Do YOU believe that the 1960s in America was the decade of change, promise & hope for the better or
the beginning of the decline of America? Yes, no, why?
I think the 1960s was a decade of change, promise and hope for the better in the U.S. These are not just empty cliches, and the decades was not just hope for the better. Things have changed for the better in many ways since that eventful decade. Considering the fact that some regions of the U.S. were not free for certain groups of people and many American citizen's rights were denied prior to the 1960s (despite what the U.S. Constitution said about their rights), I believe a lot of change occurred and things have gotten a lot better since then.
I do believe that the 1960s in America as well as elsewhere was a decade of change, promise and hope for a better future.
As in Australia you had more people in their late teens and early 20s either with an impressive education or in the throes of getting that impressive education. This inevitably led to young people asking awkward questions, especially about the draft that was introduced.
The USA was founded on the principle that there should be no taxation without representation. Sending young men off to war who legally did not have the right to vote seemed to go against this principle. Not taxed in terms of money here but in terms of blood. If I cannot vote for legal representation during an election then how can I be sent off somewhere to possibly get killed for my country?
Was the domino effect real? Did USA and Australian forces have to go into Vietnam to sort out what was going on there? No one to this day can say for sure. We do know that the USA lost the war and was a long time licking its wounds over it. Young people cried out 'Give Peace a Chance'.
In Australia as in the USA most of us started the decade with no idea where Vietnam was and ended the decade with a clearer picture on that part of the world.
The world came close to nuclear holocaust. The Cuban incident could have gone so terribly wrong. Both representatives of the USA and the Soviet Union were thankfully able to work out compromises that did not completely satisfy anyone but saved us all.
Race relations were on the mend by the end of the 1960s but it was a rough ride. The KKK played up in the south. There was a human rights march on Washington. A black man by the name of Martin Luther King had a dream in which a great many people wanted a share in.
In music Jazz gave way to rock an' roll for a time. Elvis ruled and then came the boys from the UK - the Beatles. Young men and women could now make their mark in the world through music. They could do this before I suppose but not quite in such an international way, on such a large scale.
Star Trek created hope for a future still to be in some ways realized. I joined in this hope as did Woopi Goldberg. She would later be a part of Star Trek: the Next Generation.
In 1965 I picked up my first Marvel comic book and it is still in my collection along with my novels and books on history. And the decade virtually ended with a men walking on the moon.
In the 1960's, I was in the military, married, had three sons, saw combat in Vietnam, became a police officer and worked narcotics in S. California. It was a busy decade.
What I saw, in the 60's, was the advent of a drug culture, the birth of an entitlement mindset, a diminishing of expectations for societal conduct, a lowering of educational standards and the unset of apologetics for any thinking that demeaned or refuted America as a nation and as a culture. And LBJ who launched the Great Society and the War on Poverty only to spend over $20 trillion with little to show for it and the greater results are that more people are dependent on government and big and intrusive government was born for the common good..
That is my take on the 1960's.
The 60s had all of that a more!
I suspect if one had to classify the 60s I would say it was the decade of "radical change".
It spawned the first generation who dared to question the authority of it's government. In fact at one point a popular slogan was: "Don't trust anyone over 30!" The "baby boomers" didn't want to live life the way their parents did. Women's lib, Civil Rights, protest of the Vietnam War, The "Free Love" and Peace Movement, Hippie & drug culture, Bob Dylan, The British Invasion, and Motown provided the musical soundtrack of the times.
Key assassinations of leaders occurred; JFK, MLK, RFK, and Malcom X along with gruesome Manson Family murders in LA.
During the summer of 1969 we landed Apollo 11 on the moon! (Anything seemed possible!)
All in all I would say as a nation we're better off than we were in the 1950s and prior eras. Rarely is their growth or change without pain.
There will always be those who want to romanticize the past or look at it through rose tinted eyeglasses. However they'd be overlooking segregation/Jim Crow, strides made for better career opportunities for women, and the countless inventions we now take for granted.
Who is to say that had the 60s not been so radical that we'd have Mary Barra as CEO of General Motors, Meg Whitman CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Virginia Rometty CEO of IBM, Marillyn Hewson CEO of Lockheed Martin, or African Americans like Ursula M. Burns CEO of Xerox, Kenneth I. Chenault, CEO of American Express, Kenneth C. Frazier CEO of Merck & Co., Inc. and John W. Thompson Chairman of Microsoft, along with countless numbers of women and minorities elected to various offices in government including president Obama. The U.S. is less than 240 years old!
Even at this moment polls have Hilary Clinton (a woman) favored to win her party's nomination to run for president. It wasn't until August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote!
Is the glass half full or half empty? Perception is reality.
It all depends on whom you ask!
The 60's was a total change for everyone whether American, or Europe. My comment is not about politics etc, it's about the way the young generation developed. Music and fashion, were the two big changes! Mini skirts, The Beatles, just fab!
Exactly! The 1960s was indeed a great decade. I looked upon the 1960s as one of THE BEST decades ever! The 1990s was another great decade, I had a wonderful career then & the world was my oyster!
Like all decades, it was a mixed bag. But when it is all said and done, I think that more good came out of it than bad. The majority of Americans, if asked whether or not they would prefer living in the 1950s versus today, would say today (even if you discount technological improvements.) For women, ethnic minorities, homosexuals, and disabled people, the United States is a better place than it was before the 1960s.
Sure, there was too much drug use and generally irresponsible behavior. Yes, there are some Americans today who have an "entitlement" mentality. But all in all, I'll take the changes.
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