The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

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Ms. Brown
U.S. History
10 April 2013
Vietnam War Essay
In 1964, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed by the United States Congress in response to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident this resolution stated “Whereas the United States is assisting the peoples of southeast Asia to protect their freedom and has no territorial, military or political ambition in that area, but desires only that these people should be left alone in peace to work out their destines in their own way: Now, therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Congress approves and supports the determination of the President, as the commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.” Even though the United States was actively taking part in South Vietnam, pre-1964, once the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed the amount of U.S. involvement aggressively increased. The Vietnam War had a tremendous impact on American Society. This mostly was because it was the first American war to be nationally televised. As a result of the media directly placing the horrors of war in the home, the public opinion of the war was unsurprisingly low. During the war, the especially large number of young adults, due to the post WWII “baby boom”, partook in a student run antiwar movement that caused problems on college campuses. This antiwar movement led to sit-ins, protests, and riots. Many students even attempted to get out of the war by fleeing the country or purposefully failing their draft exams. In Document C, James Fallows, an American author, describes his 1969 draft board experience and how his wealthy educated friends could get out of the draft and younger, lower class “boys” were drafted into the war. “Since the [boys] had just left high school, it had clearly never occurred to them that there might be away around the draft....
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