Student Unrest and the Vietnam War
It is certainly a fact that the widespread and sometimes violent student unrest in the 1960s was largely based on young people's objections to the war in Vietnam. But it should be noted that the youthful rage against the American involvement was not driven exclusively by moral, political and social issues. But that rage was also fueled the fact that during the 1960s young people could not vote until they were 21 years of age, but they could be drafted -- and they were by the hundreds of thousands -- at age 18. This paper reviews the relationship between student demonstrations and the war in Vietnam, and concludes with the political and social aftermath of the war.
Student-Led Demonstrations Against the Vietnam War: As a brief background into the demonstrations against the Vietnam War, the 1960s were a time when America experienced terrible events that contributed to the frustration of not just young people, but all Americans. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated; later, in 1968, his brother Robert Kennedy was also assassinated and the leader of the Civil Rights Movement -- and one of the most respected social change leaders in the nation -- Dr. Martin Luther King was shot down that same year. So there was tension in the land, and there were race-related riots in cities like Newark, New Jersey, Los Angeles, California,...
When Robert Kennedy was killed, that meant that Lyndon Johnson's Vice President, Hubert Humphrey -- who was closely linked to President Johnson's war policies -- would become the Democrat candidate to run against Richard Nixon, a conservative candidate that the youth of America had grown to dislike and distrust.
As he accepted the presidential nomination from his Republican Party in August 1968, Nixon said, "…If the war is not ended when the people choose in November…I pledge to you tonight that the first priority foreign policy objective of our next Administration will be to bring an honorable end to the war in Vietnam" (Franklin, 2000, p. 178). Author Bruce Franklin, at one time a Stanford professor who lost his tenured position for speaking out against the war, writes that Nixon "had no intention of ending the Vietnam War" and therein lies the spark that lit many of the fires of protest in the United States.
Not only did Nixon have no intention of ending the war, he escalated it. The negative response was overwhelming. On October 15, 1969, "the antiwar movement for the first time reached a level of a full-fledged mass movement" (Halstead, 1978, p. 488). Author Halstead recounts the enormous demonstrations launched by students and joined by ordinary Americans weary of the weekly death tolls and video on the nightly news. "Hundreds of major universities were turned over to antiwar activities," Halstead explains. The "Vietnam Moratorium" on October 15, 1969 brought over 400,000 antiwar marchers to the streets of San Francisco. Other demonstrations included: 100,000 in Boston; over 100,000 in New York City; 50,000 in Washington, D.C.; 25,000 in Ann Arbor (University of Michigan) and in Madison (University of Wisconsin). Campuses like San Francisco State…
The line of reasoning behind this behavior was to bring the war home in order to raise awareness. At this point, the protests seemed out of control and the war did as well. However, while things seemed out of control, students could rest assured that they were making their point well-known. Student protests did influence the war in that the government realized that something needed to be done. Gianoulis notes,
It did not help matters that America seemed to be floundering in Vietnam. Things were not good for the soldiers and there was no plan for things to get better. This state of affairs in Washington only made tension in America worse. As time went by, "key moderates within and outside the government became convinced that victory was beyond the resources of the United States" (1207). Davidson writes that student
The killings at Kent State in 1970 were outcome of a clash between the Ohio National Guard and Vietnam War protestors who had assembled at the University. Nixon had been elected to the White House in 1968 following the assassination of his opponent Robert Kennedy during the campaign. With the assassinations of JFK, Malcolm X, and MLK, Jr., still fresh in the public consciousness, students were very vocal and critical
This is the case in the other stages in the supply chain and therefore offers an opportunity for someone to make more money while involved in the drug business (Castaneda, 1999). In the 70s it was said that beefed up law enforcement could effectively seal the southern border of the United States border and stop drugs from entering its borders. It is for this reason that the United States uses
Why? Because, for the most part, LBJ ignored them. He would invite the leadership and even critics to the White House quite frequently and listen as they offered suggestions. Usually, however, he would end up lecturing them about the wisdom of the decisions he had already predetermined. It is interesting to note, that, throughout the war, LBJ actually received far more support from Republicans than he did his own party.
" You figure, Williams explained to the author, you don't like what's happening at home in Chicago, and now in the U.S. Marines "...you finally get a chance to get away." Those were Williams' reasons for joining the military and participating in the Vietnam War as an African-American youth. Indeed Williams saw the military as not just an escape, but as "a form of incarceration" - but the war might