Axia College of University of Phoenix
The American Experience Since 1956 (AXIA) HIS/135
February 1, 2009
The Vietnam War was unique in one regard, it gave rise to the largest and most successful antiwar movement in United States history. In a sense, the war in Vietnam could be described as a two front war – a war in Vietnam with war being waged with tanks, guns and bullets – and a “war at home,” fought on the streets and campuses throughout the nation.
The war was waged by millions of Americans who took to the streets in large and small groups, who held protests at college campuses to discuss the moralities of the war, and who demanded the United States to withdraw their troops from Vietnam. At the outbreak of the Vietnam War, student radicalism inspired by the Free Speech Movement later grew to represent a national voice protesting United States involvement in the war, as Americans started to question the relevance of U.S. presence in a conflict taking place halfway around the world.
Following the death of President Kennedy in 1963 protest and demonstrations against the War started to rise throughout the nation. The Civil Rights Act was finally passed in 1964 guaranteeing equality among all U.S. citizens. I do not think anyone ever expected a few demonstrators would be able to turn the nation’s involvement in a war by rallying the public together to oppose the war in Vietnam.
At the end of America’s combat role in Vietnam, there were many bitter accusations of “who lost Vietnam?” I believe the American has wanted to neither talk to nor think about the nation’s longest and most debilitating war. A collective amnesia took hold over everyone. This was the only war the United States ever lost. The forgetfulness gave way in the early 1980s to a new interest in the war. Hollywood, television, and the music industry made the war a staple of popular culture. Journalists and Vietnam... [continues]
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