Counter Culture Essay

This essay has a total of 1721 words and 7 pages.


Counter Culture




Causes of the Counter-Culture that was the Hippies
As the 1950’s rolled along and the 1960’s came into effect, the world was thrown into a
topspin that would soon define every generation of youths. As the trends changed and the
music got more complex a deeper metamorphosis was taking place inside every city and every
person. To develop a counterculture in the 1960’s there had to be new ideas circulating
that were counter-norm. These ideas were not developed right away for any one reason,
though. Just like the times, the causes for this counter-culture were far more complex
than anyone had seen before in the 20th century. Some could say it was because of a civil
rights call or say it was because of the drugs, but I just don’t know if anyone could
really pin it to one key cause.

World War II was happening as the 1950’s were happening and it soon drew to a close. This
brought more men home from the army and thus led to the “Baby boom.” The baby boom was
started as part of a security aspect for if there was another war there would still be a
child to carry on the name. However, many men from the army just missed their wives and
decided to have a few kids. This was a big impact on the 1960’s because those youths
involved in the baby boom were starting to become adolescents and young adults as the
1960’s counterculture ideas started. Another aspect of this baby boom was that they
didn’t really recognize the hard work that their father had to endure to provide them with
a good life. They saw everything getting better, but never understood that things would
fall apart if you let it get that way.

MacArtheism, an idea in the United States history when everyone was suspected to be a
communist, sparked paranoia in everyone. World War II started the spark that led to an
all out fire by the time Vietnam started. All things against the normal way of doing
things in the United States was blamed on communists. Innocent people had their lives
ruined by stereotypes and false accusations because of this time. Vietnam was a war that
was said to stop more communism, however the children of the United States were so tired
of hearing about Communism that they just wanted it all over.

Civil rights of any individual was also expounded on in the 1960’s. All ethnicities
wanted equal rights for everyone because of discrimination and segregation that took place
in the north as well as the south. The Civil Rights Act of 1957 allowed the Federal
Government the right to investigate Civil Rights Violations which did nothing except bring
it out for an example of what was to come for freedom. Schools were separated to white
and black public schools. The white schools had far better facilities and even more in
ways of academics and expectations than the black schools. The blacks schools were
typically run down with unequipped teachers who cared, but couldn’t do anything about it.
Few challenged the schools because of the one set standard of law set in place about
segregation through Plessy vs. Ferguson. This was the standard until Brown vs. Board of
Education where they said that separate was not equal and could never be. This showed the
people that many things could be accomplished if it was a just cause. On May 6, 1960
President Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960. A year later on February 1,
1961 four black students were arrested at a whites only lunch counter in Greensboro, South
Carolina. These two incidents didn’t straighten out the civil rights issues, though.
Martin Luther King began to lead through active non-violence saying that lightness begets
lightness and darkness begets darkness. He proposed a Civil Rights Bill to John F.
Kennedy which lead to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which stated that desegregation of any
kind is against the law and morals, that all employers have to give an equal opportunity,
and gave all total voting rights. This resulted in blacks taking one more step towards
their freedom that they waited so long for.

A common ideal was slowly being formed in most youths’ minds that love and respect are the
only things you need to make a community thrive. Youths started to grow their hair out,
grow long facial hair, and they started wearing techni-colored clothing. Many people who
participated in this counter culture were middle to upper class suburban kids who wanted
to throw it all away and live it simple like the Beat generation poets had stated in their
works at the time and like Bob Dylan’s lyrics. Some did actually strive to live the
Utopian lifestyle giving up everything to move to the country and live off of them selves.
Many new religions and religious techniques were being used by the youth such as
meditation, yoga, and Buddhism. Music and popular fashion and trends were starting to
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