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Making Sense of the Sixties

Uploaded by rick450 on Sep 14, 1999

Many social changes that were addressed in the 1960s are still the issues being confronted today. The '60s was a decade of social and political upheaval. In spite of all the turmoil, there were some positive results: the civil rights revolution, John F. Kennedy's bold vision of a new frontier, and the breathtaking advances in space, helped bring about progress and prosperity. However, much was negative: student and anti-war protest movements, political assassinations, and ghetto riots excited American people and resulted in lack of respect for authority and the law. The decade began under the shadow of the cold war with the Soviet Union, which was aggravated by the U-2 incident, the Berlin Wall, and the Cuban missile crisis, along with the space race with the USSR. The decade ended under the shadow of the Vietnam war, which deeply divided Americans and their allies and damaged the country's self-confidence and sense of purpose. Even if you weren't alive during the '60s, you know what they meant when they said, "tune in, turn on, drop out." you know why the nation celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. All of the social issues are reflected in today's society: the civil rights movement, the student movement, the sexual revolution, the environment, and most controversial of all, Hippies. The sixties is also known for it's rapid birth rate. Nearly 76 million children were born to this generation, and for that they are called the " Baby Boomers." Surprisingly, even though so many children were being born, not many parents knew how to raise them. The parents of the 50's and 60's were so concerned with the world around them that going to work was the only image children had of their fathers. Kids didn't understand why they worked so much just to gain more material possessions. Children of this generation grew up learning just about how to be free and happy. Most of the time, when thinking back to the sixties, people remember hearing about things such as sex, drugs, and racism. However, what they often tend to overlook is the large emphasis "freedoms" had on the era. This does not just refer to the freedoms already possessed by every American of the time. This focuses on the youth's fight to gain freedom or break away from the values and ideas left behind by the older generation. These fights were used to help push for...

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Uploaded by:   rick450

Date:   09/14/1999

Category:   History

Length:   6 pages (1,328 words)

Views:   1497

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