Social Effects of the Vietnam War

Topics: Vietnam War, Lyndon B. Johnson, First Indochina War Pages: 9 (2254 words) Published: May 23, 2001
The Vietnam 1

The Vietnam War's Effects on American Society
Halley E. Moore
Metro High School- St. Louis

The Vietnam 2
The Vietnam War had a profound effect on American society. It changed the way we viewed our government, the media, and our Constitutional rights. Because of this shift in
perspective, the country was torn apart and yet still came
together in new and different ways. The Vietnam War's
contraversiality spurred a great many sources of protest,
against our government's use of power, how far we could
stretch the rights of free expression, and primarily against the violence of the war itself. These changes in the
behavior of society have left a lasting mark on our
perception and the demand to be informed since that
period of social turmoil.

The Vietnam 3
The Vietnam War's Effects on American Society
The Vietnam War had a profound effect on American
society. It provided a contraversial issue that formed a
catalyst for a social structure just ready to be provoked. When the American public became aware of the situation at
hand, through the recently unchained media, it was only a
matter of time before there was some form of action or
reaction. The media played a key role in the empowerment of the sway of the people. With the addition of television
journelism, a whole new depth was added to how people
what they were being told, because there was an
added truth to seeing it. People rising and uniting in
protest, and journelists bucking the government-imposed
censorship began stretching the limits to how far we would
take our rights to free expression.
There were said to be three stages of the antiwar
movements. "The first phase (1964-1965) was idealistic.
The second phase (1966-1968) was more pragmatic, a period
when young people characteristically protested not on
principal but out of a desire not to be drafted and killed. The third phase (1969-1972) coincided with the de-
Americanization of the war"(Jeffreys-Jones, 43). In phase
one, people either supported the war or thought they had a
The Vietnam 4
clear path on how to stop it. At this point, the issue at
hand appeared pretty black and white. As the years
progressed, into the second phase, the protest became a
little more frantic. The realization that the war was real became more apparent, people were being killed and that was that. This revealed several more shades of grey, but also
solidifyed matters that something had to be done one way or another. The third phase, was what made everything take on a lot
more meaning. It was not just a war in Vietnam or in
America, but the war became a symbol (Gioglio, 20). One of the most prevalent
type of protests were based
on the imparting of knowledge. These were known as teach-
ins. The teach-ins were really the first step in raising
to the impact the war could have(Fever, 11).
They were the first things to get people informed and
involved. Starting with teach-ins during the spring of
1965, the massive antiwar efforts centered on the colleges, with the students playing leading roles. These teach-ins
were mass public demonstrations, usually held in the spring and fall seasons. The teach-in movement was at first, a
gentle approach to the antiwar activity (Gettleman, 54).
"Teach-ins were one important way to bring more people into the antiwar movement. During a teach-in, students, faculty The Vietnam 5
members, and guest speakers discussed issues concerning the Vietnam war"(McCormick, 37). The teach-ins began at the
University of Michigan in March of 1965, and spread to other...

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Brown, M. (1967). Vietnam: Crisis of conscience. New York:
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Fever, L.S. (1969). The conflict of gernerations: The
character and significance of student movements
Gaullucci, R.L. (1975). Neither peace nor honor. Baltimore:
The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Gettleman, M.E. (1985). Vietnam and America: A documented
Gioglio, G.R. (1998). Excerpt from: Days of decision: An
oral history of conscientious objectors
Heirser, J.M. (1974). Vietnam studies: Logistic support.
Washington D.C.: Department of the Army.
Hershberger, M. (1998). Traveling to Vietnam: American peace
activists and the war
Herring, G.C. (1994). LBJ and Vietnam: A different kind of
Katsiafica, G. (1984). Vietnam documents: American and
Vietnamese views of the war
McCormick, A.L. (2000). The Vietnam antiwar movement.
Berkely Heights, New Jersey: Enslow Publishers, Inc.
"People 's Parkers neamed their real goals". (1969, June
Spector, R.H. (1984, April 7) "Researching the Vietnam
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