities spread the story of the My Lai massacre came about. The My Lai massacre occurred on the 16th March 1968 but was kept a secret until November1969. ...read more.


When the draft was introduced this caused huge upset among the youth forming the peace movement. When the black population were drafted to Vietnam, this caused upset among the civil rights movement. By the late sixties the majority of the American population was against the war but this was not all. There where still a minority of patriots who where resolutely behind the war. The Vietnam War was a part of history the public of the USA wanted to forget. From 1969 and with the election of a new president the American government became committed to ending the war. In 1971 a veteran's march in Washington was held where the soldiers ceremoniously disposed of their medals. The sixties was a time of change where the youth and the black population started to have there own say on politics and things that would have before been seen as being something that they weren't to be involved with. This change in the social structure formed the anti-war movement that ended the Vietnam War. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Free essay

    Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam in the 1950's and 1960's

    This is because the USSR was the largest communists nation in the world, it was also a 'super-power' country just like America). And soon after in March 1965, the first American ground troops landed in Vietnam. By December, 150,000 had been sent by Johnson.

  2. The Cuban Missile Crisis and the blockade

    While most historians agree that the blockade alternative was the best solution, there are some who still maintain it wasn't. One of these historians is Dino Brugioni, who wrote Eyeball to Eyeball, a book written in 1990 about the Cuban missile crisis and the decisions made during it.

  1. American History.

    - Since most Federalist never really got the hang of popular campaigning, the Federalists were weak at he nat'l level. Extremists like Timothy Pickering, who suggested the secession of NE in 1803/1804 [plan never worked b/c co-conspirator Burr wasn't elected NY Governor], did not help the Federalist position.

  2. Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s?

    In this way, the US punished the villagers, but also cut off food supplies of the VC troops. The villagers had no choice but to move to new areas, away from communist controlled areas. The main defoliant used was called Agent Orange.

  1. Is there sufficient evidence in sources A to F to explain why there was ...

    The image does show the public how bad the war was though and the ineffectiveness of American tactics and the lack of care shown by the American military not to hit civilians. Adam Whybro In Source C the writer, Richard Hamer, tells us about a scenario where a US patrol

  2. The Arab-Israeli conflict.

    However, the Arab countries did not agree to this. A war of abrasion now took place between Egypt and Israel. The USSR was permanently re-equipping Egypt and USA supporting and sympathetic towards the Israelis. It was soon close for the USSR and USA to bring themselves into war. The USA did not want this and so warned Israel that support was not guaranteed.

  1. Vietnam peace movement

    However, Diem was not popular in South Vietnam because he represented only his rich friends and relations and didn't care for his people. He stayed in power using brutality and corruption, whilst in the countryside and neighbouring countries, the Vietcong could move among the peasants safely.

  2. Why did the USA become involved in Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s?

    They would help to stabilise Diem and his government to crush the NLF. Although others recommended for the US to pull out saying the war was a "dead end alley". As is common with most of Kennedy's policies he chose the middle route.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work