Year 11

Opposition to the war

I can explain why opposition to the war grew.

Year 11

Opposition to the war

I can explain why opposition to the war grew.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Americans protested against the Vietnam War for a variety of reasons.
  2. These reasons included the cost in American lives, racism and inequality, expense of the war and how unethical it was.
  3. Protests took a variety of forms, such as marches and burning draft cards, but were predominantly peaceful.

Common misconception

Everyone who joins the armed forces does so willingly and supports the actions of the government.

Conscription is common around the world, and many people are forced to join the armed forces against their will.


  • Unethical - if something is unethical then it is morally wrong

  • Veteran - a veteran is a person who has served in the armed forces

  • Protest - a protest is a statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something

  • Sit-in - a form of protest in which demonstrators occupy a place, refusing to leave until their demands are met

  • Teach-in - an extended meeting usually held on a college campus for lectures, debates and discussions to raise awareness of or express a position on a social or political issue.

If possible, play students examples of protest songs from this period in order for them to get a greater sense of the public mood at this time, examples include Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind' and Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Fortunate Son'.
Teacher tip


Content guidance

  • Contains subject matter which individuals may find upsetting.
  • Contains depictions of discriminatory behaviour.
  • Contains conflict or violence.


Adult supervision suggested.


This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).



6 Questions

How long after he became president did it take Nixon to open peace negotiations with North and South Vietnam?
1 day
Correct answer: 5 days
2 weeks
1 month
Complete the sentence: the Ho Chi Trail enabled North Vietnam to move troops and equipment into South Vietnam.
Correct Answer: Minh, minh
Roughly how many miles did the jungle paths that linked North Vietnam with South Vietnam stretch for?
Correct Answer: 12 000, 12 000 miles, 12,000 miles, 12,000, 12000
When did the US and South Vietnam invade Cambodia?
Correct answer: March 1969
March 1970
March 1971
March 1972
Nixon ordered that the US troops should limit their invasion of Cambodia to within a limit of how many miles?
10 miles
Correct answer: 19 miles
32 miles
45 miles
By the end of the Easter Offensive in 1972, what percentage of South Vietnamese land did North Vietnam control?
Correct Answer: 10%, 10, ten per cent, ten %, 10 %

6 Questions

How many US soldiers lost their lives in Vietnam?
21 000
32 000
46 000
Correct answer: 58 000
What were two other issues that people in America were protesting about alongside the Vietnam War?
anti-gun laws
Correct answer: civil rights
high taxes
wealth inequality
Correct answer: women's rights
Roughly how much was the US spending on the Vietnam War per year?
$10 million
$150 million
$1 billion
Correct answer: $20 billion
Match the keyword to the correct definition.
Correct Answer:unethical,morally wrong

morally wrong

Correct Answer:veteran,a person who has served in the armed forces

a person who has served in the armed forces

Correct Answer:protest,a statement or action expressing disapproval of something

a statement or action expressing disapproval of something

Complete the sentence: Agent was a chemical used to destroy jungle terrain.
Correct Answer: Orange, orange
Which high profile boxer was convicted of draft-dodging?
Correct Answer: Muhammad Ali, Ali

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