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History Module 7 Portfolio Project: The Antiwar Movement (Essay Sample)


Submit an outline of your Portfolio project. The outline should be at least a page long and include a basic guide for each section of your portfolio.

Your outline should seek to identify the topic (thesis statement), categories and sub-categories. Don’t worry: these can be changed as you write, but it is a good idea to be as complete in your outline as you can. The better your outline, usually, the better your paper.

Option #1: A Protest that Changed America

Protest movements are as old as the American Revolution itself. Write an essay about a protest movement that changed America between 1877 and today. Your paper should examine the protest movement thoroughly.

Be sure to consider:

  • The discontent that inspired the movement in the first place.
  • The main goals and objectives of the movement. 
  • Important individuals and leaders who were involved.
  • How those objectives were achieved or not achieved and the legacy of the movement itself.
  • The global connections of the protest movement. Were individuals inspired by world personalities? Or trends?
  • What can this protest movement tell us about American history and its people?

Some ideas you might consider are: the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, anti-war protests, LGBT or labor movements, anti-Wall Street protests, the Tea Party movement, the pipeline standoff, the anti-Imperialist movement, suffragist movement, America First before the second world war, etc. The paper might also be related more specifically to your field, or area of interest, as long as it remains within the framework of the class.

The paper is due at the end of Week 8 and must adhere to the following requirements:

  • Must contain a clear thesis statement, or claim, about the nature of change, America’s reaction to change, etc. Be creative.
  • Adhere to APA
  • Must be double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman
  • Include six to eight pages in length (not including cover and reference pages; approximately 3,000-3,500 words)
  • Include headings, per APA guidelines
  • Your Portfolio should incorporate FOUR level appropriate secondary sources (beyond encyclopedias and biographies, etc.,) at least one of which should be a peer reviewed journal article. Be sure to use these sources as key pieces of evidence and quote them in your paper.
  • In addition, the entire written Portfolio should include FOUR academic quality sources.
  • Sources should be adequately chosen to provide substance and perspectives on the issue.

History Module 7 Portfolio Project
The Antiwar Movement
The Antiwar Movement
The 60s represent one of the most volatile decades in American history. From the Civil Rights movement to the antiwar movement to the Feminist movement, everyone seemed discontented with the direction the country was going. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Bevel lived fearless lives as they fought and tried to instill hope in the lives of the American people. These people believed in their dreams of a better and inclusive life and therefore, soldiered on in their quest. The civil rights movement could not be discussed without the contributions of these people. From all corners of the world, the speeches and marches organized by these people reverberated and their exploits motivated thousands more to stand for what they believed in. However, the civil rights movement was not the only movement that caused ripples in the United States. The Antiwar Movement was also another movement which not only helped to bring an end to the Vietnam War but also depicted the people's resolve and dedication to their country and what it stands for. Aside from the above, it also helped to show the government that the people's voice matter and that they should not be taken for granted.
While most people talk and often get involved in antiwar discussions, few are aware of how the movement started as well as how it metamorphosized to what it became later. However, reading Mark Barringer's article provides one with an in-depth understanding of the history of the movement. Apparently, the movement started with smaller movements like the Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) founded in 1957, the Student Peace Union founded in 1959, and the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) founded in 1960 (Barringer, 1999). However, it is essential to note that these movements did not start as antiwar movements, but all were motivated by different issues. For example, SANE was inspired by the Cold War and the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union. SPU, on the other hand, sought for much more than a sound nuclear policy and according to Barringer, its “goals went beyond that of SANE.” Apparently, the pioneers of SPU sought and desired “a wholesale restructuring of American society.” however, it slowly faded away but not before it had paved the way for SDS. Aside from these, there also existed the Free Speech Movement whose rhetoric was mainly against war and America's participation in the Vietnam War. Having gained traction and with hundreds of students joining these movements, antiwar rhetoric spread in the campuses and by 1965, there was sound opposition. However, while campuses had shown resolve in their quest to stay vigilant and to stage protests against the war in Vietnam, the big question was how to generate as Barringer (1999) notes, “wider public acceptance.”
SDS understood its informal mandate to the American people and was, therefore, working to make their stance known all over the country. In 1965, the group began organizing marches while “faculty members at the University of Michigan held a series of “teach-ins,” modeled after earlier Civil Rights seminars” (Barringer, 1999). Campuses all around the country adopted the teach-in format and used it as their way to support the antiwar rhetoric slowly taking root in the country. However, it was in April of 1965 that the movement peaked. After asking people to attend a march in Washington, the organizers were taken aback when a crowd of “between 15,000 and 25,000 people gathered at the capital” (Barringer, 1999). This was a sign that people were slowly buying into the movement's rhetoric. The leaders, who we...

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