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What was the impact of the Vietnam War on the civil rights movement?

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skyler89 | Student, College Sophomore | (Level 2) Honors

Posted April 21, 2012 at 1:54 PM via web

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What was the impact of the Vietnam War on the civil rights movement?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 21, 2012 at 2:05 PM (Answer #1)

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The Vietnam War hurt the Civil Rights Movement in at least three ways.  These ways included:

  • It took attention away from civil rights.  The public, the government, and the media only have a limited amount of attention to give.  When something as big as the Vietnam War is commanding a lot of attention, everything else comes to seem less important.
  • It helped split the civil rights community.  There was controversy over whether to support the war and this led to diminished unity among those who supported civil rights.
  • It cost a lot of money.  This meant that there would be less money available for social programs like those the civil rights advocates would have wanted.  President Johnson tried to do both for a while, but that was untenable.

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