Share
Explore BrainMass

Vietnam War

Hello, I have to write a paper addressing a few points about the Vietnam War. I have everything else that I need but need help with the following points: 1)Describe the connection between student unrest and the Vietnam War (noting how each affected the other). 2)Explain the political and social outcomes of the end of the Vietnam War.
I need to use at least two resources to support my response: one related to the connection of student unrest and the war, and another related to the political and social outcomes of the war. Whatever help you provide will be greatly appreciated. I think I am just tired from staring at my screen, which is leading me to frustration, thank you so much for your help!!

Solution Preview

STUDENT UNREST AND VIETNAM WAR

As the Vietnam war dragged on into its second decade with no perceptibleend in sight, and American casualties mounted along with its atrocities, young men who had received deferments because of their student status found themselves increasingly in jeopardy as graduation approached, and the promised end to hostilities failed to materialize. Atrocities mounted with indiscriminate massive bombing with both explosives and napalm reaching new heights. The hatred for the authority of national leaders whose platitudes and slogans had proved false spread to a distrust of students for all traditional authority figures, causing students to question the authority of all those in positions of power and/or dominance. From the President and Joint Chief s of staff to college and university administrations and parents, students began to question the way things were done, and to demand the "real" reasons behind collective and individual behavior patterns. Students, now being called on to kill and die, wanted to know the truth, free of cant, platitudes, and propaganda.

Once the traditional arguments were dismissed as meaningless, hope would be born for a new world free of tradition's savage competition, hatred for others and desire for power. Free of materialistic enslavement we would see the error of the old ways and people everywhere could live in peace. The idea encompassed every sort of freedom, beginning with freedom from racial, and sexual, and religious biases, from the arrogance of power, and stupidity, and from disregard for the environment and life. The Calvinist idea that power, and money were synonymous with righteousness was challenged by students who were its potential victims by being inculcated into the system's meanness of spirit.

That such ideas were greeted by administrative repression against anything but "business as usual" on campus, and in the White Houses of both Johnson, and ultimately Nixon and divided a country grown increasingly querulous as our own corpses and maimed returned from the battlefields of Viet Nam. Finally, when Hai Phong Harbor was mined, Cambodia invaded and the heaviest bombing of civilians since World War II unleashed, campuses erupted and unarmed students were fired on and killed at Jackson State and Kent State by police, on one hand, and the National Guard on the other.

from: http://scholar.library.miami.edu/sixties/studentUnrest.php

student unrest happened all over the world - here is an example of how the vietnam war impacted students at Berkely in California:
The mass media gave intensive coverage to the Berkeley events, and Americans were exposed for the first time to a new sort of news story --the tumultuous campus disruption. It was news in a traditional sense because it involved conflict and controversy. It was especially suitable for television because it was colorful and visually interesting. Night after night, television film of events on one campus carried the methods and spirit of protest to every other campus in the country.

Most student protesters, like advocates of all ages and points of view, welcomed television coverage. Many of them grew sophisticated in inviting it, and some of them undoubtedly played to it. Television news crews obliged them, occasionally in an irresponsible fashion. But of far greater importance was the selective nature of the television medium itself, with its tendency to emphasize the most emotionally and visually exciting aspects of stories. Again and again, the cameras focused on whatever was most bizarre, dramatic, active, or violent. Few television or radio and news- paper reporters had the time or knowledge to explore the causes and complexity of campus protests.

The public reacted to Berkeley with concern and anger. In California and throughout the nation, campus events became, controversial political issues. Many citizens believed that students had no reason to protest. Many were deeply opposed to the protestors' disruptive tactics. Many also criticized the faculty and administration for not taking a sufficiently "hard line." As student protest spread to more campuses and as its tactics became more disruptive or violent, citizens and political leaders called for action to prevent further campus disturbances.

Even in 1964-65, the year of the Berkeley disturbance, there was much more turmoil on campus than the media reported or the public knew of. Of 849 four-year colleges responding to a national survey that year, the great majority reported some kind of protest. But almost all of these protests were of the pre-Berkeley variety --traditional, single-issue protests, many of them conducted off-campus. More than a third of the campuses reported off-campus civil rights activities, and just over one-fifth had on-campus protests against the Vietnam War. A variety of other issues stimulated protests on campus, including the quality of food, dress requirements, dormitory regulations, controversies over faculty members, censorship of publications, rules about campus speakers, and the desire for more student participation in university governance.

This early pattern of student protest, then, was over a large number and broad range of distinct issues, which students rarely lumped together in criticisms of "the system." The university usually was subject to protest only over matters that were within its own control.

After 1964-65, however, this pattern began to change, and students increasingly related campus issues to broader political and social issues. As they did, the Berkeley invention began to spread to "other campuses. The growing frequency with which campus protest reflected the Berkeley scenario was largely the result of the emergence and development of three issues: American involvement in the war ill Southeast Asia, the slow progress of American society towards racial equality, and charges of "unresponsiveness" against both the federal government and university administrations and against their "repressive" reaction to student demands. These three issues gave campus protests their unifying theme. They were defined by protesting students as fundamentally moral issues; and this definition gave a tone of passion, fervor, and impatience to student protest.

The rapid escalation of American military efforts in Vietnam in 1965 made the Vietnam war one of the bitterest issues of the decade. This issue gave student activists an ever-increasing self-assurance and solidarity for growing public concern over the constant escalation of the war seemed to legitimate the activists' early opposition. They redoubled their efforts; the Vietnam issue came to dominate their thoughts; and the previously scattered pattern of campus protest began to alter accordingly.

The war was strenuously debated among students and faculty. At first there were considerable differences of opinion on the subject. During this early period, students and faculty at the University of Michigan created a new method for discussing the war: the teach-in. When it began, the teach-in was a balanced affair that took the form of an extended debate, rather than a vehicle for antiwar protest. But it did not last in this form. When the teach-in reached Berkeley, it was simply a mass demonstration in which no supporters of the war were heard. Soon, government spokesmen who went to campuses to explain or defend American foreign policy were shouted down and, at times, physically attacked. In some cases, the students responsible were never disciplined.

This transformation of the teach-in suggests one consequence of growing opposition to the war and of the rising tide of campus unrest that was to persist and expand through the rest of the decade.

The moral sentiments and passions aroused by the war had a chilling effect on rational academic discourse. Faculty members who met to discuss university policy while thousands of students waited outside or listened to their debates on the radio were at times unwilling to speak their minds on the issues or to speak out against student extremists. Rational debate and critical analysis were replaced by impassioned rhetoric and intense political feeling.

As oppos1tion to the war grew and the war continued to escalate, explanations of America's involvement in it became more radical. From having been a "mistake," the war was soon interpreted by radical students as a logical outcome of the American political system. They argued that what was most objectionable was not the war itself, but rather "the system" that had entered, justified, and pursued it. According to this logic, the appropriate target of protest was "the system itself, and especially those parts of it that were involved in the war. The university, too, came to be seen as a part of "the system," and therefore it became a target --as distinct from an accidental arena --of antiwar protest. As it did, the Berkeley invention, with its dual issues, increasingly dominated the pattern of campus protest.

The escalation of the war in Southeast Asia produced an increasing demand for military manpower that resulted in larger draft calls. In 1965, the federal government decided to defer college students from the draft on the basis of their academic standing. Draft boards asked universities to provide such information, and students and faculty passionately debated the propriety of compliance. In the end, the issue was usually resolved by agreeing that draft data would continue to be divulged only at the student's request.

There were major student demonstrations over the question, and some of them borrowed directly from the Berkeley scenario. One of the most notable of these demonstrations occurred at the University of Chicago, where the administration building was occupied and many demonstrators were later suspended.

When disciplinary actions followed such disruptions, a new issue arose --the demand for amnesty. Students who faced punishment for disruptive actions taken in the name of high moral principles felt they should be exempt from the rules applied to other students. Increasingly, radical groups charged that university attempts to impose disciplinary sanctions were only further evidence of the university's larger complicity in the evils of American society and the war effort.

These groups --particularly the SDS --actively sought information, sometimes by illegal means, concerning all connections between the university and the war. Their research provided a constant flow of information and misinformation. Sometimes it yielded dramatic findings, for in fact there were many links between the university and the defense establishment. For example, it was revealed in 1967 that a "research center" at Michigan State University was a conduit for the funding of a CIA operation in Southeast Asia. Many other research centers were accused, often justly, of receiving military money and, less justly, of conducting "imperialist" research. In some cases student aid programs that were tied to defense spending were cited as proof of the university's involvement in the war. Campus ...

Solution Summary

How the Vietnam war caused unrest about students in the United States and oversees.

$2.19