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The War in Vietnam

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Introduction

GCSE History Coursework: The War in Vietnam Question 1. Study sources 1 and 2. What do these tell us about attitudes to the Vietnam War? Source 1 is an extract from a school textbook and therefore is quite neutral. The extract tells us about the great numbers of people who supported the war in the beginning and how a strong change of attitude turned it around in 1967. The three main opposition groups were the left wing politicians, the Liberals and the Pacifists. Source 2 backs up source 1, it is a graph and shows how many people opposed, supported or had no opinion on the war. Question 2. How reliable are sources 1,2,3 and 4 as evidence of American attitudes to the Vietnam War? Source 1 is of reasonable reliability as it is a school textbook and would usually be neutral. What we need to know is, when it was written? Who wrote it? Is it out of Context? This would make the source a very reliable source. It is a general guide and tells us about the American people's support and opposition of the war. Source 2 is of limited reliability as it is a graph and has no indication of the question asked, when it was asked, who was asked, how many were asked or does not give a polling company who made the poll. ...read more.

Middle

The young girl in the middle has had her clothes burned off her and looks to be in great pain. The young boy in the foreground has had his trousers burned off him and his skin is also burning away. On the other view this could be for the war. In the background there are American troopers who are taking the young children to a medical centre. The caption could be changed to 'Vietcong torture children: American troopers come to the rescue'. This would then mean it is pro-war. A caption is the all-important part in a newspaper as it can completely change peoples view on the photograph. Source 13 is a picture of the My Lai massacre in which between 450 and 500 men, women and children were killed. The picture shows a man, woman and two young children. The massacre was carried out at the orders of Lieutenant William Cally and was carried out by his soldiers. The unarmed villagers were rounded up and shot by them, one by one. The newspapers could use this as strong back up for the AWM and would make many peoples attitudes towards the war to change. There is no way this picture could be used to support the war. A few of the reasons for the soldiers doing this is that they were Frustrated, Angry and took up a hate for the Vietnamese. ...read more.

Conclusion

This source shows us the facts and figures of casualties and money spent on the war. These figures were vital in putting an end to the war. Source 7 'Telltale Hearts' by Adam Garfinkle tells us that the AWM was not very big compared to the role of the media. He is trying to put the point across that the AWM was only a minor part of stopping the war and a lot of other factors were the main reason of the war coming to a halt. Sources 12 and 13 also show how media was a big factor as it gives the gore that words and banners didn't give. The media was very close to the front line and brought all the action straight to your television set. I believe the media was a vital part of putting an end to the war. Source 15 is 'Telltale Hearts' again by Adam Garfinkle, this time he put s forward that the AWM didn't help stop the war but helped to prolong it. He says they had a large image of irresponsibility and anti-patriotism. I think at large the Media and the AWM had a joint effect to stop the war as in the end they did so. The media helped back up the AWM in their campaign to stop the attacks on Vietnam. Without the help of both of them there could have been another decade of lives lost and money wasted...Even a Nuclear attack on Vietnam that would have effected us all. Joseph McKevitt S2E ...read more.

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