The CND

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  • Understand the purpose and activities of the CND.
  • Be able to relate their activities to domestic and foreign affairs in the late 1950s/early 1960s.
  • Be able to assess the radicalisation of youth in Britain in comparison to other countries during the 1960s.

The CND stands for Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and was established in January 1958, when popular writers like JB Priestly and Bertrand Russel banded together with pacifists and Quakers and met at the house of Canon John Collins. Amongst the middle class youth, there were young idealists whose sensibilities were alarmed by the testing of nuclear weapons, and some Labour supporters who were upset with the parties new elignments to NOT disarm and support nuclear weapons development. 

The fears of a nuclear war were ultimately the main reason for the CND starting, specifically the Cold War between America and USSR. The young middle class idealists saw this as a moral crusade to protest the misgivings of nuclear weapons. 

This then connected to the CND's involvement in the anti-war protests of the 1960s, as the Vietnam War in 1964 involved America but also had communist elements. When the USA decided to help in the Vietnamese civil war- it was to bring unease due to the USSR's communist background. There was also the constant threat of nuclear weapons becoming a part of an already bloody war. The anti-war movement inevitably…

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