did the antiwar movement end the vietnam war?

I have a book review out on the book Rethinking the American Antiwar Movement by Simon Hall on the H-Diplo list. I focus on how we know that the movement actually caused the end of the Vietnam war in any significant way:

This leads to a major theme in research on antiwar movements. In an essay in The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements (2005), Sam Marullo and David S. Meyer argue that peace movements face an uphill struggle.[3] There are many incentives for states to wage war, while there are few restraints. Once it is clear that a nation-state is moving toward war, it may be too late for a movement. Passions are strong and leaders do not wish to look weak. For these reasons, antiwar movements are reactionary and face massive obstacles.

Overall, I raise questions about the types of evidence that historians tend to produce. Check it out.

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Written by fabiorojas

January 16, 2013 at 12:01 am

Posted in fabio, social movements

2 Responses

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  1. This is interesting. I’ve lately wondered whether new moral force multiplications couldn’t be used on the next generation to bring about a different outcome. If in fact a society could possibly bring about force multipliers that said that killing is absolutely wrong, all the time, every time, would that work? I’m not sure it would because of testosterone and mans competitive nature.

    It just makes me wonder because force multipliers have been so prevalent in guiding man to do so many other things against his better judgement.

    The original question:did the anti-war movement have any effect? I’ll have to read the book. Thanks.



    January 16, 2013 at 2:17 am

  2. Although protest movements can erode political support, ultimately it is the state determining the course of the war. If the political elites in government risk losing their basis of power, then I suppose protest movements can effectively end a war.

    That being said, I was amazed not at the magnitude of antiwar protests in recent years here in the US but at their sheer impotence in affecting US military involvement overseas. It was as if the US military had innocculated itself against the effects of public protest. Perhaps this is an effect of shifting from a drafted military to an all-volunteer force?

    I don’t know but it made me wonder how effective such movements actually were in the 1960s vs. how they are depicted in memoirs and film media.



    January 16, 2013 at 6:14 pm

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