Date Approved

2008

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History and Philosophy

Committee Member

Jo Ellen Vinyard, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Heather Neff, PhD

Abstract

The Soldiers’ Resistance Movement (SRM) during the Vietnam Era is arguably the most important social movement in the history of the American military. Responding to a highly unpopular war, the soldiers of Vietnam began to question their role in what many considered to be a conflict built on lies. While the government expected some resistance, the soldiers’ unity of purpose eventually forced the military to respond. This paper examines the soldiers’ revolt as it grew throughout the decades of the 1960s and 1970s, culminating in a protest movement that helped to end the war.

While providing a chronicle of the parallels between the growth of the SRM and America’s involvement in Southeast Asia, this paper also seeks to illustrate the institutional deficiencies of the military. Occurring in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, the growing radicalism of many African American soldiers, along with the support of thousands of civilians and the public media, eventually brought about both an end to the draft and the close of the Vietnam War.

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