Abstract

When British Prime Minister Harold Wilson urged Lyndon Johnson not to escalate hostilities in Vietnam in 1965, he did so not because he was morally opposed to the war or thought the war was intractable but because he was concerned about the likely impact of U.S. actions on his own domestic power base. Wilson's stance of providing moral but not military support for U.S. policy in Vietnam caused anger and disillusionment among leftwing Labour Party activists and members of Parliament, spurring them to active opposition against Wilson's government. Even so, Wilson managed to prevent a major schism within his government and party over the Vietnam War. His attempts to broker a peace deal between the combatants were largely designed to placate Labour Party activists while raising Wilson's profile as a world statesman. Although the initiatives did not generate any progress toward a ceasefire, they were relatively successful on the domestic front.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1531-3298
Print ISSN
1520-3972
Pages
pp. 41-70
Launched on MUSE
2008-06-11
Open Access
No
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