African Journal of Political Science and International Relations
Subscribe to AJPSIR
Full Name*
Email Address*

Article Number - 34D130747333

Vol.8(7), pp. 175 - 184 , October 2014
ISSN: 1996-0832

 Total Views: 0
 Downloaded: 0


Lessons of 1969’S US Selective Service Amendment Act: Explaining US babyboomers’ civil war

George Steven Swan
  • George Steven Swan
  • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, 1601 East Market Street, Greensboro, NC 27411 USA.
  • Google Scholar

 Received: 16 September 2013  Accepted: 16 August 2014  Published: 31 October 2014

Copyright © 2014 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0

Studies of opinion cleavages among Americans born 1946 to 1964 are informed via Erikson and Stoller’s 2011 analysis of the impact of the December 1, 1969 Vietnam War draft lottery (which prioritized men vulnerable to 1970 callup). The scope of discussion therein and herein includes asessments of political socialization research from 1965, 1973, 1982 and 1997. Enabled there was the interpretive method, herein, of laying unfavorably numbered, vintage-1948 men’s opinions and behavior (which both mutated) within a detailed, contemporary military policy-context. This contextual perspective fleshes out, historically, that 2011 review. The results thereof revealed that those unfortunate men’s abrupt hostility to defense of South Vietnam and to public figures associated therewith (for example, President Richard M. Nixon of the Republican Party) as too “hawkish” (that is, assertively anticommunist) proved ironic. For Nixon’s prelottery Vietnam War policy already had executed the high-profile “dove” platform-plank rejected by the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Also appreciated is how published 2013 data on attitudes influenced by the Great Recession evidenced implicitly the dramatic durability of the draft lottery’s effect. This result likewise extends, comparatively, the utility of the 2011 study.

Key words: Vietnam War, draft lottery, public opinion, self-interest, loyalty.

Bailey T (1974). A Diplomatic History of the American People 9th ed., p. 915.


Beecher W (1969). Nixon Cuts Draft Calls by 50,000 For This Year: Pledges Basic Reforms. N.Y. Times: September 20, p. 1.


Brock D (1996). The Seduction of Hillary Rodham p. 13.


Chapman B (1968). Our Unfair and Obsolete Draft – and What We Can Do About It p. 6. View


Clinton W (1969). Letter to Col. Eugene Holmes, December 3,


Cong. Rec. H10199-H10200 (daily ed. October 1, 1992) (statement of Rep. Dornan).


Dunnigan J, Nofi A (1999). Dirty Little Secrets of the Vietnam War p. 17.


Erikson R, Stoker L (2011). 'Caught in the Draft: The Effects of Vietnam Draft Lottery Status on Political Attitudes' Am. Pol. Sci. Rev. 105(2):221-237.


Finney J (1968). Defeat for Doves Reflects Deep Division in the Party. N.Y. Times: August 29, p. 1


Finney J (1968). Doves Are Cool to a Compromise. N.Y. Times: August 25, p. 71.


Flynn G (1993). The Draft, 1940-1973. p. 197.


Foley M (2003). Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance During the Vietnam War p. 13.


Griffith R (1997). U.S. Army's Transition to the All-Volunteer Force, 1868-1974. p.11-12.


Hughes H (1979). The Man From Ida Grove: A Senator's Personal Story p.252.


Hunter M (1968). M'Govern Opens Presidential Bid With Peace Plea. N.Y. Times: August 11, p. 1.


Jacobs T (2011). For Some Boomers, Political Affiliation a Matter of Chance (June 24, 2011) (View).


Jones L (1980). Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation p. 92.


Kennedy R (1967). To Seek a Newer World pp. 193-194.


Kissinger H (1979). White House Years p. 256


Kissinger H (2003). Ending the Vietnam War: A History of America's Involvement in and Extrication from the Vietnam War p.80.


Kusch F (2004). Battleground Chicago: The Police and the 1968 Democratic National Convention.


Lottery Facts (


Mandelbaum M (1992). Not So Slick: Why Clinton's Not a Draft-Dodger. The New Republic: Washington: June 1, pp.14-16.


Maraniss D (1995). Maraniss, First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton p.193.


Margalit Y (2013). 'Explaining Social Policy Preferences: Evidence from the Great Recession' Am. Pol. Sci. Rev. 107(1):80,81.


McCarthy E (1969). The Year of the People pp.210-11.


McCarthy E (1987). Up 'Til Now: A Memoir.


McGovern G (1977). Grassroots: The Autobiography of George McGovern p.121.


Military Selective Service Act of 1967, (1967). 81 Stat., Pub.L. 90-40.


Oi W (1967). 'The Costs and Implications of an All-Volunteer Force' in Tax S (Ed.), The Draft: A Handbook of Facts and Alternatives pp.221-232.


Roberts S (1968). McGovern's Race Expected to Have Little Impact. N.Y. Times: August 11, p. 61.


Rothenberg L (1968). The Draft and You: A Handbook on the Selective Service System p.139.


Sanders J (1966). The Draft and the Vietnam War p. 117.


Schultz J (1969). No One Was Killed: The Democratic National Convention, August 1968.


Selective Service Amendment Act of 1969 (1969). 83 Stat., Pub.L. 91-124.


Sirota D (2011). Why People Become Chickenhawks: A New Study Sheds Light on Why Non-Veterans Like Cheney and Limbaugh Are Such Avid Militarists (June 29) View.


Sirota D (2007). Hostile Takeover: How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government – And How We Take It Back.


White T (1969). The Making of the President 1968 p.322.


Zelnick B (1999). Soldier Gore: The Story of the Veep and Vietnam. National Review: New York: November 22, p.28.


Muchie M, Baskaran A (2011). 'Notes from the Editors' Afr. J. Sci. Technol. Innov. Dev. 3(1):6-9. View


The War: Stark Options for America (1969). Time Magazine: September 19, p.19. View


APA Swan, G. S. (2014). Lessons of 1969’S US Selective Service Amendment Act: Explaining US babyboomers’ civil war. African Journal of Political Science and International Relations, 8(7), 175 - 184.
Chicago George Steven Swan. "Lessons of 1969’S US Selective Service Amendment Act: Explaining US babyboomers’ civil war." African Journal of Political Science and International Relations 8, no. 7 (2014): 175 - 184.
MLA George Steven Swan. "Lessons of 1969’S US Selective Service Amendment Act: Explaining US babyboomers’ civil war." African Journal of Political Science and International Relations 8.7 (2014): 175 - 184.

Subscription Form