American Public Opinion of the Vietnam War At the beginning of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, in 1965, the American Public favored the idea of war because they feared the threat of communism. Polls conducted in 1965, showed 80 percent of the
While conducting intelligence missions along the coast of Vietnam, the USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy were attacked by Viet Cong forces. This attack prompted President Johnson to go to Congress and The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed, which gave the President the ability to conduct military operations in Vietnam without actually declaring war. Early in the war, many U.S citizens and troops did not know where or what Vietnam was. They thought since Vietnam was insignificant there is no reason to intervene. This ideology would be one of the root causes of the anti-war movement that is to come. The mindset of the U.S troops was the same as every previous conflict, ‘We’ll be home by Christmas’. The The early strategy in Vietnam was to bomb the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong into submission. After bombing target areas, the U.S would send troops in to perform search and destroy missions. After attacking their target they would return to their base. During the night, the Viet Cong would return to the area the U.S attacked and it would generate a cycle in which the U.S bombs, sends ground units, and withdraws. The early campaign in Vietnam was filled with many top officials being very arrogant about their chances of winning the war. They thought the Vietnamese were essentially savages with makeshift weapons who posed no threat. As the war progressed it became clear the path to victory would not be an easy one. The North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were holding strong against the American war machine and were even delivering decisive blows physically and to morale. With the North holding their own, the American Homefront was shifting. It was becoming clear America had no reason to be in Vietnam and the people were making it known through music and
President Richard Nixon announced on April The events at Kent State were a catalyst that helped strengthened the American Citizens’ hatred of the Vietnam War and distrust in the Government that promised to end the war.
College students were aware that over 38,000 American troops had been killed in Vietnam and if something wasn’t done on the streets of America, many more would die. With tensions running high all over America’s college campues, the unrest of the anti-war movent was just about to get worse. Nixon’s decision to engage more troops into a sensless War, sparked a new wave of protests that errupted into many violent standoffs. Unknown to the country, this unrest would take a fatal and trajic turn.
The Kent State shooting played a major role in Nixon’s resignation from presidency and the public’s opinion of the Vietnam War. The students that were protesting started when Nixon announced intervention into Cambodia. Outraged students met on campus the very next day to show that they didn’t agree with the presidents decision. During the shooting students threw containers of tear gas back at the guardsmen. Some students threw rocks as the soldiers left. Protestors would shout “Pigs Off Campus!” (Axelrod et al. 256) Many of the soldiers sent to settle the frustrated protestors were weekend warriors who chose the guard to avoid ending up in Vietnam. Mandy soldiers lacked training for combat and crowds. Most soldiers were confused by the actions of the students and weren’t sure how to react. The student protestors refused the guards orders to disperse which resulted in the guardsmen throwing tear gas toward the rioting protestors. The protestors consisted of upper class and middle class residents.
The longest war in American history, Vietnam, was also the most unpopular war. It resulted in nearly 60,000 American deaths (www.digitalhistory.uh.com). Even today, many Americans still ask whether the American effort in Vietnam was a sin, blunder, a necessary war, or whether it is a noble cause, or an idealistic, if failed, effort to protect the South Vietnamese from totalitarian government (www.digitalhistory.uh.com). The reason the United States got involved was to prevent the spread of communism.
Kent State was like any other university in America in the 70s. Students were there to expand their knowledge while they explored all the other abundant things college had to offer them. Along with several other universities at the time, Kent State began seeing a rise in student protests. Many students around the U.S. began speaking out against the controversial Vietnam War, showing their anti-war views in hopes of being heard. “In late April of 1970 . . . the United States invaded Cambodia and widened the Vietnam War,” causing even more widespread outrage and anger, especially among youth (Lewis, Hensley, “The May 4 Shootings at Kent State Univeristy: the Search for Historical Accuracy”). As the days went on after this declaration was made, the
The Vietnam War affected the United States politically and culturally. Lyndon B Johnson, the 36th
One of the first antiwar groups to come about during the 1960s was the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). This group assembled in 1967 and brought veterans from previous wars to fight against the actions of Vietnam. Unity and patriotism toward the war now shifted to the efforts of the men and women who marched to get out of the Vietnam era. In Andrew Hunt’s book, The Turning: A History of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, he discusses how the group came about and how these veterans saw the opposite side of the war. One of the veterans in the group stated, “It’s not democracy we brought to Vietnam- it’s anticommunism…Anticommunism is a lousy substitute for democracy.” Yet again, one could see how the word communism could trigger Americans into thinking that the Vietnam
Deirdre English, an ordinary American girl, found out about the war in the museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. She did not have an opportunity to learn about the war – in school teachers did not talk about Vietnam and she probably did not have a reason to seek for information about it. However, once she accidently saw a demonstration and she found out that she was living in ignorance. “‘Most American don’t even know that we’re at war in a little Southeast Asian nation called Vietnam.’ And I thought, yeah, I’m most Americans (30).” The perception of Vietnam war seems that it was not as important issue as for example World Wars for Americans. These stories show the ignorance of common people. However, it is hard to say if it was their
In case of the Vietnam war protesting can sometimes patriotic because it’s shows freedom and it’s expressing what citizens believe in.When people would burn their draft cards that was pointless and showing they didn’t want to protect freedom and rights. There is always gonna be stuff that’s not agreed
Opinion on the Vietnam War In 1954, Northern and Southern Vietnam entered a war that led to the death of nearly 3 million people including civilians, Vietnamese troops, and ally soldiers. Though the number of lives lost during the war is atrocious, so are some of the other lasting effects of the “poor man’s fight”. Throughout this essay, I will explain my opinion regarding what I believe were the costs and the benefits of U.S interaction in the war in Vietnam.
Social Attitudes Toward Vietnam Veterans I have always been interested in the Vietnam War and the results of “the longest war in America.” Therefore, I have decided to examine the social attitudes toward Vietnam veterans. Since I feel so passionately about the way that Vietnam veterans are viewed, the purpose of my paper is to inform others about the way that the veterans have been criticized and misrepresented. Personally, I hope to gain a further understanding of the attitudes and views towards Vietnam veterans, especially since my father is a veteran. After reading my paper, I hope that my audience will walk away with more respect and reverence for those that fought in the Vietnam War and gave their lives for their country. My
The Vietnam War certainly left a distaste in the lives of many who have been affected by the war; scholars have become increasingly interested in the interaction between war and public opinion. There have been many scholarly works published on the Vietnam War, but the issue that will be analyzed
Since the Vietnam War, the public's opinion has played major roles in how policymakers operate. Their opinions may not always support to choices which are best for the country, however they are still factored into the decision making. Richard Sobel discusses several cases on how the public's attitudes have affected policymaker's decisions in his book, "The Impact of Public Opinion on U.S. Foreign Policy Since Vietnam."