This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
tensions in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. Though it was motivated by largely the same policies from the Cold War era (domino theory, containment, etc.), it was felt that those policies were outdated and US intentions in the war quickly became unclear and misguided. The ambiguity of the war led to social unrest in America, yielding many protests which drew attention to the economic squandering of the government, the large inequalities among different social groups, and the inconsistencies within government policy. Many Americans adopted the belief that though it had been a mistake to get involved in Vietnam in the first place, we needed to either win or get out as soon as possible to prevent any further social, economic, or political casualties. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (Doc A) passed by in 1964 unofficially entered the United States into War. As approved by Congress, the Vietnam War became an executively fought war, giving power to the president to repel attacks against US forces by any means necessary. That in and of itself was problematic, as the American public had no voice in the matter of joining the war and the president was given more power than thought to be democratic. It was not until later that the incident at the Gulf of Tonkin, which allowed for the resolution in the first place, was found to be questionable in its accuracy and by no means legitimate enough on its own as a cause for war. As illustrated in Document D, by 1967 the American foreign policy was thought to be weighing down the “Great Society” which was America. In the cartoon, Lyndon B. Johnson’s foreign policy is on the opposite end of the rope as his great society. The Great Society is desperately trying to pull up the Foreign Policy, but they are both precariously balanced on an unsteady ledge. This expresses the popular thought that the United States might not be able to maintain the Great Society while still supporting the Vietnam War. Following the psychological defeat at the Tet Offensive in January 1968, public support for the war plummeted. Preceding his assassination in June, Robert F. Kennedy made a speech to the American public during his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president addressing the issue (Doc E). He confided in the people that though the government had wrongly mislead them into the war, and had erroneously
” It then discusses the uncertainty of the American people as to why the US was in the war to begin with: “What are we fighting for? Don’t ask me. He was among many who. McGovern asserted that the military was wasting money and manpower. He was not the only American political figure who felt entry into the war had been a mistake. Martin Luther King was an example of an African American leader opposing the war. McGovern proposed to “spend all that is necessary for prudent national defense. however. and weapon strategies. The peace and love mindset allowed the anti-war youth to band together with civil rights activists in the ongoing equality struggle. I don’t give a damn.” He explained that the success of the war did not rest on the shoulders of the United States armed forces. This song in particular addresses the political. George McGovern was a very strong advocate against the Vietnam War throughout his years as Senator. In 1967. expressing the popular sentiments towards the war. The 1960s quickly became a decade associated with hippies.” The song closes with a powerful passage addressing one of the most prevalent issues of war. as they were “brave and effective.the large and rising death toll. and economic aspects of the war. and no more… [to] conserve our limited resources” (Doc H). not war. and they needed to rethink their efficiency. at that point in the war. but rather the South Vietnamese people themselves. social. young protesters. It firstly connects Wall Street with the war. such as “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die” (Doc B). size.concluded the nature of the war. we’re there now so we need to either win or get out. the young men fighting in Vietnam were not to blame. recited an all too familiar rhetoric: it was a mistake for the US to have gotten involved in Vietnam in the first place. and indicates that there is money to be made in the war: “There’s plenty good money to be made By supplying the Army with the tools of the trade. and later in his race against Nixon for the presidency. In one of his later speeches denouncing the current state of America’s involvement in Vietnam. he spoke and directly addressed some of the biggest issues impacting the African American community regarding the . This song accurately portrays the feelings of most hippies and young protesters at that time in the war effort. especially following the era of the New Deal.” Many songs emerged from these young groups. and the famous slogan “make love. Money and the economy played a huge role in all of McGovern’s wartime opposition speeches.
Although the clear anti-war sentiments were constantly being expressed by the citizens in the US. and of the need for them to be united for peace and against defeat. King mentioned. more educated youths from Cambridge knew how to intentionally fail the tests from the military as not to be drafted to Vietnam. as there was a disproportionate amount of men who were drafted that did not attend college to those that did.and especially prestigious ones at that. allowed for defeat. patriotic feelings (Doc G). the working class youngsters were also disproportionately drafted in relation to the upperclass college graduates. The older.” Only Americans who actively opposed the war. A clear addition to the social tension and racial divide was apparent in the proportional numbers of Black young men to white young men sent to fight. Some argued that it was the economic divide between the races that led to those numbers. As the president asked in vain for American cooperation. James Fallow mentioned that fact in his discussion of his 1969 draft board experience (Doc F). and less of them had attended colleges. They were more naïve about the draft tests. including “sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population” and “sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem” (Doc C). He reminded the US people of their duty to free those people oppressed under a totalitarian rule. He specifically mentioned some of the hardships for African American families.war. Only Americans can do that. and did not harbor patriotic and nationalist feelings could humiliate themselves. from the working class area in Boston. Fallows illustrates the younger men from Chelsea who came. . Consequently. He as well as many other civil rights leaders could not condone this war which proposed having young men fight for rights belonging to other people in other countries. With powerful words Nixon lectured the American people “North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. wealthier. Though less than 10 percent of American men in arms were African American. they accounted for almost 20 percent of all combat-related deaths in Vietnam during that period. President Nixon did not fail to try and raise some pro-war. inexperienced. In 1965 alone African Americans represented almost one-fourth of the Army's killed in action. when they were not guaranteed those very rights themselves in the United States. as Dr.
Congress eventually grew wary of the excessive power given to the executive branch under the Tonkin Resolution discussed earlier. This Act effectively repealed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. they passed the War Powers Act (Doc I). With this act came the hope that the president would never again be able to launch an unwanted and perhaps unwarranted war without the consent of Congress and essentially the people. . and restored the somewhat lost balance of powers within government. preventing the same social. So in 1973 as the war came close to the end. and political tensions which arose in the decade of the Vietnam War. economic.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.