Chapter 29.2: A Generation in Conflict Student Activism, the Draft, and American Soldiers in Vietnam Student Activism • Generation Gap - nation is split: people who favored increasing war effort (hawks) vs. people who believed war was morally wrong (doves) •SDS – Students for a Democratic Society opposed the war effort and greatly supported freedom of speech – “New Left” - 1964 California at Berkley students took over administration building over free speech •Teach-Ins – University faculty members led antiwar sessions The Draft • Selective Service Act – drafted men between 18 and 26 into the military • conscientious objectors – people who were opposed to fighting the war for moral or religious reasons • In December 1967, 70% of Americans felt that the protests were “acts of disloyalty” • In spring of 1967 nearly 500,000 gathered in NYC’s Central Park: “Hell no we won’t go!” “Burn Cards not People!” • As more people were drafted, the number of protests against the War increased • College students could receive a deferment – postponement of service • 100,000 “draft dodgers” move to Canada The Working Class War-Soldiers in Vietnam • Young Soldiers (average age was 19) • Lower class whites and minorities • “Working Class” • African Americans made up only 10% of the population but 20%-30% of the combat deaths • 10,000 US Women served in Vietnam – Most served as military nurses – Thousand more served in the Red Cross and the USO (United Services Organizations) Vietnam Soldiers video Conclusion: Draft Questions • What do you think a citizen’s responsibilities are to this country? • During the Civil War people paid $500 to stay out of the military. Should people with money be able to avoid military service during wartime? • Some conscientious objectors in the Vietnam War served in hospitals or as Army medics, while others fled to Canada. Discuss your feelings about each scenario. • If you were old enough to serve in a war or be drafted, what would you choose to do? • Was it fair for young men to legally avoid the draft through a college deferment during the war?