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How significant do you think the opposition to the war in Vietnam was in bringing it to an end?

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Introduction

How significant do you think the opposition To the war in Vietnam was in bringing It to an end? In a democratic society public opinion is very important, and has a strong influence on actions that leaders of that society take. Because of this the opinion of the public is a major factor in the outcome of events, but how significant an effect did it have on the outcome of the war? Some of the first objectors to the war were people who disagreed with the drafting system that decided who was sent to the war. The media had a large influence on this public opinion especially after a series of filmed raids by the Vietcong into South Vietnam, known as the Tet Offensive, raised the number of objectors. These objectors did have a large impact and this is considered to be the reason that persuaded Johnson not to stand for re-election. The objectors also seemed to be more committed than the pro-war supporters to get their view across and this is shown by the amount of protests held which were anti-war. ...read more.

Middle

These beliefs of discrimination were fuelled by the amount of white, rich people who managed to 'draft dodge' the system and miss out on fighting in Vietnam. The objectors were committed to their opinions being acknowledged by others and this is why they had a significant influence in the eventual outcome of the war. Before the 60's mass protests were pretty rare, however, with the improvement in technology it became easier to organise these protests with the use of television and telephones helping to organise these mass demonstrations. An example of this was that in April in Washington DC there was an anti-war protest which included 500,000 people, two weeks later there was a pro-war demonstration in Washington but only 15,000 people were involved. This does not show the proportion of the population who were against the war but it did show that the opposition were more committed in getting their view across. The opposition to the war did make sure that the media noticed them and this brought the point across better to the whole nation. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also there was the innocent killing of many Vietnamese women and children shown in newsreels. The opposition grew when Martin Luther King publicly announced his objections to the war, and the Tet Offensive was a propaganda stunt that worked very well for the Vietnamese as it contradicted what the public was being told by people such us general Westmoreland. The objectors made their point very clear as they were more committed and held more effective protests. The influence and size of the objections were so great that Johnson failed to stand for re-election. It also made Nixon make promises to end the war that he was held to and this led to the overall outcome of the war. I do not believe that the support back home had an influence in the way the Americans lost the war, but it did make them pull out earlier than they wished to. The war in Vietnam was going to be a stalemate as the military strategy used opposed the guerrilla tactics used by the more committed Vietnamese. However, the gradual lack of support for the war caused them to pull out quicker as Nixon made promises to end the war so that he could win the election. David Alison 11PJM ...read more.

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