Reasons for Australia's Changing Attitude Towards the Vietnam War

791 WordsApr 16, 20134 Pages
Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War started in 1962-75. Some of the reasons for Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War were mostly to do with the fear of communism and using the “forward defence” strategy to prevent the domino theory from happening. During this time Australia’s attitude towards the war changed due to the protesting of anti-war groups such as ‘save our sons’, it was believed that it was more of a civil war then a communism war, and because it was a television war. Communism was greatly feared in Australia, and Australia would've done anything to keep it out of the country, “It took us not five minutes to decide that when this thing came to the point of action we would be in it…”- Robert Menzies. The Australian…show more content…
This was the beginning of society’s change of perspective towards the war. In 1970, 3 Moratorium Movement had taken place in Australia. The first Moratorium Movement was held in May, over 200 000 people all over Australia marched in it. Luckily this was a peaceful protest; the government didn’t take much action towards stopping the march. The second Vietnam Moratorium that took place in September that year but unlike the first movement it was a lot smaller and violence occurred, 200 people were arrested in Sydney alone. This movement first took place in the US; hundreds of thousands of people stopped work for the day and protested on streets to their country’s involvement in the war. The strength and number of people in the moratorium movement shocked the government; they were surprised at the level of people against the Vietnam War. Between 1970-1971, Australian troops were slowly withdrawn from Vietnam. In 1972 at the end of the war it became clear that most of Australia were against and that they no longer agreed with the “Forward Defence” policy where they go out and met the threat where it was. There were many protest groups throughout Australia protesting about different issues in the Vietnam War, but mostly about conscripting young man over the age of 20 to serve 2 full years in military service, this was the first time Australia conscripted men to overseas. If men that had been conscripted had refused to go to war they would have to serve two years jail
Open Document