Back in the 1960's, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided to help support South Vietnam against the Viet Cong. While doing this, LBJ did not think of all the hate that would soon follow. Protests and marches started to occur around college campuses throughout the United States. Music festivals and concerts were held to help support the anti-war movement.
Many people were involved in the anti-war movement. Most activists believed that it was unfair that men had to fight in a war that they did not believe in. Young men in America were supposed to register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of their 18 birthday. This system was called the draft.
The draft was a system the United Armed Forces created. This was one of the main reasons for all of the protests and polarization. Protesting soon became very common in the 1960's. Some people took protesting to the extreme and even burned themselves. The 1960's anti war movement is a major part in our U.S. history, and helps us learn that we the people have the power to change anything.
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US Involvement in the Vietnam War
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Many U.S. presidents were involved in the Vietnam War, but specificity Lyndon B. Johnson. As president, LBJ escalated military involvement in the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War was declared an American war in 1965. The U.S. decided to join the Vietnam War because they were scared Communism would spread all the way to America. Now with the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, LBJ did not know all the polarization and soon to follow.
The media played a substantial role in all of the polarization. In 1965, most of the media focused on military tactics, with very little discussion about the need for for a full scale intervention on Southeast Asia . The media also established the Hawks vs. Doves debate. The Hawks argued that the Vietnam War was legitimate and winnable. They also claimed that the one-sided criticism of the media, contributed the U.S. losing the war.
On the other hand, the Doves claimed that the war was well-intentioned, but was a disastrous mistake. It is important to understand that the Doves did not question the U.S. Intentions in Vietnam, nor did they question the legality of the U.S. intervention. Rather, the Doves made practical claims that the war was a mistake. Now with the Vietnam War in full swing, many U.S. citizens mourned the losses of all the soldiers who had to die fighting.
Being 18 in the 1960's was hard because you never knew when you might have to be sent away to war. Many young boys dodged the draft. Some fled to Canada, but most went to college. But at the same time, many families could not afford to send their kids to college, so there was no escaping the draft. Unfortunately lots of families could not afford to send their kids to college. So the Vietnam War hit home a lot harder. Many families lost their sons or other family members to the war.
As the war escalated, many more U.S. troops were sent to Vietnam. By the end of the first year, more than 200,000 troops were sent. Sending more troops into the war made many activists angry. Many anti-war support groups started to form. These groups varied from women to Asian Americans.
During the 1960's, college students started to become increasingly involved with the VIetnam War, Civil Rights Movement and Second Wave Feminism. Students all around the U.S. started to have marches and rallies on college campuses to protest the war in Vietnam. College enrollment reached 9 million by the end of the 1960's. College and universities had more students than ever!
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