Chicago Seven Videos

Ask Steve: Draft's Impact

(3) tv-pg

Ask Steve: Draft's Impact

(3 min) tv-pg

Examine the effects of the draft on American people in the 1960's in this Ask Steve video. The draft for the Vietnam War brought with it anxiety and anger to many American households. Steve Gillon explains how it is impossible to understand the 1960's and the Vietnam War without understanding the draft. The draft brought the Vietnam War home to many people, unlike today's wars where people see it on television but view it as very distant from their daily lives. In the 1960's, once a man reached eighteen years old he would receive a letter from the Selective Service System stating that he was eligible for the draft. This left young men in the United States to make very important decisions that most did not want to make. The draft was viewed as unequal because the working class man's only choice was to go to war, while the wealthy men would go to college or enlist in the National Guard. By the end of the 1960's the nation was fed up with the war, and they were angry with how the war itself was being carried out.