Political And Social Effects That Shaped The 60’S Generation Massive black rebellions, constant strikes, gigantic anti-war demonstrations, draft resistance, Cuba, Vietnam, Algeria, a cultural revolution of seven hundred million Chinese, occupations, red power, the rising of women, disobedience and sabotage, communes & marijuana: amongst this chaos, there was a generation of youths looking to set their own standard – to fight against the establishment, which was oppressing them, and leave their mark on history. These kids were known as the hippies. There were many stereotypes concerning hippies; they were thought of as being pot smoking, freeloading vagabonds, who were trying to save the world. As this small pocket of teenage rebellion rose out of the suburbs, inner cities, and countrysides, there was a general feeling that the hippies were a product of drugs, and rock music; this generalization could have never been more wrong. The hippie counterculture was more than just a product of drugs and music, but a result of the change that was sweeping the entire western world. These changes were brought about by various events in both the fifties and the sixties, such as: the end of the Golden Years of the fifties, the changing economical state from the fifties to the sixties, the Black Panther Party, women moving into the work force, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F.
Kennedy Jr., the war in Vietnam, the Kent State protest, and finally the Woodstock festival.The electric subcurrent of the fifties was, above all, rocknroll, the live wire that linked bedazzled teenagers around the nation, and quickly around the world, into the common enterprise of being young. Rock was rough, raw, insistent, especially by comparison with the music it replaced; it whooped and groaned, shook, rattled, and rolled.
Rock was clamor, the noise of youth submerged by order and prosperity, now frantically clawing their way out. The winds of change began to sweep across America in the late fifties. The political unrest came with fear of thermo-nuclear war and the shadow that had been cast by Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.
The civil rights leaders were unhappy with President Eisenhowers reluctance to use his powers for their cause, in spite of the fact that the nation was becoming more receptive to civil rights reforms. With black organizations becoming more militant, Eisenhower needed to acknowledge the growing movement, and govern accordingly. World politics were still dominated by the conflict between the capitalist nations, led by the USA, and the Communist countries, led by the USSR. The bonds that were keeping people loyal to their leaders were breaking down. In 1960 there was a major split between Russia and China.
The Chinese decided that the Russians were betraying Communism and set off on what they hoped would be the world revolution against capitalism. During the fifties, the economic situation was in a constant state of growth. The United States were prospering and the government was clinging to the golden years. The rise of the giant corporations had a profound effect on American life.
A few hundred corporations controlled much of the nations industrial and commercial assets and enjoyed a near monopoly in some areas.The mega corporations dominated the seats of economic and political power. They employed millions of workers, a large percentage of whom populated the suburbs that were growing across the country. The changing American economy also experienced dramatic shifts in the composition of the work force. Fewer workers went into traditional fields such as manufacturing, agriculture, and mining, and more went into clerical, managerial, professional, and service fields. In 1956, for the first time in the nations history, white collar workers outnumbered blue collar ones, and by the end of the decade blue collar workers constituted only 45 percent of the work force.The sexual composition of the work force also changed as more and more women entered the labor market.
The influx of women into the work world that had been accelerated by the Second World War continued in the postwar period. The political groups, and the negative feelings that they harbored towards the present administration, only kindled the flames of revolution. The previous generation was clinging to the good times of the fifties, and the youth were looking for a niche to call their own. With the drastic change in child population after the Second World War, divorce became less taboo.As a result, single mothers were forced into the labor market, and with these jobs came independence. The 50s and all its political, and social change, was only the breeding ground for the free thinking generation that was to follow. In America, a group of militant blacks called the Black Panther Party had been dubbed Americans Vietcong. They were tired with the roadblocks and discrimination that were plaguing the civil rights leaders, like Dr.
Martin Luther King.They decided to get equality by whatever means necessary. Their members had been involved in shoot-outs with the police, which were, by the radical community, dress rehearsals for the coming Armageddon. The hippie movement was new in the early 60s, the men only beginning to grow their hair long and some of them still wearing suits, the women as yet uncertain about fitting in.
The introduction of the television in the 50s brought a new information medium to the general public. With television, people became more informed, and developed individual opinions, instead of the bias opinions that were spoon fed to them by newspapers, radio etc.The youth began to break free of the shackles that were the fifties. They considered their parents conformists , and they wanted a way to break free of the molds cast for them. As a reaction to the growing violence of the 1960s, many people turned to the ideals of peace and love. Ironically, many of those who were seen to be in favor of peace – including President John Kennedy, his brother Bobby, the black civil rights leader Martin Luther King, and many unarmed civil rights workers – were themselves murdered. The horrors of the war in Vietnam dramatized what many saw as drift towards destruction, and their reaction was to seek a genuinely peaceful way of life.Across the world, youth took up the slogan Make Love not War, and the Love Generation emerged.
Many of these were hippies – people who dropped out of conventional society to take up a lifestyle based on peace, loving relationships and often mystical religions. Many more who were not fully hippies were influenced by their ideas and fashions, especially using the soft drug cannabis and the hallucinogenic drug LSD. The New Era referred to Kennedy promising vigorous attempt to manage a world whose old stabilities had broken down. Kennedy received credit for recognizing that international and domestic crises required an active response, even if that response was mediating, rationalizing, and managerial, a policy of aggressive tokenism. Abroad, the new frontier had the virtue of working towards political stabilization with the Russians; it was deeply committed to avoiding nuclear war – although Kennedy showed no interested in general disarmament. Meanwhile Black Americans took President Kennedy at his word and pressed for civil rights against racial discrimination.On 20 May, 1963 , 400 federal marshals (government policemen) had to be sent to Montgomery, Alabama, after a peaceful demonstration by black people had been attacked by a mob of 1500 whites.
Local police had refused to act, even though this was the third attack on blacks in a week. On 21 May, 1963, 100 whites attacked the church where the black leader, Martin Luther King, was preaching. The demonstrators continued despite this when black Freedom Riders, calling for civil rights for blacks, marched through Alabama and Mississippi to New Orleans. 27 Black freedom Riders were arrested when they arrived in Jackson Mississippi. On 12 June 1964, the President Kennedy sent a Civil Rights Bill to Congress, which, if passed, would make equality a legal right.On 28 August, 1964, between 100,000 and 200,000 black people, led by Martin Luther King, marched in Washington in support of the Civil Rights Bill. But the violence still did not stop.
In September, 1964, a black man was shot dead in Alabama, four blacks were killed when a church in Birmingham, Alabama, was bombed, Medger Evers of the Advancement of Colored People was murdered, and six black children were killed when a house was burnt down. Kennedy had been a controversial President. Many Americans opposed his support for black people, while others were angry at his failure to kick the Communists out of Cuba.The extreme right wing had threatened to kill him, but no one took these threats seriously. Kennedy had been warned it was a dangerous to drive through the streets of Dallas in an open car. The President felt that he should be able to drive openly anywhere in the country, and few people expected trouble.
On 22 November, 1963 as Kennedy drove slowly through crowd-lined streets of Dallas in an open car, together with his wife, Jackie, and Governor Connally of Texas, three or more shots were fired at the car. Kennedy was shot through the throat and head, and Governor Connally was also hit.The Presidents driver immediately raced for the Parkland Hospital, with Jackie Kennedy covered in her husbands blood cradling her husbands head. With those fatal shots, came the end of Camelot as his administration was referred to as.
On April 4 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis. That night, eighty riots broke out. Federal troops were dispatched into Baltimore, Chicago, Washington, and Wilmington.
Chicago mayor Richard J.Daley, ordered police to shoot to kill arsonists and the …