The Counterculture

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The Impact of the Hippie Counterculture of the 1960s

The “hippies” of the 1960s had many effects on the American society. The visual appearance and lifestyle of the hippies were in sharp contrast to the conservative nature of the older generation, which defined them as a counterculture. The hippie lifestyle was based on free love, rock music, shared property, and drug experimentation. They introduced a new perspective on drugs, freedom of expression, appearance, music, attitudes toward work, and held a much more liberal political view than mainstream society.

One of the main effects that the hippies made is the appearance of the American society. The hippies wore bell bottom jeans and bright colored shirts usually tie-dyed. They wore out their clothes and when a hole occurred they would just patch it up to show that they were not materialistic and preferred living off the land. Both men and women had long hair, and the men usually had fuller beards. Most of their clothing was self-made to protest against the American society’s materialistic values and their clothes showed their laid back or casual lifestyle. Many of the music artists that they admired determined what the counterculture would wear and listen to.

The hippie movement had a new and different preference in music called rock ‘n’ roll. Rock ‘n’ roll is a type of music that evolved from earlier jazz music. This type of music took countercultural topics such as peace and drug use and put it into lyrical form. This music idealized and encouraged the use of drugs to promote free thought and artistic expression. Be-ins were a large part of the hippie lifestyle which were rock music festivals that were held in public places and outdoors. One of the largest and most known 1960s rock concerts started on August 15, 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Festival. The promoters of Woodstock expected around two hundred thousand people at the most to show up but an estimated four hundred and...
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