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The Nineteen Sixties was a decade that changed America forever. The people reformed the decade not so much by the government. The Sixties contained more spiritualism, people were against the Vietnam war, protests, civil rights, and new beliefs on every aspect of living. The topics that arose during the sixties were not small; when they were accomplished or challenged the outcome changed American society forever. Most legislative bills passed in the sixties still remain today. The Domino Effect was the scare of the spread of communism in East Asia during the Vietnam War; the theory was spread and made to sound like communism would take over the world in time.
This theory is one of the reason the United States entered the Vietnam war (The American crusade, propelled as it was by the " Domino Theory, " and the nave assumption that the entire region would collapse to the communist if they one in Vietnam, disregarded the complex nationalistic diversity of South East Asia). (# 3 pg. 43) The American government also believed if countries fell to communist rule the surrounding regions would rush to make peace. The regions in China are an abundant source of natural resources, if the regions made peace or fell to communist rule it would only greater escalate the situation forcing America into the war (" There would be a domino effect, " as former secretary of state John Foster Dulles called it. Other countries in Southeast Asia- al weaker than Vietnam would rush to make piece with the Chinese communist. In the long run as most Asians see it, This would mean the resources of South East Asia would fall to the Chinese Communist Block). (# 4 pg. 87) The Vietnam War went on for several more years without a good outcome to America, most people describe it as a waste of time, waste of money, and a waste of life. The Tat Offensive an attack by North Vietnam against South Vietnam shocked the American Government and people, these attack gave the country a visual of how strong the communist rebellion was (Tat Offensive went down in history as a U. S.
victory but it emphasized the strength of communist resistance and the high cost of continuing the war effort in Vietnam). (# 3 pg. 22) The offensive was a series of attacks on Vietnamese cities dividing the country in two (Despite it's psychological effect, the campaign failed, and Vietcong forces were driven back from most of the positions they had gained, having lost 85, 000 of it's best troops). (# 9 Encarta) The small victory lifted Americas hopes for the time but soon the American people started to lose hope (Americans felt defeated and delusional after the Tat offensive and even members of the president's cabinet, once staunch supporters of the war, began to express doubts of validity). (# 9 Encarta) Rebellious draftees burned there draft cards in protest and all across the nation younger people opened there mind to peace instead of supporting the war effort. The Hippie Movement wasn't just one movement it consisted of new ideas, people rebelling against the government, freedom of speech, civil rights, and when protestors mentioned the Vietnam War, the thought was peace. Some of the popular leaders of the hippie society had to do with drugs or new ideas. Timothy Leary, a college professor convinced kids to do drugs to open their mind to reach the truth (Respected figures such as Timothy Leary encouraged the use of LSD as a mind- opening drug). (# 3 pg. 22) Leary was praised by many but some didn't believe in his idea of reasoning, also the school and parents felt Leary was leading their kids out on his own experiment (Thrown out of Harvard in 1963 for tampering with unwary under graduates, Leary and his colleague Richard Alpert took there drug experiments to a millionaires heirs mansion in upstate New York, a quasi religious ashram for what Leary called the international federation of internal freedom, were psilocybin was super seeded by the even more mind blowing chemical LSD). (# 7 pg. 8) Not all Social leaders of the sixties encouraged such radical methods of opening the mind, some just simply published their ideas and let the public try them (The American youth upheaval was but part of a world wide surge which cannot be explained simply by the baby boom, the economic boom, the growth and bureaucratization of universities, civil rights, the Vietnam War, Dr.
Spock, the democratic party's defaults, the mass media, or any other single factor). (# 2 pg. 206) Dr. Benjamin Spock was an Idealist of changing child care methods, some of nation's public tried blaming him for the youths upsurge (In the late sixties, it became fashionable for conservatives to blame the youth upsurge on Dr. Spock whose best selling manuals where supposed to have encouraged " permissive" parents to " throw discipline out the window"). (# 2 pg. 4) Not all people thought this way of Dr. Spock's publications; majority of the households had at least one of these manuals in their home.
People thought of Dr. Spock being wise and knowledgeable enough to run for office (An older cadre including Marcus Raskin and Arthur Waskow put together a National Conference for New Politics, which aimed to be a coalition in the making; some anticipated a national effort form an electoral campaign against Johnson, with hopes that Martin Luther King and Dr. Benjamin Spock would be the candidates). (# 2 pg. 226) Lyndon Johnson's Great Society was aimed at the war o poverty, sweeping the nation with renovation project of all categories, and tackling a few major political issues for example, health care, civil rights, education, and national parks conservation (In February he asked for two Further measures: A law to protect consumers from unsafe products and deceptive packaging; and a program know as Medicare, an extensive scheme for hospital and nursing- home care for the elderly through social security). (# 9 Encarta) The Civil Rights movement Lead by Martin Luther King first handled by John F. Kennedy was taken up by Johnson and was said to have been his greatest accomplishment (The president's greatest legislative triumph was the passage on June 19 of a sweeping Civil Rights Bill outlawing racial discrimination in public accommodations ad by employers, unions, and voting registers). (# 9 Encarta) Part of Johnson's renovation and renewal programs was the building up of education and getting better materials to schools all over the nation. Johnson was supportive of the educational needs of children (The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 was the first broad federal aid given to education in U. S.
history, allotting more than one billion dollars to help schools purchase materials and start special education programs). (# 9 Encarta) The Tonkin Gulf incident president Johnson increased military involvement and bombing raids (Admiral Ulysses Grant Sharp Jr. now American commander for the pacific, sent out the order to the seventh fleet to deploy the aircraft carrier Ticonderoga and its ancillary force at the entrance to the Tonkin Gulf). (# 3 pg. 366) American troops began to increase more during the Tonkin Gulf, but President Johnson still aimed for peace (In 1964 Johnson reported that the North Vietnamese had attacked U. S. vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin and asked congress for a resolution to increase U. S. military involvement). (# 9 Encarta) Through out the war Johnson wanted peace the Vietcong wanted no part in this though, the president halted bombing raids and met with representatives trying to obtain piece in this war, the life loss was already phenomenal half way through the war (In November 1967 the Defense department announced that U.
S. casualties in Vietnam since the beginning of 1961 had reached 15, 058 killed and 109, 527 wounded). (# 9 Encarta) The Environment during the sixties had a lot to do with " The Movement, " also. People wanted to be free, love the animals, and celebrate life and the way they did that was through the environment (Yosemite Park was supposed to fuse the Movement and counter culture, it ended up driving a wedge between them). (# 2 pg. 360 - 361) A majority of the people where just looking for a way to escape the draft, and others who just wanted to celebrate life, save the forest, protect the animals, and love everyone where called "flower children" (But most of the park- lovers were mild souls depressed and horrified by bloodshed). (# 2 pg. 360) The non-movement people couldn't understand what had set all this rebellion and reform off, where did it come from? They sought somebody to blame for it but never found the answer (It became easy to imagine the whole youth was regressing, or evolving, into what?
Barbarism? A new society unto itself, a Woodstock Nation? A children's crusade? A subversive army? A revolutionary class? ). (# 2 pg. 205) The festival of life as it was called Woodstock was the rock concert to let the flower children celebrate life (Woodstock, in June, had been the long- deferred festival of life). (# 2 pg. 406) The flower children were the environmental protestors; they rejected almost all the values of society (The hippie movement endorsed drugs, rock music, mystic religions, and sexual freedom. They opposed violence.
The Woodstock festival, at which 400, 00 young people gathered in a spirit of love and sharing, represents the pinnacle of the hippie movement). (# 7 pg. 8) The sixties where a time of rebellion, a time of love and sharing, time for peace, reformation, revolution, war, and politics. America was changed forever after the sixties, drugs were deemed illegal to use, people where more open to each other, and the thought of peace instead of " Go Fight Win, " crossed peoples minds. New ideas where welcome with open arms, given some of them weren't very bright. The flower children changed the nation forever.
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