Defined by a popular culture that manages to thrive even in today’s society, the 1960s is a decade that refuses to die. Bell-bottoms, free love, incense, and psychedelic rock is a style that, although at the time was labeled as corrupt, anarchistic, and radi...
Freedom Rides, Vietnam, and Social activism among the youths of America have left the 60’s with a very profound effect on our society. Without question, the decade of the 1960’s was one of the most controversial in American History. Throughout this period of social unrest, anti-war attitudes were gaining prevalence in a peace-loving subculture, and individuals began to question certain aspects of governmental policy and authority. This was the decade of peace and war, optimism and despair, cultural turbulence and frustration.
As World War Two came to a close, a new American culture was developing all across the United States. Families were moving away from crowded cities into spacious suburban towns to help create a better life for them during and after the baby boom of the post-war era. Teenagers were starting to become independent by listing to their own music and not wearing the same style of clothing as their parents. Aside from the progress of society that was made during this time period, many people still did not discuss controversial issues such as divorce and sexual relations between young people. While many historians regard the 1950s as a time of true conservatism at its finest, it could really be considered a time of true progression in the American way of life.
Imagination Nation highlights the culture of the 1960’s. Instead of portraying the 60’s as a time of debauchery like much literature, Imagination Nation shows the reality of the time. The sixties were a time of “Conscience objection to the ways of the previous generations”(69). The 14 essays published were to support and explain the reasons behind the movement. Many of these essays directly correlate and support that counter culture was deeper than the drugs, music, and tie-dye.
“Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans” (Kennedy 916). With these words, John F. Kennedy in his inaugural address in 1961 described the 1960’s decade. This era in American history encapsulated a belief in the power of young people to change the world, a desire to help others globally and accept their differences, and a war that would eventually destroy all that America stood for. It was a time for new ideas in all aspects of life. This shift in thinking is apparent when looking at the happenings in society, the younger generation, and the media. The sixties were the beginning of many great revolutions in society.
In this essay I will be looking at the topic of the countercultural movement of the 1960’s through counterculture film. The 1960’s were an extremely interesting time in history not only in the United States but all over the western world, as we saw the rise of the counterculture generation. The counter was a group of movements focused on achieving personal and cultural liberation and was embraced in many different ways by the decade’s young people. I have chosen this topic as the 60’s stand out for me as a revolutionary and often misrepresented period in history. The films I have chosen to look at are The Baader Meinhof Complex from director Uli Edel, Woodstock from Michael Wadleigh, Pirate Radio from Richard Curtis, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas from director Terry Gilliam. I chose to analyse these films as I believe they clearly demonstrate the social and political issues of the 1960’s and societies response to them.
In the duration of one year, 1968, the American national mood shifted from general confidence and optimism to chaotic confusion. Certainly the most turbulent twelve months of the post-WWII period and arguably one of the most disturbing episodes the country has endured since the Civil War, 1968 offers the world a glimpse into the tumultuous workings of a revolution. Although the entire epoch of the 1960's remains significant in US history, 1968 stands alone as the pivotal year of the decade; it was the moment when all of the nation's urges toward violence, sublimity, diversity, and disorder peaked to produce a transformation great enough to blanket an entire society. While some may superficially disagree, the evidence found in the Tet Offensive, race relations, and the counterculture's music of the period undeniably affirm 1968 as a turning point in American history.
The 1960’s were a time of change and a time for liberalism. The 60’s have been described by many historians by having the most amount of significant change in American history. It was an era where America shifted from optimism to disillusionment. From blind acceptance to distrust. In ten short years, America’s view of authority has drastically changed. It was a time for violent confrontation. The Vietnam War took place all throughout the 60’s, and changed American history forever. Also, there was a war that was going on within the United States border. The Civil Rights movement was in full force in the South. Both of these conformations put America’s civil loyalty to the test. Politics ruled the land in the 60’s, from the assassination of
The 1960s had already started off with violence, as the Cold War increased danger in the world. America and the Soviet Union were the two most powerful countries after World War II. Both saw each other as enemies, and they feared one might attack, which made both countries desperate...
The peculiarly passive obsession with security as the ultimate happiness, the compulsive conformity of life styles (engenderedat least in part by the virulent anti-communism of McCarthyismin odd combination with the Eisenhower era's pacifying blandness),and the pervasive apathy of most of the '50s was replaced in the1960s with an extraordinary and even reckless social energy and political activism.