Student Unrest And The Vietnam War It Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Drama - World Type: Essay Paper: #95725732 Related Topics: Cambodia, Vietnam, Social Stigma, Richard Nixon
Excerpt from Essay :

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…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Franklin, Bruce H. (2000). Vietnam & Other American Fantasies. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.

Hagopian, Patrick. (2009). The Vietnam War in American Memory. Amherst, MA: University

of Massachusetts Press.

Halstead, Fred. (1978). Out Now! A Participant's Account of the American Movement Against

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