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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)
SDS is a small organization at first.
  • Influential in the development of the New Left. These people believed that problems like poverty and racism called for radical changes.
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.