chapter  6
14 Pages

The Movement’s Legacy

Supporters of America’s war in Vietnam frequently accused antiwar protesters of undermining the morale of American troops and risking the international humiliation of the United States; many antiwar activists responded that they were seeking to end an immoral and unnecessary conflict that represented a stain on America’s vaunted ideals of freedom and justice. In the decades since the fall of Saigon the scholarly argument about the antiwar movement’s impact has been similarly robust. This chapter explores the movement’s complex legacy by focusing on three distinct areas: first, the role (if any) that it played in America’s decision to terminate its military involvement in Vietnam; second, the influence of antiwar activism on a range of subsequent social protest movements; and third, the movement’s broader impact on the nation’s political culture and approach to foreign policy.