The Anti-War Movement in the USA in the 1960-1970s

The Anti-War Movement in the USA in the 1960-1970s

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The Anti-War Movement in the USA in the 1960-1970s
Source Based
Source A is an extract from the book "Four hours in Me Lai", written
by Michael Bilton in 1992. The book is about the events that happened
in My Lai, and it endeavours to explain why the USA lost the war in
Vietnam. It is targeting mainly the adult population, in England, the
USA and other English speaking countries. On one hand it does have
sufficient evidence to explain why there was an anti-war movement as
the content is all true. It states the high death rate and
inexperience of all the USA's soldiers, which were two big reasons for
the anti-war movement. This is also what Martin Luther King spoke of
in his anti-war speeches. The main reason for it not having sufficient
evidence is that it was written well after the war had ended, and
therefore could have no direct influence on the anti-war movements in
the 1960-1970's.

Source B is a well-known photograph, to which the photographer is
unknown. It was taken at some point during the Vietnam war but there
is no specific date. The photograph was taken to show the effects of
the chemical weapon napalm, one of the tactics used by the American
soldiers. It may also have been taken for newspapers and TV
programmes. It's aimed at mainly the American population but also at a
lesser extent to the rest of the world.

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There is sufficient evidence
to support the anti-war movement as this image was widely used during
anti-war protests, and it was "fuel" for the anti-war movements
because it showed the nasty effects of the weapon. On the other hand
the image may not have been seen everywhere, and it can only encourage
anti-war movements if the image is seen. This links with source A as
they are both anti-America.

Source C is an extract from an article, written by Richard Hamer (an
American Journalist) in 1970, which makes it primary evidence. Its
purpose was to explain the difficulties faced by the American soldiers
whilst fighting the Vietcong. It also explains a few reasons why the
US lost the war. It was aimed at the American public during the war.
It does have sufficient evidence to support the anti was movement as
all the content I know to be true from my own knowledge, and this
extract dates back to just before the massive anti-war movement in
Kent State University, However, the source is a very patronising
article. The views are fairly biased towards the Vietcong and they are
patronising and arrogant. I would have to question the popularity of
this article amongst its viewers. It has no real link with either of
sources A or B except they are all favouring the Vietcong.

Source D is a cartoon drawn taken from the British magazine "Punch",
with the artist unknown. It was first published in 1967, with the
purpose of showing the effects of president Johnson's policy of a
"great society" which he promised America, it was his vision to "feed
and shelter the homeless". It was aimed at the British population. It
does have sufficient evidence to explain the anti-war movement because
this was one of the main reasons for the movements - president Johnson
wasting all of America's money that was supposed to be used on his
"great society", on the Vietnam War. This was something Martin Luther
King had spoken about in his speeches where he said "President
Johnson's great society shot down on the field at Vietnam". However,
as the cartoon is aimed at the British public and not the American
public, it couldn't have had any direct influence on the anti-war
movements in America, only in Britain. Also the source the source is a
cartoon, and impression of the artist. It is satire, as this is its
purpose.

Source E is a statement written by Robin Day (who was a BBC
Commentator in the 1970's) It was written in 1970 which was during the
war, this makes it primary evidence. It's a statement written to a
seminar of the Royal United Service Institution, and it's purpose is
to explain how TV is creating anti-war campaigns. It was aimed for
mainly the British Armed Forces but also at a lesser extent to the
American Military. It does have sufficient evidence to explain the
anti-war movement as it is a primary source explaining that because
there is so much TV and Media coverage from the war, it's increasing
the anti-war movements which I know to be true from my own knowledge.
The one main reason why it cannot have sufficient evidence is because
it was spoken in Britain, and it was only a few American soldiers who
heard it, so it cannot have any direct influence on the movements. It
can however show us what people believed at the time. This source
links with source D, as they were both british and therefore could
have had no direct impact on the movements.

Finally, source F is a clip from the film "Born on the fourth of July"
directed by Oliver Stone. It was released in 1989, which would make it
a secondary source. The clip has a Vietnam veteran trying to explain
his version of the "truth", and that is that they are fighting
guerrilla people needlessly, that it was a fake war, a war without
ethics and morals. Its audience was to regular 'cinema goers' in
mainly Britain and in the USA, but also in other English speaking
countries. On one hand it has sufficient evidence to explain the
anti-war movement because the director had actually fought in the
Vietnam war, it was his attempt to show what really happened in
Vietnam so it's a very reliable source. It's very patriotic towards
the beginning and turns very anti-war towards the end. The things that
were said in this clip were very similar to things said by Martin
Luther King in his anti-war protests. On the other hand it doesn't
have enough evidence because it is a secondary source and therefore
could have had no direct impact on the movements, it's also very
sensationalised. This source links with source B as they are both
images of a popular culture, and are both Media.

In conclusion none of the sources individually have any power, or
sufficient evidence for explain the Anti-War movements in the USA.
However, collectively all of the sources give us an idea of why there
were anti-war movements but have no real depth to them, and it's a
explanation lacking detail. There were other reasons why there were
anti-war movements that none of the sources mention. These are things
like the US government, student protests, the number of high
casualties, the drugs being abused by officers and soldiers in
Vietnam, Martin Luther King and John Lennon to name but a few of the
other reasons. So no, I don't think there is sufficient evidence in
sources A-F as to why there was an anti-war movement in the USA in the
1960-1970s.
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