The Vietnam War
Axia College of the University of Phoenix
The Vietnam War
Every good American, before the war in Vietnam, held their political leaders and Congressmen in high regard. It was during the 1960's that this viewpoint began to change as the American death toll began to rise. One major viewpoint, eerily similar to today, was that though the intentions of entering into the conflict were good, the fact that it seemed to be a losing battle and the costs seemed to be too high; it was time to pull out of Vietnam. The other side of that coin was that there was a purpose for going into Vietnam and we should not leave until the job was done (Schulzinger, 1999).
It had not been since the early 1940's that the draft had been used to call eligible men into service for their country. The men of the Baby Boom era were now eligible for the draft that had been reinstated for the Vietnam War. Deferments were available for those who were enrolled into college, but many in the working class could not afford this luxury and so theirnumbers far outweighed those of college graduates. In June of 1962, the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was taken over by two students from the University of Michigan. The SDS would begin by focusing their views on domestic issues such as Civil Rights and the Free Speech Movement. In February and March of 1965, SDS organized marches on the Oakland Army Terminal, a major departure point for many soldiers leaving for Southeast Asia. In March, the SDS raised the level of dissent to a national level by organizing a march on the capital and on April 17, 1965, almost 25,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. (Barringer, 2009). This seemed to be a jumping point for student unrest in America over the Vietnam War.
In early 1968, the public knowledge of the Tet Offensive led many Americans to question the legitimacy in the government's reporting of the progress made by the troops in Vietnam. Public opinion shifted...