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Why were the anti Vietnam movements so popular?

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Introduction

Why were the anti Vietnam movements so popular? Vietnam was in the 1950's a colony of France. Conflict between the two nations was always high. The first link between the United States and Vietnam can be found in this decade when President Harry Truman partly funded France in the conflict. A relationship extended by Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy is it therefore possible to say that the United States was tied political, economic, and militarily to Vietnam. Members of the American senate were vocal in their condemnation of their countries involvement in Vietnam during the summer of 1964. This inspired the mass antiwar movement that appeared in the following year. The anti war movement was to be of a scale never before seen within the US. Teach-ins are mass public demonstrations organized and based around universities. The first teach-in against the Vietnamese war was held on March 24 1965 at the University of Michigan, this first display of opposition was mirrored in numerous other campuses around the US. The fact that these protests spread to so many middle class elitist universities captured much public and press attention. The teach-ins were reliant upon students being able to mobilize, this was only possible during term times and so the teach-ins were only partially effective. ...read more.

Middle

The arguments put forward for the War were highly questionable, the levels of exposure achieved by the anti war movements allowed them to expose these weaknesses. It is possible to say that the protesters in oppose to the government were able to be so successful because they had the stronger argument. Opposition was also strengthened by the fact that this war seemingly without any valid cause was draining the US economy in 1968 13 percent of all government spending was on Vietnam. This denied funds to Americas other needs such as hospitals, education and health. Black leader Martin Luther King challenged the American spending, saying that "they were neglecting the more pressing social issues, such as racism, social security and many other internal affairs"5 that were bothering America at the time. This did not help win support for the war. There was a growing social trend towards extreme liberalism. The hippy movement embodied this shift. They were very passionate about many issues, peace was central to their ideology. This movement came to its strongest in the summer of 1967 during the period known as "the summer of love". 6The war, to the hippies caused great distress. The strength of the Anti war groups was enhanced by the social morality of America's youths at this period. ...read more.

Conclusion

His plan failed not because of its merit but due to the fact that at Kent university on May 4th 1970 four protesters were shot dead. This caused demonstrations on hundreds of college campuses "paralyzing America's higher-education systems."10 "The Kent State tragedy ignited a nationwide campus disaster. Between May 4 and May 8, campuses experienced an average of 100 demonstrations a day, 350 campus strikes, 536 colleges shut down, and 73 colleges reported significant violence in their protests."11 100,000 people gathered in Washington in protest the following weekend. In 1971 60% of Americans opposed the war. Withdrawal now seemed certain, in 1974, the new president, Gerald Ford, wanted to increase military aide to the faltering Saigon regime. Congress refused his requests this was a clear blow for the US president, the majority of the US, Congress and the press were all against the war. Final withdrawal came in 1975. The antiwar movements were able to succeed in stopping the war. Continued American governments acting against the wishes of their people and against what is to me the more valid argument clearly contributed to the war movement's success. Most importantly the political educated, active and agitated America of the late 1960's and 70's acted as a fertile base from which opposition could flourish. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ...read more.

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