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America Divided. Chapter 30.3. The Draft. Most soldiers who fought in Vietnam were drafted (Selective Service System) – all men 18-26 required to register Some deferred for medical reasons, but others looked for ways to avoid service

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america divided

America Divided

Chapter 30.3

the draft
The Draft
  • Most soldiers who fought in Vietnam were drafted (Selective Service System) – all men 18-26 required to register
    • Some deferred for medical reasons, but others looked for ways to avoid service
      • Move to areas with more favorable draft boards, get friendly doctor to give deferment, some joined up with National Guard or Coast Guard
      • Could also be deferred if you were enrolled in college
    • Most college students were wealthier white people, left war to be fought by lower class whites and minorities
african americans
African Americans
  • In early war, black soldiers accounted for 20% of combat deaths despite only being 10% of America’s population
  • MLK had kept out of anti-war movement – didn’t want to distract from Civil Rights movement
  • 1967, he couldn’t remain silent – “cruel irony” of so many African Americans fighting a war for a nation that treats them as second-class citizens
women in military
Women in Military
  • Women not allowed to serve in combat roles
  • ~10,000 served in military, mostly as nurses
    • Thousands more volunteered with Red Cross or USO
opposition to war
Opposition to War
  • “New Left” – growing youth movement – pushed for sweeping social change
    • Students for a Democratic Society – argued that corporations and big government had taken over America; pushed for more individual freedom and effective participation
    • Free Speech Movement – born on Berkeley campus – students demanding speech rights
  • Students major source of anti-war movement strength
    • Joined by returning veterans as well as folk singers to spread message
protest becomes resistance
Protest Becomes Resistance
  • In 1967, protest movement intensifies
    • People start burning draft cards
    • Others serve jail time for refusing to serve
    • Resistance to draft continues until Nixon phases it out in early 70s
  • 30,000 demonstrators march on Pentagon and are tear-gassed and clubbed (~1500 injured, 700 arrested
doves and hawks
“Doves” and “Hawks”
  • Nation divides into anti-war (doves) and pro-war (hawks) sides
    • Doves criticized LBJ for remaining in Vietnam War
    • Hawks also critical for not increasing military might quickly enough
  • Though anti-war movement is very visible, in 1967, more Americans still support war
    • 70% of polled believe war protests were “acts of disloyalty”
1960 s buttons why buttons

1960’s ButtonsWhy buttons?

Buttons can be a silent way to get a message across and can also be used as a form of protest.

your task turn to the primary source activity in your vietnam packets
Your Task: Turn to the Primary Source Activity in your Vietnam packets.
  • Your Goal:
  • On a sheet of paper, create a button that expresses your opinion on a social issue from the 1950’s, 1960’s or 1970’s, or from today, if you choose.
  • Topics to choose from (but not limited to):
  • Communism/Nuclear Weapons
  • Vietnam (Pro or Anti War)
  • Civil Rights
  • Women’s Rights
  • Gay/Lesbian Rights
  • Counter Culture Movement
  • Pollution/Environmental Issues
  • Current Wars