PLAN OF INVESTIGATION:
During the early years of Vietnam War the public support was high. The "fight against communist" was grounds for many public rallies to encourage and support the effort. Despite the high approval rating the US government still released crucial propaganda that displayed communist as the evil of the world. It wasn't until Nixon invaded Cambodia that many protests occurred, mostly by democratic college students that led to the US government censoring American media. During hostile times in the Vietnam War the US government fell to censoring the media in order to lower the amount of opposing riots against the government. During an age of independent journalism, however, the government was not showing the same war footage as these journalist, which led to hostile riots such as Kent State Massacre. Towards the end of the American involvement with Vietnam the trust in the government was truly damaged by the censorship, 1960's-1970's activism, and presidential scandals.
SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE:
The US' involvement into Vietnam started after North Vietnam was aided by communist countries Russia and China. The North Vietnam (with help from Vietcong) began a massive "recovery" of the rest of Vietnam with hopes of "reuniting" Vietnam. The US was in fear of another communist power forming, but instead of directly attacking Vietnam the US government began to aid South Vietnam. President Johnson, newly inaugurated after President Kennedy's assassination, was torn between sending more and more aid to South Vietnam, which would
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result in an increase in US casualties, or pull out the troops and be the only president in US history to lose a war.
The American Casualty number slowly increased as the war progressed and more and more soldiers were being sent over as aid to the South Vietnam army. Towards the end of the 1960's and the beginning of the 1970's protest became more and more frequent. Many college students and faculty joined the "fight" against the war and moved for withdrawal of US troops. Many veterans joined groups that protested on Washington and tried to sway the US government in letting go of a war that was not ours to fight. President Nixon, now in office, backtrack the US government's progress of extracting troops by expanding the war efforts into Cambodia.
Television was growing in popularity in the 60's and became a normal household appliance, replacing the radio for news. This opened up doors for many shows depicting war propaganda for both sides of the spectrum. The US government is providing their own propaganda and media shows depicting the US soldiers in a winning situation and pleading for support for our troops. On the other end there are liberal journalist showing the worst possible footage gained to gain support for the "fight" against the war. Both were very effective into confusing the US people into not knowing the truth about the war.
During the war efforts President Richard Nixon was hit with impeachment for the Watergate scandal. This was just another incident that confused the US people about their government. There were numerous events that were occurring that affected the public view. The media and television propaganda, the activist drafting more and more people towards the efforts
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to get the troops out of Vietnam, and the scandal of the President. These truly helped to the massive decrease in trust towards the US government. EVALUATION OF SOURCES:
Peter Jennings Todd Brewster. _The Century: For Young People_. New York, New York: Random House Inc., 1999.
This source proved to be very helpful when finding data to help my thesis statement. Peter Jennings is a world renowned anchor on ABC's television show World New Tonight. Todd Brewster was senior editorial producer of the book The Century. A known journalist he was a part of American Journalists documentation of the fall of communism in Europe and provided insight for his columns in Life...