1960s Unit Packet directions

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  • YES: Accomplished much more than Kennedy, skilled politician, civil rights advocate, War on Poverty

  • NO: Vietnam, Draft, Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, Bombing campaigns, Media portrayal, Refused to run in 1968

Chapter 50: The Emergence of Counterculture




  • Political movement among liberals

  • The “Old Left” consisted of socialists, communists and other radicals

  • Many students (SDS) participated in this movement

  • Students at the University of Cal-Berkley were leaders of this and the Free Speech Movement

  • Generation Gap: Difference between youths and their elders regarding cultural/societal views like music, drugs, sex and war

  • Many openly opposed the war in Vietnam and the draft


  • Evolved out of the “beatnik” movement of the 1950s

  • Rejected convention and conformity

  • Criticized the “rat race” of the “nine-to-five” lifestyle

  • Wore jeans, tie-dye, sandals, beads and grew their hair out

  • Not necessarily political and focused more on “personal liberation”

  • Many chose to live in “communes” where they moved in with others and shared everything with one another

  • Youth International Party (Yippies): Combined political ideas of the New Left and the hippie lifestyle while mocking mainstream culture

  • Many participated in the sexual revolution and in drug use


  • The sexual revolution was aided by introduction of the “birth-control” contraceptive pill being made commercially available

  • Divorce rates increased as states loosened restrictions

  • More children were born out of wedlock and more single-parent families existed

  • “Free love” also led to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases


  • Psychedelic hallucinogenic drugs like LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide), peyote and mushrooms became used more

  • Influential psychologist Timothy Leary advocated for people to “turn on, tune in and drop out”= encouraged drug use

  • Marijuana use skyrocketed

  • Mainstream culture caused a large backlash towards drug use by increasing anti-drug spending


  • The music genre evolved in the sixties to include electric guitars, amplifiers, sound distortion and some included a jazz and Indian influence

  • WOODSTOCK: Free 3-day festival in upstate New York that had shattered expectations by drawing 400,000 plus peaceful attendees as well some of the most iconic acts of the time

  • BRITISH INVASION: Influence of British music like The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin

  • POP ART: Art movement focusing on mocking consumerism and everyday life


  • COUNTERCULTURE: Hippies, Yippies, New Left, Drug culture, sexual revolution, rock n’ roll, doves

  • MAINSTREAM: war hawks, openly opposed counterculture, viewed movement as anti-American and unpatriotic

  • Counterculture led to a permanent cultural divide that still exists to some extent to this day

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