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The Political Effects of the Vietnam War on 1960’s Pop Culture

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1Szymanski Kristen Szymanski Professor Howe 4 April 2000 English 102 The Political Effects of the Vietnam War on 1960's Pop Culture Tie Die, JFK, The Beatles, Drugs, Peace, Love, Dr. Martin Luther King, Woodstock, Go-Go Boots, Civil Rights, and Vietnam. When we say any of these words we think of the 1960's. The 1960's were a landmark in history remembered for effecting pop culture. What lead to such a dramatic change? In the 1950's the style was scarves, poodle skirts, and letter sweaters. The popular music was about teenage boyfriends and girlfriends. Then there was the 1960's. Could we have foreseen that people would wear mini skirts? Could we have foreseen that women would burn their bras in protest? Could we have foreseen that music would take a huge turn toward lyrics of peace, drugs, and mainly rock and roll? Probably not. What could have happened that would change American pop culture so much? There were many events that took place in the 1960's that had an affect on American citizens. The death of John F. Kennedy surprised and upset many Americans. However, the Vietnam War had the most profound effect on American pop culture. ...read more.


(Forrest Gump) Popular artists such as the Beatles, Cat Stevens, and even the Righteous Brothers wrote music that inspired antiwar protesters and became associated with them. Further in this paper there will be information on Woodstock, a musical and historical event associated with the Anti War movement. The Antiwar Movement was not the only political event to have an effect on pop culture. Although the impact from the Antiwar Movement is seen the most the civil rights movement did have an important role in the evolution of the 1960's pop culture. The Black Civil Rights Movement did have an effect on American Society. The effect of this was not seen as much on pop culture, but it was there. The true effect is shown in the dramatic increase of popularity in rhythm and blues. Prior to rhythm and blues, jazz music was associated as "black music." It wasn't played very much on the radio. However, in the 1960's more black artists emerged. The Black Civil Rights Movement heavily effected music. Toward the end of the 1960's African American 5Szymanski styles emerged as popular. "Afros" were a common and popular hairstyle. (NetFirst) The music styles of Jimmy Hendrix as well as many other African American artists became known as legendary. (SixtiesMusic.com) ...read more.


Popular artists have redone music from the sixties. For example, Natalie Merchant has recently redone the popular sixties hit "Peace Train." The movie Forrest Gump, which is a summary of both the political and pop culture America in the sixties, won best picture in 1994. Even today, the sixties are a political and pop cultural landmark for the nation. Does this say that the sixties were a period of more turmoil and more change than other decades? Does this say that the fashion change more dramatically and rapidly than 8Szymanski other decades? Personally, I feel this decade did. From an outlook of a person who did not live during that time or during the time of many other decades, that decade stands out far above many others. Many political and pop culture figures are remembered and recognized by all ages today. In this era, the politics and pop culture overlap. To think that politics affected Americans so much that politics changed people's perspectives is remarkable, even profound. The death of Kennedy and Martin Luther King had a devastating influence over an entire nation. Yet, everyone soon focused on that feeling of freedom and love. This roller coaster of emotions had a roller coaster of an affect. Has any other decade changed a nation so much and so fast? ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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