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In what ways were the following reasons important in the growth of the peace movement in America?

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Introduction

Assignment 1, Question 1 In what ways were the following reasons important in the growth of the peace movement in America? Experience in Vietnam Agent Orange & Napalm Blanket bombing My Lai, 1968 Protest Movement, 1968-73 In 1967, there were 100,000 protestors outside the Pentagon in Washington. 4 years later, the figure trebled to 300,000 when the Veterans March took place. There was a reason for this blow-up in protestors. When the Vietnam War first began, only 3,000 men were conscripted into going over there. Eight months later, more than 33,000 soldiers were going over to Vietnam each month. Many people opposed this, especially those who knew someone who was conscripted into draft. There was also a lot of questions about who was and wasn't conscripted. Many coloured Americans claimed that more of their own kind were sent over to Vietnam than their white counterparts. Also those of high education and class found many ways to avoid being forced to join the army, many men decided to attend college to avoid conscription. Another main fuel supplier to the protestors was the mass media, who informed the American public the amount of American deaths every week, causing a particular uproar when the killing reached it's peak in the May of 1968 when 562 American soldiers were killed in the fields of Vietnam. ...read more.

Middle

Whether this theory is correct, it will probably never be known. Letters sent home by these soldiers greatly concerned their loved ones, aiding in the growth of the peace movement. Between 1965 and 1973, around 8 million tonnes of bombs, approximately 300 tonnes for every man, woman and child living in Vietnam at the time, was dropped onto Vietnam. Not only explosives were used, but also anti-personnel bombs, including the pineapple bomb, which consisted of 250 metal pellets inside a small canister. It was said that if 1000 pineapple bombs were dropped 'over an area of four football fields in a single strike 250 thousand pellets were spewed in a horizontal pattern over the land below, hitting everything on the ground.' Bombs of this kind were solely for the use of maiming there victims not actually killing, as it took a lot more effort to look after the wounded than bury the dead. 17 million inhabited North Vietnam, and how many weren't Vietcong? There were possibilities of these bombs catching out those who the Americans wanted rid of, but there were a lot more innocent people who had to suffer as well. ...read more.

Conclusion

From 1968 to 1973, the protests grew and grew, coming more and more frequently. President Johnson was held in hatred by the public, and barely dared to emerge from the White House for fear of being mobbed. Nixon was elected towards the end of 1968, promising to bring the war to an 'honourable peace'. Even he knew it couldn't be won. I think the main cause of the immense growth in the peace movement in the States had to be the mass media. Had they not relayed the events going on in Vietnam back to the Americans at home, many would not have been aware of the effects perhaps until it was too late. One major media decision involved 'Life' magazine, which chose to fill one edition of its magazines solely with pictures of the goings on in Vietnam. It was incidents such as this that helped enlarge the movement immensely. Remember, the Americans may have not learned of My Lai, or the usage of Napalm or Agent Orange, or blanket bombing had it not been for media coverage so it was mass media that gave the public the incentive to try and bring an end to the war themselves. 01/05/07 Kirsty Singleton 11MG 1 1 Page 1 of 2 ...read more.

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