A: Summary of Evidence
The sources discovered during the formulation of this historical investigation were extremely useful in providing information in America during the 1960s. The sources helped in identifying key societal changes in America during the 1960s as a result of the Vietnamese War.
The general content of the sources were as follows:
The socially accepted rules and mannerisms prior to the Vietnamese War compared to the socially accepted rules and mannerism during and after the Vietnamese War.
The influence the government had over its citizens during the Vietnamese War.
How Females became more determined to raise their status of power in society now that the (working) males were hardly at home (away at war) to support the household financially.
How African Americans, who were trying to achieve civil rights during the Vietnamese War, were opposed to the Vietnamese War as they felt the government was to blame which was fueled by the ongoing racial segregation.
How Americans views on communists and communism as a whole changed as a result of the state of the American troops and Vietnamese civilians.
How Americans Viewed war in general thus leading to the creation of the ‘draft dodgers’.
The emotional and physical change in the American soldiers before and after the Vietnamese War.
The Evolution of journalism in America during the 1960s thus emphasizing the general frustration the American citizens faced in regard to the government.
The reality of the Vietnamese citizens compared to the general expectations many American citizens had (emphasizing distrust in government).
The effect and influence of propaganda.
Personal accounts of soldiers explaining their expectations compared to the reality of Vietnam.
The migration of American citizens as a result of conscription.
indicated how African Americans saw the war as a war for ‘white man’s freedom’.
Indicated how socially accepted rules and mannerisms were contrasted in different regions of the United States of America (South vs North).
B: Evaluation of Sources
Source 1: Warren, E. (2018). Society and Life in the 1960s. online English Online. Available at: https://www.english-online.at/history/1960s/society-and-change-in-the-sixties.htm Accessed 14 Jul. 2018.
Evaluation: This is a secondary source which focuses on the key societal issues in the United States of America during the 1960s. This source is written by Klaus Romanitz and the source originates from Austria. The purpose of this source is to provide information relating to the social change in America during the 1960s over a broad range of topics such as growing anti-war protests regarding the Vietnamese War as well as the determination by female activists to achieve a higher regard in society and acquire jobs that are more rewarding (economic wise) as a result of the males in society being absent from the household and fighting in the Vietnamese War. The source also focuses on the contrast between how war was viewed by the American citizens prior to and during the Vietnamese War. This source is valuable as it provides information on a number of topics regarding societal change in the United States of America during the 1960s. The source can be used to analyze the major changes occurring in America during the 1960s that were both directly and indirectly effected by the Vietnamese War. There are a number of limitations such as the fact that although the source provides information on a number of topics relating to the subject of social change it does not provide detailed information on each topic but rather key information on numerous topics. As this is a secondary source written by someone who was not present in America during the 1960s the sources may contain altered (not exact) recollections of the research conducted thus effecting the source’s credibility negatively.
Source 2: Herr, M. and Porter, R. (2009). Dispatches. Ashland, Or.: Blackstone Audio.
Evaluation: This source is a primary source as it is a biography written by Michael Herr who was ‘dropped’ into the Vietnamese War and was a war correspondent. The book was published in 1977 but was written off of Micheal Herr’s involvement in the Vietnamese War as a war correspondent. The purpose of the book is to explain the different expectations the American soldiers had in regard to war, communism and the Vietnamese civilians in general. The book also explains how dangerous the atmosphere was for not only the American soldiers but also the many war correspondents that were present during the tense period in Vietnam during the 1960s. The writer does well in stimulating a feeling of war for the reader through his use of diction emphasizing the danger that war entailed as well as indicated the process of how the Vietnamese War was publicized indicating the lengths at which reporters would go through in order to make sure the people at home (in the United States of America) were aware of the cruel events that the American soldiers and the American government were instigating in the South East Asian area. The book is valuable as it portrays a specific perspective in regard to the Vietnamese War as well as offers a more emotional appeal thus helping the reader relate more to the reporter’s situations. The book provides key information that cannot be found in many other sources as this is a first hand account which means that specific events and emotions are portrayed in the book that cannot be found elsewhere. Along with these values there are also many limitations such as the fact that as it is a biography written as first hand experience making it biased towards a specific side (favoring the Vietnamese troops). As the source is a book there is also a certain degree of exaggeration in specific events throughout the book (creative license) which decreases the level of authenticity and credibility that the book could have potentially had.
C: Introduction, Investigation and conclusion
The subject of the historical investigation, To what extent did the Vietnamese War fought against the United States of America accelerate social change in America during the 1960s, has a clear position regarding the subject at hand as a result of the information indicated in the researched sources. It is clear to see that The Vietnamese War did indeed accelerate the inevitable social change that took place in the United States of America during the 1960s. The research indicates that the Vietnamese War had both direct and indirect effects on society leading to the acceleration if social change in America during the 1960s. The sources reveal that the Vietnamese War lead to the American government starting to lose influence and control over the general population, the growing determination for women to become more involved in more labour intensive and productive fields of work increased, the continuous discontent of the African American population further escalated as well as lead to not only the change in how war and communism was perceived by the general population but also lead to a major migration from the United States of America.
The Vietnamese War was one of the first American Wars that was televised to a large extent which lead to the change in influence the government had over the American population as the citizens were consciously and frequently aware of the actions conducted by the American government and soldiers in Vietnam. The American population began to grow frustrated towards the American government which lead to a significant decline in relation to the power and influence the American government previously contained. The propaganda that the American government produced during the time of the televised Vietnamese War was not as emotionally appealing as assumed by the government which is due to the fact that the government lost credibility and authenticity once the general public was aware of the atrocities conducted by the government towards the Vietnamese people in Vietnam during the 1960s. The American government was seen as the opposing side in the eyes of the American people which lead to the American population questioning all aspects of society based on what was told to them by the government. The American population questioned all actions of the American government which lead to many becoming ‘draft dodgers’ as they felt the Vietnamese War was an unjust war. The American people also reconsidered the ideology of communism and war as taught to them by the American government indicating a decline in governmental control. The growing discontent by the American population towards their government lead to more rebellious acts such as the consumption of illegal substances and change in mannerism regarding how people dressed in order to go against conformity. America’s televised involvement in Vietnam instigated a national up roar resulting to social change in the United States in order to oppose the perceived villainess American Government.
The 1960s was a time in which many particular groups of people were discriminated against specifically females and African Americans this was however on the verge of adjustment as a result of the Vietnamese War being fought against America during the 1960s. During the 1960s women were in a position in which they were not able to acquire jobs that were seen as labor intensive or jobs that provided high income salaries/wages. Conscription made it compulsory for many of the men in common households to leave their loved ones and deploy off to war which meant that the females of the houses were left on their own (in some cases with children). The females in society came to a realization that they were capable of achieving more for society as a result of the absence of the (working) males in their lives. Women began to challenge societal rules that banned women from doing specific tasks such as high income jobs which accelerated the change in status of women in society for the better. Another group that was discriminated against during this time frame (1960s) were the African Americans who were prohibited from a number of activities such as using specific facilities as well as voting. The Vietnamese War was seen as a war for ‘white mens freedom’ by the African Americans and was thus condemned by the African Americans as they themselves felt as if they had no freedom. The Vietnamese War lead to more African Americans protesting the war which subsequently lead to their cries for a more ethnic balanced community with equal opportunity for all races to be heard by a larger audience at a faster pace. The Vietnamese War indirectly showed how women were cable of doing the jobs that society felt were more achievable by men as well as gave African Americans a larger opportunity to attain their goal for a nonracially biased society.
America was going through an eventful time during the 1960s and it is clear to see that the changes that society endured during that period in time were inevitable in regard to discrimination and general behavior that was considered ‘acceptable’. The Vietnamese War allowed for more opportunity for truth to become visible through televised reports as well as gave African Americans and females a chance to express their feeling about their status in society. The Vietnamese War thus accelerated the already changing American society during the 1960s.
Throughout the compilation of this historical investigation I found that America during the 1960s was already going through an inevitable social change with reference to socially acceptable rules and mannerisms, ethnic and gender based equality as well as the general control the American government had over its citizens. I found it interesting how women is society began to question their roles in society in a more detailed manner once the men were conscripted into war. It was also intriguing to see how the influence and power of the American government decreased while at the same time the influence and power if the media in the United States during the 1960s began to increase. This historical investigation showed many similarities in regard to America in the 1960s and modern South Africa in ways such as how the credibility of the American government was questioned through the media’s involvement similarly to how many South Africans question the authenticity and ability for the modern South African government to rule (ANC) through the aid of South African and international media.