Vietnam War Student Protest Essay

855 Words4 Pages
A. Knox Clark
Princeton University
WRI 153- “Protest!”, Peter Johannesson
Draft for Paper Number 3

One of the greatest examples of student protest to occur in the modern era is the backlash against the war in Vietnam. Protests occurred in different settings all over the United States; in this paper I will focus on the student protests against the war in Vietnam that occurred at colleges and universities across the country. The Vietnam War, of course, was not the first time students had banded together to protest actions of our government. The antiwar student activism of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s traces its roots all the way back to the early days of our nation. The War of 1812 saw peace promoting activity occur at universities such as Amherst, Dartmouth, and Harvard; students also played “special roles” in the European 1848 revolutions, the Russian revolution, fascist movements in Spain, Italy, and Germany, among a host of others. (Passion and Politics). More immediately, the explosion of antiwar student activism that occurred finds its origins in the civil rights movement of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Actions of black student
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In the aftermath of the attacks on US personnel by the Viet Cong, President Johnson began bombing North Vietnam in early 1965; immediately, student protest began: “Activism received further stimulus with the military escalation of the Vietnam War. (Campus Wars). Furthermore, the start of the war in Vietnam, which happened while the civil rights protest movement was reaching its peak, saw the beginning of violence as a means of protest. The Report of the President’s Commission on Campus Unrest points to the start of the Vietnam conflict as a turning point in campus protest; around that time, the report states, violence began to become a tactic in student protests on campuses across the

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