Why did some Americans oppose the Vietnam War?    

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There were many divergent reasons for opposing the war in Vietnam ranging from religious pacifism, such as that of Quakers and the various Mennonite sects, to general opposition to nuclear weapons to college student activist groups like Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Significant events that precipitated strong and widespread opposition were the incursion of American bombing raids into North Vietnam (1965) and the Tet offensive (1968), both of which escalated the conflict and incensed Americans who watched vividly televised reports of it.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
One of the biggest differences between the war in Vietnam and previous wars is that for the first time the war was in people's living rooms. Although the coverage was not live, it was raw and constant. Vietnam was the first time that everyone saw what war looked like. Before that, war was just a vague concept. People knew that it was terrible and ugly, but they did not see it, in front of them, in all the gory detail. That is what made the Vietnam war different, and led to a revolutionary counterculture on the home front.
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I assume that you are asking why some Americans opposed the war.  I have changed your question to reflect this.

Many Americans who opposed the war did so because they felt that it was not a war that was necessary for the security of the US.  They felt that what happened in Vietnam could not truly impact the US.  Other opponents of the war opposed it because they believed that the US was trying to oppress the Vietnamese.  These leftists believed that communism was a better way than capitalism.  They felt that the US was a country that was acting aggressively in order to try to promote its own ideas even if those ideas were bad for Vietnam.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial