The Youth Culture
Social and cultural protest coming from young Americans
-create a new community of “the people”
-force the nation to end war, pursue radical and economic justice, and transform its political life. The New Left
·The postwar baby-boom generation, the unprecedented number of People born in a few years just after World War II, was growing up.
·One of the most visible results of the increasingly assertive youth movement was a radicalization of many American college and
university students, who in the course of the 1960s formed what became known as the New Left- a large, diverse group of men
and women energized by the polarizing developments of their
time to challenge the political system.
·The New Left embraced the cause of African Americans and other minorities, but its own ranks consisted overwhelmingly of white people.
·The New Left drew from many sources.
·The New Left drew as well from the writings of some of the important social critics of the 1950s-among them C. Wright Mills, a sociologist at Columbia University who wrote a series of scathing and brilliant critiques of modern bureaucracies.
·The New Left drew its inspiration above all from the civil rights movement, in which many idealistic young white Americans had become involved in the early 1960s.
·In 1962, a group of students, most of them from prestigious universities, gathered in Michigan to form an organization to give voice to their demands: Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). ·A 1964 dispute at the University of California at Berkeley over the rights of students to engage in political activities on campus gained national attention.
·The Free Speech Movement, created turmoil at Berkeley as students challenged campus police, occupied administrative offices, and produced a strike in which nearly ¾ of the Berkeley students participated.
·The revolt at Berkeley was the first outburst of what was to be nearly a decade of campus turmoil.
·Also in 1969, Berkeley became the scene of perhaps the most prolonged and traumatic conflict of any American college
campus in the 1960s: a battle over the efforts of a few students to build a “People’s Park” on a vacant lot the university planned to use to build a parking garage.
·By the end of the People’s Park battle, which lasted for more than a week, the Berkeley campus was completely polarized.
·Student radicals were, for the20first time, winning large audiences for their extravagant rhetoric linking together university
administrators, the police, and the larger political and economic system, describing them all as part of one united, oppressive force.
·As time went on, moreover, the student fringe groups became increasingly militant.
·Student activists tried to drive out training programs for military officers (ROTC) and bar military recruiters from college
·The October 1967 march on the Pentagon, where demonstrators were met by a solid line of armed troops; the “spring mobilization” of April 1968, this attracted hundreds of thousands of
demonstrators in cities around the country.
·Many draft-age Americans simply refused induction, accepting what occasionally what were long terms in jail as a result.
·The most visible characteristic of the counterculture was a change in lifestyle.
·Young Americans flaunted long hair, shabby or flamboyant clothing, and a rebellious disdain for traditional speech and decorum, which they replaced with their own “hippie” idiom.
·Also central to the counterculture were drugs: marijuana smoking which after 1966 became almost as common a youthful diversion
as beer drinking-and the less widespread but still substantial use of other, more potent hallucinogens, such as LSD.
·To some degree, the emergence of more relaxed approaches to sexuality was a result less of the counterculture than of the new accessibility of effective contraceptives, most notably the birth control pill and, after 1973, legalized abortion.
·The counterculture’s rejection of traditional values and its open embrace of sensual pleasure sometimes masked its philosophy, which offered a fundamental challenge to the American middleclass mainstream.
·The most adherents of the counterculture-the hippies, who came to dominate the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco and other places, and the social dropouts, many of whom retreated to rural communes-rejected modern society altogether and
attempted to find refuge in a simpler, more “natural” existence. ·Theodore Roszak, whose book the Making of a Counter Culture (1969) became a significant document of the era, captured much of the spirit of the movement in his frank admission that “the primary project of our counterculture is to proclaim a new heaven and a new earth so vast, so marvelous that the inordinate claims of technical expertise must of necessity withdraw to a subordinate and marginal status in the lives of men.”
·The use of marijuana, the freer attitudes toward sex, the iconoclastic (and sometimes obscene) language- all spread far beyond the
realm of the true devotes of the counterculture.
·Rock n Roll first achieved wide popularity in the 1950s, on the strength of such early performers as Buddy Holly and Elvis
·Early in the 1960s, its influence began to spread, a result in large part of the phenomenal popularity of the Beatles, the English group whose first visit to the United States in 1964 created a
remarkable sensation, “Beatlemania”.
·Other groups such as the Rolling Stones turned even more openly to themes of anger, frustration, and rebelliousness.
·Television began to turn to programming that reflected social and cultural conflict- as exemplified by the enormously popular All in the Family, whose protagonist, Archie Bunker, was a lower middle- class bigot.
The Mobilization of Minorities
Seeds of Indian Militancy
·Indians were the least prosperous, least healthy and least stable group in the nation.
·They constituted less than one percent of the population.
·The Native American unemployment rate was ten times the national rate.
·Life expectancy among Indians was more than twenty years less than the national average.
·For much of the postwar era, and particularly after the resignation of John Collier as commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1946, federal policy toward the tribes had been shaped by a determination to incorporate Indians into mainstream American society, whether Indians wanted to assimilate or not.
·Through termination, the federal government withdrew all official recognition of the tribes as legal entities, administratively separate from state governments, and made them subject to the same local jurisdictions as white residents.
·Many Native Americans adapted to life in the cites, at least to a degree.
The Indian Civil Rights Movement
·The National Indian Youth Council, created in the aftermath of the 1961 Chicago meeting, promoted the idea of Indian nationalism and intertribal unity.
·In 1968, a group of young of young militant American Indian Movement, which drew its greatest support from those Indians who lived in urban areas but soon established a significant presence on the rise rations as well.
·In 1968, Congress passed the Indian Civil Rights Act, which guaranteed reservation Indians many of the protections accorded other citizens by the Bill of Rights, but which also recognized the legitimacy of tribal laws within the reservations.
·The Indian civil rights movement fell far short of winning full justice and equality for its constituents.
U.S. vs Wheeler (1978) - S.C. said Indian tribes had independent legal standing and could not be “terminated” by Congress.
+ tribes could now oppose taxes on businesses within their reservations County of Oneida vs. Oneida Indian Nation (1985) - supported Indian claims to 100,000 acres in upstate New York Latino Activism
·Latinos were the fastest-growing minority group in the United States. ·Large numbers of Puerto Ricans had migrated to eastern cities, particularly New York.
·In 1980, a second, much poorer wave of Cuban immigrants-the so called Marielitos, named for the port from which they left Cuba arrived in Florida when Castro temporarily relaxed exit
·Large numbers of Mexican Americans had entered the country during the war in response to the labor shortage, and may had
remained in the cities of the Southwest and the Pacific Coast. ·After the war, when the legal agreements that had allowed Mexican contract workers to enter the country expired, large numbers of immigrants continued to move to the United States illegally. ·By the late 1960s, therefore, Mexican Americans were one of the largest population groups in the West-outnumbering African
Americans-and had established communities in most other parts of the nation as well.
·Young Mexican-American activist began themselves “Chicanos” as a way of emphasizing the shared culture of Spanish-speaking use among Mexican Americans.
·Cesar Chavez, created an effective union itinerant farm workers. ·In 1965 his United Farmers Workers (UFW), a largely Chicano organization, launched a prolonged strike against growers to demand, first, recognition of their union and, second, increased wages and benefits.
·Supporters of bilingualism in education argued that non-English-speaking Americans were entitled to schooling in their own
language, that otherwise they would be at a grave disadvantage in comparison with native English speakers.
Challenging the "Melting Pot" Ideal
·The efforts of blacks, Latinos, Indians, Asians, and others to forge a clearer group identity challenged a longstanding premise of
American political thought: the idea of the “melting pot”. ·The newly assertive ethnic groups of the 1960s and after appeared less willing to accept the standards of the larger society and more likely to demand recognition of their own ethnic identities. Gay Liberation
·The last important liberation movement to make major gains in the 1960s, and the most surprising to many Americans, was the
effort by homosexuals to win political and economic rights and, equally important, social acceptance.
·On June 27, 1969, police officers raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay nightclub in New York City’s Greenwich Village, and began
arresting patrons simply for frequenting the place.
·The raid was not unusual.
·The “Stonewall Riot” marked the beginning of the gay liberation movement-one of the most controversial challenges to traditional values and assumptions of its time.
·Universities were establishing gay and lesbian studies programs. ·Laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual preference were making slow, halting progress at the local level.
The New Feminism
·A few determined women kept feminist political demands alive in the National Woman’s Party and other organizations.
·The 1963 publication of Betty Friedan’s the Feminine Mystique is often cited as the first event of contemporary women’s liberation. ·In 1963 the Kennedy administration helped win passage of the Equal Pay Act, which barred the pervasive practice of paying women less than men for equal work.
·The conflict between the ideal and the reality was crucial to the rebirth of feminism.
·The National Organization for Women (NOW), which was to become the nation’s largest and most influential feminist organization. The new organization reflected the varying constituencies of the emerging feminist movement.
·The new feminists were mostly younger, the vanguard of the baby boom generation.
·Many had found that even within those movements, they faced discrimination and exclusion or subordination to male leaders. ·In its most radical form, the new feminism rejected the whole notion of marriage.
·In 1971, the government extended its affirmative action guidelines to include women-linking sexism with racism as an officially
acknowledged social problem.
·Nearly half of all married women held jobs by the mid-1970s, and almost 9/10 of all women with college degrees worked.
·There were also important symbolic changes, such as the refusal of many women to adopt their husbands’ names when they married and the use of the term “Ms.” in place of “Mrs.” or “Miss” to denote the irrelevance of a woman’s marital status.
The Abortion Controversy
· In least controversial form, this impulse helped produce an increasing awareness in the 1960s and 1970s of the problems of rape,
sexual abuse, and wife beating.
· There continued to be some controversy over the dissemination of Contraceptives and birth-control information; but that issue, at least, seemed to have lost much of the explosive character it had had in the 1920s, when Margaret Sanger had become a heroine
to some and a figure of public scorn to others for her efforts on its behalf.
Environmentalism in a Turbulent Society
The New Science of Ecology
· Until the mid-twentieth century, most people who considered themselves environmentalists based their commitment on
aesthetic or moral grounds.
· They wanted to preserve nature because it was too beautiful to despoil, or because it was a mark of divinity on the world, or because it permitted humans a spiritual experience that would otherwise be unavailable to them.
· They called it ecology.
Funded by government agencies, by universities, by foundations, and eventually even by some corporations, ecological science
gradually established itself as a significant field of its own- not, perhaps, with the same stature as such traditional fields as physics, chemistry, and biology, but certainly a field whose importance and appeal grew rapidly in the last decades of the 20th century.
Silent Spring- by Rachel Carson advocated the banning of DDT Environmental Advocacy
· Academic ecologists often have close ties to environmental organizations committed to public action and political lobbying. · The professional zed environmental advocacy they provided gave the movement a political strength it had never enjoyed in the past. · Lawyers fought battles with government agencies and in the courts. · When Congress or state legislatures considered environmental legislation, more often than not the environmental organizations played a critical role in drafting it.
· Many other forces contributed as well in the 1960s and 1970s to create what became the environmental movement.
· Water pollution- which had been a problem in some areas of the country for many decades- was becoming so widespread that
almost every major city was dealing with the unpleasant sight and odor, as well as the very real health risks, of polluted rivers and lakes.
· In some large cities-Los Angeles and Denver among them-smog became an almost perpetual fact of life, rising steadily
through the day, blotting out the sun, and creating respiratory difficulties for many citizens.
· Environmentalist also brought to public attention some longer-term dangers of unchecked industrial development: the rapid
depletion of oil and other irreplaceable fossil fuels; the
destruction of lakes and forests as a result of “acid rain”; the rapid destruction of vast rain forests, in Brazil and elsewhere, which limited the earth’s capacity to replenish its oxygen supply. Earth Day and Beyond
· On April 22, 1970, people all over the United States gathered in schools and universities, in churches and clubs, in parks and auditoria, for the first “Earth Day”.
· The Clean Air Act, also passed in 1970, and the Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, added additional tools to government’s arsenal of weapons against environmental degradation.
· Different administrations displayed varying levels of support for environmental goals, and advocacy groups remained ready to
spring into action to force them to change their positions.
Nixon, Kissinger, and the War
· Henry Kissinger, a Harvard professor whom the president appointed as his special assistance for national security affairs.
· The new Vietnam policy moved along several fronts.
· By 1973, the Selective Service System was on its way to least temporary extinction.
· In the fall of 1969, Nixon announced reduction of American ground troops from Vietnam by 60,000 the first reduction in U.S. troop strength since the beginning of the war.
·By the end of their first year in office, Nixon and Kissinger had concluded that the most effective way to tip the military balance in America’s favor was to destroy the bases in Cambodia from
which the American military believed the North Vietnamese were launching many of their attacks.
·Four college students were killed and nine others injured when members of the National Guard opened fire on antiwar
demonstrators at Kent State University in Ohio.
·The trail and conviction in 1971 of Lieutenant William Calley, who was charged with overseeing a massacre of more than 300
unharmed South Vietnamese civilians, attracted wide public
attention. (My Lai Massacre)
"Peace with Honor"
·In April 1972, the president dropped his longtime insistence on a removal of North Vietnamese troops from the south before any American withdrawal.
·On December 17, American B-52s began the heaviest and most destructive air raids of the entire war on Hanoi, Haiphong, and other North Vietnamese targets.
Defeat in Indochina
·Late in April 1975, communist forces marched into Saigon, shortly after officials of the Thieu regime and the staff of the American embassy had fled the country in humiliating disarray.
Nixon, Kissinger, and the World
China and the Soviet Union
·Nixon and Kissinger wanted to forge a new relationship with the Chinese communists- in part to strengthen them as a
counterbalance to the Soviet Union.
·In July 1971, Nixon sent Henry Kissinger on a secret mission to Beijing. ·In February 1972, Nixon paid a formal visit to China and, in a single stroke, erased much of the deep American animosity toward the Chinese communists regime, but in 1972 the United states and China began low-level diplomatic relations.
·In 1969, America and Soviet diplomats met in Helsinki, Finland, to begin talks on limiting nuclear weapons.
In 1972, they produced the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I), which froze the nuclear missiles (ICBMs) of both sides at present levels.
The Problems of Multipolarity
·In 1969 and 1970, the president described what became known as the Nixon Doctrine, by which the United States would “participate in the defense and development of allies and friends” but would leave the “basic responsibility” for the future of those “friends” to the nations themselves.
·In practice, the Nixon Doctrine meant a declining American interest in contributing to Third World development; a growing contempt for the United Nations, where less-developed nations were gaining influence through their sheer numbers; and increasing support to authoritarian regimes attempting to withstand radical challenges from within.
·In 1973, a military junta seized power from Allende, who was subsequently murdered.
·In October 1973, on the Jewish High Holy day of Yom Kippur, Egyptian and Syrian forces attacked Israel.
·The imposed settlement of the Yom Kippur War demonstrated the growing dependence of the United States and its allies on Arab oil.
·The United States could no longer depend on cheap, easy access to raw materials as it had in the past.
Politics and Economics Under Nixon
·He forbade the department of Health, Education, and Welfare to cut off the federal funds from school districts that had failed to comply with court orders to integrate.
In 1973, he abolished the Office of economic Opportunity, the centerpiece of the antipoverty program of the Office of economic Opportunity, the centerpiece of the antipoverty program20of the Johnson years.
From the Warren Court to the Nixon Court
·In Engel v. Vitale (1962), the court had ruled that prayers in public schools were unconstitutional, sparking outrage among religious fundamentalists and others.
Baker vs. Carr (1962) – required state legislatures to assign electoral districts. All citizens’ votes would have equal weight. The Election of 1972
·Nixon was most fortunate in 1972, however, in his opposition. ·The possibility of such a campaign vanished in May, when a would-be assassin shot the Alabama governor during a rally at a Maryland shopping center.
The Troubled Economy
·The American dollar had been the strongest currency in the world, and the American standard of living had risen steadily from its
already substantial heights.
·Its most visible cause was significant increase in federal deficit spending in the 1960s, when the Johnson administration tried to fund the war in Vietnam and its ambitious social programs
without raising taxes.
·Domestic petroleum reserves were no longer sufficient to meet this demand, and the nation was heavily dependent on imports from the Middle East and Africa.
·The U.S manufacturing now faced major completion from aboard-not only in world trade but also at home.
The Nixon Response
·The government moved first to reduce spending and raises taxes. ·The United States was encountering a new and puzzling dilemma: “Stagflation”, a combination of rising prices and general economic stagnation.
In 1973, prices rose 9 percent; in 1974, after the Arab oil embargo and the OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) price increases, they rose 12 percent-the highest rate since the relaxation of price controls shortly after World War II. The Watergate Crisis
·Early on the morning of June 17, 1972 police arrested five men who had broken into the offices of the Democratic National
Committee in the Watergate office building in Washington, D.C. Two others were seized a short time porters for the Washington Post began researching the backgrounds of the culprits, they discovered that among those involved in the burglary were former employees of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President.
The Fall of Richard Nixon
·In April 1974, the president released some transcripts of relevant conversations, claiming that they proved his innocence, but
Investigators believed them to be edited for a cover-up.
·The Supreme Court ruled unanimously, in the United States v. Richard M. Nixon, that the president must relinquish the tapes to Special Prosecutor Jaworski.
·The House Judiciary Committee voted to recommend three articles of impeachment:
1. Charging that Nixon had obstructed justice in the
2. Misused federal agencies to violate the rights of citizens. 3. Defied the authority of Congress by refusing to deliver
tapes and other materials subpoenaed by the committee.
·On August 8, 1974, Nixon announced his resignation, the first president in American history to ever do so.
·Gerald Ford became president 1974