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Political Divisions During the Vietnam War. Setting the Scene- Two of the sides. Side 1- Increase the war effort to have a military victory. Side 2- This war is morally wrong and we need to withdraw. What side would you be on?. Student Activism-.

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Setting the scene two of the sides
Setting the Scene- Two of the sides

  • Side 1- Increase the war effort to have a military victory.

  • Side 2- This war is morally wrong and we need to withdraw.

What side would you be on?

Student activism
Student Activism-

  • The baby boom generation was now graduating from high school. And because of years of prosperity, many will now go to college.

Why all the divisions
Why all the divisions?

  • Change was in the air. The conformist 50’s decade led many to rebel.

  • Rock and Roll and movies were influential

  • Young Americans were not satisfied with the values of their parents.

  • This is called the generation gap.

Students for a democratic society sds
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)

  • The civil rights movement began to move onto college campuses.

  • These students had goals- Port Huron Statement. Led by Tom Hayden (future California senator)

The free speech movement
The Free Speech Movement

  • 1964- University of California at Berkeley

  • Students not allowed to hand out civil rights leaflets. The students think their freedom of speech is being denied.

  • Confrontations began between students and police.

A take over
A take-over

  • Students take over the administration building

  • Police move in and arrest 700 students.

  • Students and some faculty go on strike

  • Students realize they have power

2 more thoughts on the war
2 more thoughts on the War

  • Side 3- Some students felt the war was American imperialism.

  • Side 4- others felt it was a civil war that should be solved by the Vietnamese.


The teach in movement
The Teach-In Movement

  • Anti-war activists used new methods of protest.

  • The teach-in began when faculty members made a statement against the war.

  • Night sessions to talk about the issues.

  • Thousands show up. Later on these sessions would be dominated by anti-war voices.

Draft resistance
Draft Resistance

Draft Resistance

The draft
The Draft

  • Since 1951 we can draft men from 18-26

  • Many who refused were conscientious objectors. Refused to fight on moral and religious grounds


Because of johnson s escalation
Because of Johnson’s escalation

  • Draft resistance movement grows larger

  • “Don’t cooperate with your draft board.”

  • People begin to question the morality and fairness of the draft.

  • College students could receive a deferment, official postponement.

How fair is a deferment
How fair is a deferment?

  • College students could get one. (And these guys had money)

  • Poor students could not get a deferment.

But after complaints academically low students can be drafted.

The draftees
The draftees

  • Many claimed physical disabilities

  • Many tried to become conscientious objectors

  • Estimated 100,000 flee to Canada

Okay review time
Okay- Review Time

  • 4 different views on the war

  • Let’s protect Vietnam- push out Communists or we will also fall

  • The war is morally wrong

  • This war is about American imperialism

  • This is a civil war- stay out.

What side would you have picked?

Because of these divisions
Because of these divisions…

  • Protests

  • Teach-ins

  • Draft Resistance

  • Conscientious Objectors

  • What is a country to do? Who is going to fight this war for us?

Public opposition grows
Public Opposition Grows

  • Continuing protests

  • More casualties

  • Some high up officials are losing faith in the war effort.

  • The majority of Americans now oppose the war.


News coverage
News Coverage

  • The T.V. coverage is immense.

  • Families watch the news every night and see that the war is going badly for us.

  • We fear another stalemate (like Korea)

What is the president going to do
What is the President going to do?

  • After the Tet- he rarely went out in public. To many protesters.

  • Eugene McCarthy- anti-war nominee for President gains momentum.

Even more competition
Even more competition

  • Robert Kennedy will also run for president.

  • Anti-war

  • Younger brother of JFK

  • “even though we must know as a nation what it is necessary to do, we must also feel as men the anguish of what we are doing.”

Johnson will not run
Johnson will not run

  • In a television speech Johnson states, “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term.”

Robert f kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy

  • While campaigning he is assassinated

  • What was a real possibility for the Democratic Party has now been shot.

  • (Many say he could have been a great president)

The election of 1968
The election of 1968

  • The Democratic Party was split (just like everyone else)

  • Democratic National Convention is held in Chicago and the party is falling apart.

  • RFK assassinated in June

  • McCarthy to far out of the mainstream

  • Instead they nominate V.P. Hubert Humphrey

More on humphrey
More on Humphrey

  • Humphrey has defended LBJ’s policies in Vietnam

  • This will alienate him from the many people who protest the war

  • Can he win?

The convention begins
The Convention Begins

  • Delegates vote down a peace resolution and are about to nominate Humphrey.

  • Protesters gather for a rally and the police move in.

  • All on T.V.

  • The Democrats have fallen apart

Who will the republicans pick
Who will the Republicans pick?

  • Richard Nixon

  • Said he had a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam.

  • Would not play “dirty politics”. Instead he let his VP, Spiro Agnew do it.

  • Nixon takes the lead in the polls.

One more candidate
One more candidate

  • Alabama Governor George Wallace

  • Long time Democrat now running for the Independent Party

  • Appealed to blue-collar workers who were tired of the protests…

So finally the election
So finally the election

  • Republican- Nixon

  • Democrat- Humphrey

  • Independent/Democrat- Wallace

  • The Democrats are torn apart plus essentially they have 2 nominees.

  • What happens is obvious. The Republicans unite and Nixon wins.

What does the 68 election show us
What does the’68 election show us?

  • The 1960’s are a very unsettling and uncertain time for mainstream America, a group we call Middle America.

  • In this era of confrontation and chaos, Middle America turned to the Republican Party for stability.

  • The conformity of the 50’s is looking pretty good to a lot of older Americans but not the younger generation.

Also in 68
Also in ‘68

  • The counterculture, rejected the customs and ways of life of their elders

  • Woodstock Music Festival

  • They want us to question traditions and try new ways of living.

The protest movement in review
The Protest Movement in review

  • The focus is to demand the full withdraw of U.S. forces from Vietnam.

Nixon is in now what will he do
Nixon is in- now what will he do?

  • The country is divided about the war.

  • Protest movement still going strong.

  • Should we deal with Vietnamization?

  • Plus we have the little matter of the Civil Rights Movement going on

  • And the Women’s Movement

  • And the Environmental Movement

  • The space race

A decade of change
A decade of change

  • Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon had their hands full.

  • Most say that this decade doomed every president, there was no way to keep everyone or anyone happy during this political and social chaos.