Vietnam War Counter Culture Essay

The Vietnam war, Civil Rights Movement, student protests and the counter culture had a big impact on America throughout the 1960s. The Vietnam war was first accepted by the American people, but gradually people, especially young people, began rejecting the war. The Civil Rights Movement was an ongoing battle for years, but 1960 brought bigger changes for blacks and was also instrumental in getting rights passed for women. College campuses across the country saw some of the biggest riots in American history. The baby boomers of the 60s were ready for a change and this caused what many have considered the counter culture of the 60s.
Policymakers during this time viewed Vietnam through the simplistic ideological prism of the Cold War. Presidents
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Under the O Plan 34-A, the American Navy supported South Vietnamese commando raids against the North, which bought the destroyer Maddox into the Gulf of Tonkin. On August 2, 1964, three North Vietnamese gunboats closed in, the Maddox opened fire, hitting at least one. The North Vietnamese launched torpedoes which missed the destroyer Maddox. On the night of August 4, there was another incident that remains uncertain. The Maddox, joined by destroyer Turner Joy, engaged what were believed to be more attacking North Vietnamese patrol boats. Although it was questionable whether the second attack happened, the incident provided the basis for retaliatory air attacks and the ensuing Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which became the basis for the initial escalation of the war in Vietnam and ultimately the insertion of U.S. combat troops into the War. Several characteristics of the Tonkin Gulf incident anticipated the future conduct of the Vietnam War and its role in breaking American Society. By the Spring of 1967, the number of American troops in Vietnam was over 40,000. 14,000 Americans died in 1965, and about 5,000 died in 1966. As the war stretched on, some soldiers came to distrust their government’s reasons for keeping them

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