Vietnam Opposition Source Question
Source A (above) Viet-Conga Line, San Francisco Examiner 1967
Source B (below) Vietnam! Vietnam! Felix Greene 1966
The mounting fury of the richest and most powerful country is today being directed against one of the smallest and poorest countries in the world. The average income of the people of Vietnam is about $50 a year - what the average American earns in a single week. The war today is costing the United States three million dollars an hour. What could not the Vietnamese do for their country with what we spend in one day fighting them! It is costing the United States $400,000 to kill one guerrilla - enough to pay the annual income of 8,000 Vietnamese. The United States can burn and devastate; it can annihilate the Vietnamese; but it cannot conquer them.
(a) Study Sources B and C (Left). How useful are Sources B and C for an enquiry into attitudes in the USA towards involvement in the Vietnam War? Explain your answer, using Sources B and C and your knowledge of the historical context.
(b) Study Interpretations 1 and 2 (Below). They give different views about attitudes in the USA towards involvement in the Vietnam War. What is the main difference between these views? Explain your answer, using details from both interpretations.
(c) Suggest one reason why Interpretations 1 and 2 give different views about attitudes in the USA towards involvement in the Vietnam War. You may use Sources B and C to help explain your answer.
Up to 4 marks of the total for part (d) will be awarded for spelling, punctuation, grammar and use of specialist terminology. (d) How far do you agree with Interpretation 2 about attitudes in the USA towards involvement in the Vietnam War? Explain your answer, using both interpretations and your knowledge of the historical context.
It was a beautiful day and if you look at pictures of the crowds you’d probably be surprised by how straight everyone looks. People are sitting on the grass around the Washington Monument wearing sports jackets and dresses. It looked like a prom. We had music by Joan Baez [and] the Freedom Singers. The best speech was given by Paul Potter, president of SDS. His argument was that the brutality manifested in Vietnam was connected to the brutality of American society and that in order to stop the war we had to change the system. At the same time that polls showed a majority had turned against the war in 1968, a survey asked people to rank by popularity a variety of national organizations or forces. The most unpopular entity in America was the anti-war movement. That to me encapsulates the fundamental tragedy. We were hated. We were seen, not inaccurately, as part of a radical ensemble that really wanted to turn a great deal upside down.
Todd Gitlin, member of Students for a Democratic Society, was one of the organisers of the Washington Demonstration of April 17th, 1965.
College students became active in causes that promoted free speech, student input in the curriculum, and an end to archaic social restrictions. Students joined the anti-war movement because they did not want to fight in a foreign civil war that they believed did not concern them or because they were morally opposed to all war. Others disliked the war because it diverted funds and attention away from problems in the U.S. Another attractive feature of the opposition movement was the fact that it was a popular social event. Demonstrations were the places to "get laid, get high, and listen to some great rock." Most were campus-based because they were easier to participate in than national events. Common demonstrations featured burning draft cards, and protesting military and Dow Chemical job fairs on campus. Protests grew after the Kent State shootings, radicalizing more and more students. Although the media often portrayed the student anti-war movement as aggressive and widespread, only 10% of the 2500 colleges in the United States had violent protests throughout the Vietnam War years.
Edited from Wikipedia (accessed 12/05/2018)