23 April 2013
The Effects of the Vietnam War
By 1965, few Americans protested involvement in the Vietnam War. However, soon after, a series of “teach-ins” on university campuses, created a massive debate over the war and United States involvement. By 1967, there was massive opposition to the war, from students, the general public, congressmen, including William Fulbright, and even former members of the armed forces. This opposition was not the only tension in the nation, however. There were riots over the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and over the actions taken by the Democratic Party at the Democratic National Convention. The economic tensions created by inflation also increased anti-war support, and created even more chaos in the US. The Vietnam War caused controversy throughout the country between it's supporters and opposition; which soon encompassed the entirety of the political, social, and economic atmosphere of the nation, leading to nationwide disturbances including riots, peace marches, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. In the early years of the 1960s, inflation remained at about the same rate, 2 percent. However, between 1967 and 1969 the percentage of inflation rose to 6 percent. Lyndon Johnson proposed a 10 percent “war tax” to stop the inflation, but in return he had to accept a $6 billion funding cut to his “Great Society” programs. These programs included laws that upheld civil rights, public broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protection, aid to education, and his "War on Poverty." Even though inflation was stopped, and it was minimal to begin with, there was still public concern for the economy. As with almost every war, there was a downturn in the economy. George McGovern suggested a cut in the military budget due to the “appalling waste of money and manpower” (Doc. H) Richardson 2
that was being funded by tax dollars and harming the economy. The...