The antiwar movement actually consisted of a number of independent interests, often only vaguely allied and contesting each other on many issues, united only in opposition to the Vietnam War.
The antiwar movement actually consisted of a number of independent interests, often only vaguely allied and contesting each other on many issues, united only in opposition to the Vietnam War. Attracting members from college campuses, middle-class suburbs, labor unions, and government institutions, the movement gained national prominence inpeaked inand remained powerful throughout the duration of the conflict.
Encompassing political, racial, and cultural spheres, the antiwar movement exposed a deep schism within s American society. A small, core peace movement had long existed in the United States, largely based in Quaker and Unitarian beliefs, but failed to gain popular currency until the Cold War era.
Their most visible member was Dr. Benjamin Spock, who joined in after becoming disillusioned with President Kennedy's failure to halt nuclear proliferation. A decidedly middle-class organization, SANE represented the latest incarnation of traditional liberal peace activism.
Their goal was a reduction in nuclear weapons. Unwilling to settle for fewer nuclear weapons, the students desired a wholesale restructuring of American society.
Jack London had been a member, as had Upton Sinclair, but the organization had long lain dormant until Michael Harrington, a New York socialist, revived it late in the s as a forum for laborers, African Americans, and intellectuals.
From this meeting materialized what has been called the manifesto of the New Left-the Port Huron Statement. Written by Hayden, the editor of the University of Michigan student newspaper, the page document expressed disillusionment with the military-industrial-academic establishment. Hayden cited the uncertainty of life in Cold War America and the degradation of African Americans in the South as examples of the failure of liberal ideology and called for a reevaluation of academic acquiescence in what he claimed was a dangerous conspiracy to maintain a sense of apathy among American youth.
Throughout the first years of its existence, SDS focused on domestic concerns. The students, as with other groups of the Old and New Left, actively supported Lyndon Johnson in his campaign against Barry Goldwater.
Following Johnson's victory, they refrained from antiwar rhetoric to avoid alienating the president and possibly endangering the social programs of the Great Society. Although not yet an antiwar organization, SDS actively participated in the Civil Rights struggle and proved an important link between the two defining causes of the decade.
Begun in December by students who had participated in Mississippi's "Freedom Summer," the FSM provided an example of how students could bring about change through organization. In several skirmishes with University President Clark Kerr, the FSM and its dynamic leader Mario Savio publicized the close ties between academic and military establishments.
With the rise of SDS and the FSM, the Old Left peace advocates had discovered a large and vocal body of sympathizers, many of whom had gained experience in dissent through the Civil Rights battles in the South.
By the beginning ofthe antiwar movement base had coalesced on campuses and lacked only a catalyst to bring wider public acceptance to its position. That catalyst appeared early in February, when the U.
The pace of protest immediately quickened; its scope broadened. On 24 March, faculty members at the University of Michigan held a series of "teach-ins," modeled after earlier Civil Rights seminars, that sought to educate large segments of the student population about both the moral and political foundations of U.
The teach-in format spread to campuses around the country and brought faculty members into active antiwar participation.
In March, SDS escalated the scale of dissent to a truly national level, calling for a march on Washington to protest the bombing.
On 17 Aprilbetween 15, and 25, people gathered at the capital, a turnout that surprised even the organizers. Buoyed by the attendance at the Washington march, movement leaders, still mainly students, expanded their methods and gained new allies over the next two years.
Campus editors formed networks to share information on effective protest methods; two of these, the Underground Press Syndicate and the Liberation News Servicebecame productive means of disseminating intelligence. In springover 1, seminarians from across the country wrote to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara advocating recognition of conscientious objection on secular, moral grounds.
In June, 10, students wrote, suggesting the secretary develop a program of alternative service for those who opposed violence. A two-day march on the Pentagon in October attracted nationwide media attention, while leaders of the war resistance called for young men to turn in their draft cards.
The movement spread to the military itself; inthe "Fort Hood 3" gained acclaim among dissenters for their refusal to serve in Vietnam. Underground railroads funneled draft evaders to Canada or to Sweden; churches provided sanctuary for those attempting to avoid conscription.
Perhaps the most significant development of the period between and was the emergence of Civil Rights leaders as active proponents of peace in Vietnam. Reverend King expanded on his views in April at the Riverside Church in New York, asserting that the war was draining much-needed resources from domestic programs.
He also voiced concern about the percentage of African American casualties in relation to the total population. King's statements rallied African American activists to the antiwar cause and established a new dimension to the moral objections of the movement. The peaceful phase of the antiwar movement had reached maturity as the entire nation was now aware that the foundations of administration foreign policy were being widely questioned.
As the movement's ideals spread beyond college campuses, doubts about the wisdom of escalation also began to appear within the administration itself.
As early as the summer ofUndersecretary of State George Ball counseled President Johnson against further military involvement in Vietnam.
In Johnson fired Defense Secretary McNamara after the secretary expressed concern about the moral justifications for war.Jane Addams (—) Jane Addams was an activist and prolific writer in the American Pragmatist tradition who became a nationally recognized leader of Progressivism in the United States as well as an internationally renowned peace .
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Gura New York: Hill and Wang, Reviewed by Kevin MacDonald The Occidental Quarterly 8(2), , Summer, The civil rights movement (also known as the African-American civil rights movement, American civil rights movement and other terms) was a decades-long movement with the goal of securing legal rights for African Americans that other Americans already held.
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