Vietnam Antiwar Movement

anti–Vietnam War movement

anti–Vietnam War movement, domestic and international reaction (1965–73) in opposition to U.S. policy during the Vietnam War. During the four years following passage of the Tonkin Gulf resolution (Aug., 1964), which authorized U.S. military action in Southeast Asia, the American air war intensified and troop levels climbed to over 500,000. Opposition to the war grew as television and press coverage graphically showed the suffering of both civilians and conscripts. In 1965 demonstrations in New York City attracted 25,000 marchers; within two years similar demonstrations drew several hundred thousand participants in Washington, D.C., London, and other European capitals. Most of the demonstrations were peaceful, though acts of civil disobedience—intended to provoke arrest—were common. Much of the impetus for the antiwar protests came from college students. Objections to the military draft led some protesters to burn their draft cards and to refuse to obey induction notices. By 1967 the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) invoked the language of revolution in its denunciations of the war in Vietnam as an inevitable consequence of American imperialism. There was also a more moderate opposition to the war from clergy, elected politicians, and people such as Dr. Benjamin Spock. In 1968, President Johnson, who was challenged by two antiwar candidates within his own party for the presidential nomination, Senators Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy, chose not to run. The election of Richard Nixon in 1968 and his reduction in U.S. ground forces did little to dampen the antiwar movement. His decision to invade Cambodia in 1970 led to massive demonstrations on college campuses, most tragically at Kent State Univ. where four people were killed by members of the Ohio National Guard. The legacy and meaning of the massive protests against the Vietnam War are still debated.

See T. Gitlin, The Sixties (1989); M. Young, The Vietnam Wars, 1945–1990 (1991); A. Garfinkle, Telltale Hearts (1995).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Vietnam Antiwar Movement: Selected full-text books and articles

Sitting in and Speaking Out: Student Movements in the American South, 1960-1970 By Jeffrey A. Turner University of Georgia Press, 2010
Librarian's tip: Chap. 8 "The War in the South"
Give Peace a Chance: Exploring the Vietnam Antiwar Movement By Melvin Small; William D. Hoover Syracuse University Press, 1992
'Peace on Earth-Peace in Vietnam': The Catholic Peace Fellowship and Antiwar Witness, 1964-1976 By Moon, Penelope Adams Journal of Social History, Vol. 36, No. 4, Summer 2003
"An Oasis of Order": The Citadel, the 1960s, and the Vietnam Antiwar Movement By Macaulay, Alex Southern Cultures, Vol. 11, No. 3, Fall 2005
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Understanding Antiwar Activism as a Gendering Activity: A Look at the U.S.'S Anti-Vietnam War Movement By Burgin, Say Journal of International Women's Studies, Vol. 13, No. 6, December 2012
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Vietnam War on Campus: Other Voices, More Distant Drums By Marc Jason Gilbert Praeger, 2001
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "The Refiner's Fire: Anti-War Activism and Emerging Feminism in the Late 1960s"
Takin' It to the Streets: A Sixties Reader By Alexander Bloom; Wini Breines Oxford University Press, 1995
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "Hey, Hey, LBJ!: Vietnam and the Antiwar Movement"
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
The Movement and the Sixties By Terry H. Anderson Oxford University Press, 1996
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "Give Peace a Chance: The Antiwar Movement"
The 1960s Cultural Revolution By John C. McWilliams Greenwood Press, 2000
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