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The anti-war movement in the USA. 1964 to 1975. Aims of the lesson. By the end of this lesson you will Identify the main features of the anti-war movement in the USA during the 1960s and 1970s Evaluate the influence that it had on the conduct of the war

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The anti-war movement in the USA


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aims of the lesson
Aims of the lesson

By the end of this lesson you will

  • Identify the main features of the anti-war movement in the USA during the 1960s and 1970s
  • Evaluate the influence that it had on the conduct of the war
  • Evaluate the importance of other factors in the ending of the war
the anti war movement
The anti war movement
  • Initially only a small number of Americans opposed the war
  • Three categories of people opposed to the war
  • Left wingers who wanted a Communist victory
  • Pacifists
  • Liberals who objected to the South Vietnamese govt
1964 to 1965
1964 to 1965
  • 1st protest December 1965 – 25 000 attended
  • Biggest anti war protest in US history
  • November 1965 - Norman Morrison burned himself alive in protest at the war
  • In the weeks that followed Roger La Porte and Alice Hertz did the same
protests against the draft
Protests against the draft
  • 1965 draft introduced
  • Increased the level of protest by young men – especially students
  • 1965 David Miller burned his draft card publicly and was sent to 30 months in prison
  • 1963 to 1973 nearly 10 000 men were sent to prison for “draft dodging”
draft dodging
Draft dodging
  • Many young men refused to be drafted – the rich could avoid the draft
  • Bush and Clinton – good examples of this
  • Muhammad Ali – objected for religious reasons
  • Became a symbol for all non white protesters against the war
the international war crimes tribunal 1967
The International War Crimes Tribunal 1967
  • Set up in 1967 – led by Bertrand Russell
  • Argued that the US was violating international war by sending troops to Vietnam, torturing captured soldiers and using illegal weapons
  • Claimed that the behaviour of the US was similar to the Nazis in WW2
the war and civil rights 1
The war and civil rights (1)
  • Draft targeted black and Hispanic young men from poorer backgrounds
  • Many objected fighting for a system which did not give them civil rights
  • Luther King and other civil rights leaders led protests
  • 1968 – violent protests in black ghettos in the major cities
the war and civil rights 2
The war and civil rights (2)
  • By 1968 the war was costing $60 million a day
  • Took resources from projects to help poor Americans
  • Poor areas and the ghettoes suffered most
  • Many worried that a revolution was taking place
1968 a year of protests
1968 – a year of protests
  • In New York a protest involving over a million people took place
  • A majority of people still supported the war
  • This changed after the My Lai massacre and the Tet offensive of 1968
  • The draft was starting to cover middle class children as opposed to poor working class men – bit home
1968 the end of lbj
1968 – the end of LBJ
  • By 1968 the war was taking its toll on President Johnson
  • The war had broken his sprit and he decided not to stand for re-election
  • Nixon was elected in his place
  • Once LBJ had gone the war was as good as lost
soldiers against the war
Soldiers against the war
  • 1960 to 1973 – 503 626 soldiers deserted the army
  • Many soldiers did not believe in the cause that they were fighting for
  • Did not feel that they had the support of the folks back home
  • 1967 – Vietnam Veterans Against the War was formed
the kent state massacre 1970
The Kent State Massacre 1970
  • On 4th May 1970 a protest against the war took place at Kent State University
  • The state troopers panicked and opened fire – 4 protesters were killed
  • Many people were horrified by this – others felt that they got what they deserved
the media and the war 1
The media and the war (1)
  • First war to be covered in colour and to have pictures via satellite
  • Meant that the government could not control what people saw on television
  • Every night pictures of the war were seen in ordinary homes in colour
the media and the war 2
The media and the war (2)
  • Many in the military criticised coverage of the war – esp the Tet offensive
  • Time magazine in 1970 showed the pictures of 242 US soldiers killed in one week
  • As the war dragged on the media became more sceptical towards the war