AMERICA IN THE 1960s

2

AMERICAIN THE 1960s

The1960s in America become years of excitement and changes in almost allthe aspects o life. The society changed economically, socially andpolitically. People began demanding better salaries to improve theirliving conditions. In the political arena, social, politicalmovements aimed at achieving political equality became rampant. 1It was during this period that John Kennedy and Martin Luther KingJunior lost their lives at the hands of assassins. Although thepolitical environment remained very significant, this paper will layinsight on the social changes that took place in America during theperiod.

Inthe political arena, the Vietnam War elicited different feelingsamong the Americans. Most Americans felt that the government wouldnot win the war and there were protests for the government t owithdraw. The black movement also had a political touch in it sincethey wanted to be included in major decision making in the country.The decade marked a new era of youthful leadership when john Kennedycaptured the presidential seat. The economy of the United States alsoreceived a change. There was an increased industrialization in theautomobile industry and the chemical industry. It was also a benchmark for the use of electrical powered consumables. Big industriesdominated the economy. There was also an increase in the average percapita income in the new occupations. The work output per hour in thevarious industries increased by 120%. 2

Inthe 60s, the black Americans agitated for fair treatment as thewhite. The years of discrimination seemed to be coming to an endthrough the revolution championed by Martin Luther and other leaders.The black protests that roamed the country added on to the socialprotests of women equality under the leadership of feminist. Femaleactivists fought for equal chances of employment and education.3 In the same wave, the use of contraception began, and t empoweredwomen on taking part in deciding the size of their families. Thesociety was experiencing a transformation to civilization for all thecitizens.

Itwas also a time when the social morals faced erosion especially withthe introduction of rock and roll music. Most people thought that themusic had the explicit sexual material. The youth embraced it, andthey even defied the traditional clothes in favor of strange clothesand long hair. Most of them joined the hippies club that had itsculture of music and clubbing. Communication also became intensifiedwith the increased watching of TV programs. By the end of the period,almost every home had a TV set.4

Conclusively,the social changes of the decade were the benchmark of the newAmerican society. The social aspect of equality bore fruits through aheated and painful process. When the other European countries flippedback to their traditional culture, the American society showed itsattribute of independence and autonomy. The wave was so strong thatit brought a revolution to give America a new face.

Bibliography

Berkin,Carol, Christopher , Miller, Robert, Cherny, and James, Gormly.MakingAmerica: A History of the United States.New York: Cengage Learning, 2011.

Chalmers,David. Andthe crooked places made straight: the struggle for social change inthe 1960s.Baltimore: JHU Press, 2012.

Farber,David. TheColumbia guide to America in the 1960s.Washington: Columbia University Press, 2013.

Obst,David. TooGood to be Forgotten: Changing America in the`60s and`70s.New York:Wiley, 1998.

1 Berkin, Carol, Christopher Miller, Robert Cherny, and James Gormly. Making America: A History of the United States. New York: Cengage Learning, 2011, p.758.

2 Farber, David. The Columbia guide to America in the 1960s. Washington: Columbia University Press, 2013, p. 34.

3 Chalmers, David. And the crooked places made straight: the struggle for social change in the 1960s. Baltimore: JHU Press, 2012, p. 18.

4 Obst, David. Too Good to be Forgotten: Changing America in the`60s and`70s. New York: Wiley, 1998, p.32.