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Anti-Vietnam War movement, United States

Rick Clapton

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Northern America » United States of America

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

People Hô Chí Minh

Key-Topics civil disobedience, peace, resistance, revolution, war

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00108.x


The first protests in the United States against the Vietnam War were small and little noticed. Yet by the 1970s, opposition to the war divided Americans more deeply than any issue since the country's Civil War (1861–5). Most importantly, Vietnam War protests, in combination with other 1960s movements, destroyed Americans' unquestioning faith in their government. American merchant marines became the first Americans to protest their country's involvement in Vietnam. Within two months of Vietnam's independence, US authorities diverted as many as twelve troop ships from their task of returning soldiers to the States and sent them to transport US-armed French troops and Foreign Legionnaires from France to Vietnam. The entire crews of four of the merchant marine ships met in Saigon and drew up a resolution against the US government, protesting the use of American ships to transport French troops for the purpose of subjugating a native population. In the almost two decades after World War II, few voices of dissent were heard addressing the Cold War's greatest attacks on communism. Yet by 1963 the waning popularity of Ngo Dinh Diem's American backed government had reached a boiling point within Vietnam. Much of this dissent originated from the patronage, the corruption, and the manipulation of the peasant population on which Diem's family oligarchy rested. On May 8, 1963 in Hue, government ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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