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Vietnam War & Student Unrest

Describe the connection between student unrest and the Vietnam War and how did they affect each other. Explain political and social outcomes of the end of the Vietnam War. Use at least 2 sources to support the response; one related to the connection of student unrest and the war and another related to the political and social outcomes of the war. Must be at least 1050 words.

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During almost every major conflict in United States history there have been protests against involvement in that conflict. However, it was not until the Vietnam “Police Action” of the 1960s and 1970s that so much popular student protests coalesced into such a popular uprising that it had a significant effect upon foreign policy. However, it was not only the Vietnam conflict that students were protesting – it was reaction to the past two decades of middle class growth, and, as some scholars have indicated, the product of social changes that occurred after World War II. Among these, a large surge in births, meaning more younger people during the 1960s; more permissive social mores in terms of child rearing, television and popular culture teaching this demographic that happiness was important (e.g. this was the first generation to grow up with television as a part of their formative years); and the media allowing them to experience major world events – first hand (Boren, 2001). Additionally, it was not just the United States that had a great deal of Student Protests during the era, although the Civil Rights Movement, and the idea that change could occur from the bottom up was most popular on American college campuses, typically a hotbed for new ideas, coupled with the cultural changes of the 60s, finally turning into a ferment for such movements as the Peace Movement, the Anti-Nuclear Movement, The Feminist Movement, and the entire embrace of New Left Politics (distrust of the conservative government, leanings toward social programs, a grasp of the veneer of life in America versus reality – think “Leave It To Beaver” or “Ozzie and Harriet” and then the actual reality of life at the time (Gitlin, 1993).
And, while this essay will focus on the student movements of the 1960s, protests in the United States were not new, of course, and it often seemed like younger people, being more idealistic and involved (at least those in college) were sometimes at the forefront of those protests. If, in general, for instance, one wishes to look at the last five decades, we can see a historiographic pattern of student activity and protests that may indeed culminate in the anti-Vietnam movement in the 1960s. For example:
1930s – The American left had a very successful time during the Great Depression. Communist and Socialist undergraduates were very active in America’s campuses, and during the peak years of 1936-39, as things were bleakest in the American economy, the movement mobilized about ½ million students (actually about half of the collegiant population) in an annual one-hour strike against war and capitalistic excesses. We must remember, though, that the terms communist and socialist did not have the same meaning as today. Stalin’s excesses were unknown at the time, and Americans were suffering a great deal economically. Jobs were hard to find, especially for young people, and the ideas of socialism seem far more equitable. However, as President Roosevelt’s programs began to take hold, and as the rising tide of fascism became more apparent in Europe, some of the movement died down, especially after the 1939 Nazi-Soviet Pact (Cohen, 1993 and Pagan, 1982). (Sidenote: It was many of the younger intellectuals of the 1930s, who, by the 1950s were part of the corporate or governmental management culture, that were called to testify by HUAC ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a discussion of the relationship between Student Unrest in the US during the height of the Vietnam War and the manner by which these two events affected each other in relation to socio-political and counter-culture issues. The solution is attached as a word file.