Peace Movements in American Politics

January 3, 1968

Report Outline
Rise of Opposition to Viet Nam War
Issue of Peace in American Politics
Characteristics of Peace Movements

Rise of Opposition to Viet Nam War

The vietnamese war, like every other unpopular war in American history, has given rise to a “peace” movement. Prominent figures in both major political parties have called for an end to the fighting in Viet Nam, and antiwar demonstrations have become commonplace in city streets and on college campuses. But the various groups opposing the war lack common goals and leadership. Moreover, the violence that has attended some demonstrations mounted in the name of peace has offended many Americans. Although the war promises to be one of the leading issues in the 1968 presidential election campaign, it is by no means certain that the Democratic and Republican nominees will offer the voters a clear-cut choice of Viet Nam policies.

Mccarthy's Emergence as a Peace Candidate

An important test of the strength of peace sentiment in the United States will come next spring in a number of Democratic presidential primary elections. Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy (D Minn.) announced on Nov. 30 that he would enter four primaries to oppose President Johnson's war policies. McCarthy has since indicated that he may enter as many as seven additional primaries.

McCarthy said in his Nov. 30 announcement that his “decision to challenge the President's position has been strengthened by recent announcements from the administration of plans for continued escalation and intensification of the war in Viet Nam and …by the absence of any positive indications or suggestions for a compromise or negotiated political settlement.” He added that he was “not for peace at any price but for an honorable, rational, and political solution to this war.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Protest Movements and Counter Culture
Jun. 05, 2020  Corporate Activism
May 01, 2020  Global Protest Movements
Jan. 05, 2018  Citizen Protests
Aug. 28, 1998  Student Activism
Jan. 04, 1991  The Growing Influence of Boycotts
Aug. 22, 1986  Student Politics 1980s Style
May 13, 1983  Christian Peace Movement
Apr. 08, 1970  Politics and Youth
Nov. 19, 1969  Challenges for The 1970s
Aug. 21, 1968  Reorganization of the Universities
Jan. 10, 1968  Universities and the Government
Jan. 03, 1968  Peace Movements in American Politics
Oct. 12, 1966  Alienated Youth
Feb. 24, 1966  Protest Movements in Time of War
May 19, 1965  Campus Unrest
Aug. 14, 1963  Mass Demonstrations
Dec. 11, 1957  Student Movements
Aug. 17, 1939  Conscientious Objection to War
Conflicts in Asia
Protest Movements
U.S. at War: Vietnam
War and Conflict