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How did the media and popular culture encourage opposition to US participation in the Vietnam War?

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Q1: How did the media and popular culture encourage opposition to US participation in the Vietnam War? As we well know, the media and peoples opinions have a strong hold over a nation. The magazine articles we read the photographs we see, the music we listen to, the films we watch and the events that take place around us all have an impact on our opinions and beliefs. During the 1960s' - 1970s' American people had to decide on how they felt on the Vietnam War. Many people strongly opposed this war, but only a few were able to spread their own beliefs on a large scale. Some such people where the band Country Joe and the Fish. They were quite popular around that period and in 1965 they had a song about the then current War called "I feel like I'm fixin' to die". In this song they voiced their opinion, which was shared by many others, about the war. They sang words like; "And you know that peace can only be won, When we've blown 'em all to kingdom come" These two lines were sending a message that America was using harsh and destructive methods to fight the War, and the cynical tone in which this song is sung, only adds to the drama of the song, and would help send out their message. ...read more.


In this broadcast Jane talked about her visit to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, its beauty, the friendly Vietnamese and how when the Americans where bombing their city they gave Jane, an American, a place in one of their best shelters. She goes on to say how terrible it was for these people, their homes, schools and hospitals were targeted and their villages invaded. She even attacks President Nixon saying his words echoed with "sinister of a true killer". This broadcast would have encouraged opposition to US participation in the Vietnam War greatly as it profoundly portrayed Vietnam as a victim and the US as the attacker. Many people may have thought to themselves whilst listening to this, "what is our country playing at? I won't support this!" Many films were made during and after the Vietnam War. Most of these opposed the war, for instance the film "Coming Home" (1978). This film actually stars Jane Fonda as Sally the voluntary nurse. It primarily tells the story of how the war affects relationships and individuals back home. It focuses on the return of veterans and much of it takes place in a hospital for disabled veterans. ...read more.


It's no wonder there were protests and marches. Students were the people with the most time on their hands, and so they were the ones who organised and carried out most of these protests, however a great number and variety of people got involved as the Vietnam War progressed. The marches in Washington were popular ways to express anti-war feelings. They started as early as 1962 with a few thousand people but in the fall of 1969 over 250,000 crammed into the mall between the Washington monument and the Congress. These events encouraged people to get involved in expressing their views and how they opposed US participation in the Vietnam War. They were such a big contribution and so many were involved in these anti-war movements that the government couldn't ignore such a voice. Altogether the media, films and photographs give such a bad view on this war that soldiers were seen as harsh, brutal and idiotic. The government was greatly condemned by its people, and this was expressed in marches and rallies. People could tell for themselves that this war was no good and that US participation was wrong, however the media and popular culture did encourage this view greatly. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Jade Hegarty History Coursework ...read more.

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