Hist 17C Paper

Hist 17C Paper - Abandoned Faith in the American Government Starting with the Cuban missile crisis and then on to the Vietnam War the nation was at

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Abandoned Faith in the American Government Starting with the Cuban missile crisis and then on to the Vietnam War, the nation was at its apex with the government in the mid 1960’s and their anti-government resentment only grew through time. From Watergate to the Pentagon Papers to the secret military strike on foreign nations, scandals like these greatly tarnished the views that the public had on the national government. Between 1965 and 1980, the antigovernment sentiment of the American people grew out of the deceptions of the Johnson administration, Nixon’s abuse of presidential powers, and the inability of the administrations to resolve domestic and foreign crisis, especially the Vietnam War, which led to their changing political, economical, and social views of the national government. Many Americans lost faith in their government due to their corrupt, dishonest, and exploitative ways. Politically, the government engaged in many deceitful acts that led them to mislead the nation by hiding activities that turned out to be controversial. Beginning with the Vietnam War in 1964, was the dawn of the nation’s changing perception of the government. The Vietnam War was an extremely costly war and the longest war in American history. The US sent in 2.6 million soldiers and spent more than $150 billion on the war, money that could have gone into domestic programs at home. What led many Americans to change their opinion of the government to that of one that is filled with corruption and lies is the dishonesty they felt due to Vietnam. President Johnson, during the 1964 election told the nation that “We are not going to send American boys nine or ten thousands of miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.” 1 This assured Americans that electing Johnson would make it possible to bring 1 Roark, James L., Michael Johnson, Patricia Cohen, Sarah Stage, Alan Lawson, and Susan Hartmann .  The  American promise  . 4th ed. Boston, Mass.: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009. Print, 944.
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American troops home since his stance was against the war. Yet, after being elected Johnson widened the war even further by rejecting peace negotiations and began bombing North Vietnam. In 1965, Operation Rolling Thunder went into effect and later that year he sent in more troops, shifting a more offensive approach. After taking these extensive measures, his administration downplayed these actions to try to maintain the public’s support. The national government administration deceived the public by making optimistic statements about the war’s progress and concealing even more critical doubts of possible success in Vietnam. Johnson ordered the CIA to spy on many citizens that criticized the war openly. The FBI penetrated the peace movements and spread false information leading to illegal measures and violation of certain individual rights. The military also covered up atrocities that happened overseas from the public. This combined with the already increasing opposition to the war led to
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This note was uploaded on 11/03/2011 for the course HIST 17 taught by Professor Hasegawa during the Spring '08 term at UCSB.

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Hist 17C Paper - Abandoned Faith in the American Government Starting with the Cuban missile crisis and then on to the Vietnam War the nation was at

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