student movement

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Information about student movement

Published on December 25, 2007

Author: Nikita


The 1960s :  The 1960s The student movement Roots of student activism:  Roots of student activism Many of the first students involved were inspired by the CRM. Reacting against what they saw as artificial, materialistic, conformist, and non-democratic society. Everyone should do meaningful work and be well-paid. Philosophical roots:  Philosophical roots Like the CRM, most students believed in nonviolence. In the NE, many were children of radical (socialist, communist, or social democratic) parents. Outside the NE, many were inspired by Christian existentialism: they were morally required to improve earthly conditions for all. Political beliefs:  Political beliefs Liberalism held that structure of American society fine, just needed periodic reform. Old left: radical change would come through organized labor. “New left:” radical change would come through students and poor. Those left out of system could create new structures. Role of universities :  Role of universities Universities ideal site for organizing Should be places of learning as well as implementing new ideas Should be places where students could find the authentic Students could engage in participatory democracy on campus Students for a Democratic Society (SDS):  Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) Formed in 1960 Many members active with SNCC In 1962, the group drafted the “Port Huron Statement” In 1963, began Economic Research Action Project (ERAP) in ten major cities. Soon turned focus to Vietnam. War in Vietnam:  War in Vietnam U.S., with huge military might, invaded tiny country but lost. 7,000,000 tons of bombs dropped Almost one 500 pound bomb for each person in Vietnam. Why was the U.S. involved?:  Why was the U.S. involved? French colony until the French were defeated in 1954 Geneva Accords divided country into North and South—communist North. U.S. installs Ngo Dinh Diem as leader (dictator) Democratic elections slated for two years—never happened Why was the U.S. involved?:  Why was the U.S. involved? Opposition to Diem regime grew A few landlords became rich, but peasants grew poorer In 1960, National Liberation Front (NLF) formed. Included many groups, most not communist In 1963, Diem assassinated in military coup (supported by U.S.) Conflict escalates :  Conflict escalates Generals could not suppress NLF In 1964, Gulf of Tonkin. Allegedly, U.S. ship Maddox attacked Later, Pentagon Papers suggest that incident was staged, though many don’t agree Congressional Tonkin Resolution gives President power to use force Bombing (and protest) begins:  Bombing (and protest) begins In 1965, D.C. protest attracts 25,000 By 1968, 500,000 American troops on the ground War polarizes the nation—takes down LBJ In 1968, Nixon proposes “vietnamization” Horrors of war:  Horrors of war My Lai massacre—68 Over 500 civilians intentionally killed In 1969, the story broke in the NYT William Calley, the Unit leader, convicted Nixon commuted sentence The war ends :  The war ends Some veterans return with horror stories In 1967, Vietnam Veterans against the War starts with 3 protesting vets—membership grew quickly In 1973, the U.S. withdraws In 1975, N. Vietnamese defeat Saigon, became Democratic Republic of Vietnam Casualties: 58,178 American; millions of Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians The nature of the opposition:  The nature of the opposition U.S. wrong to interfere with other countries When Vietnam defeated France, should have had immediate elections Right to self-determination The nature of the opposition:  The nature of the opposition View of communism to simplistic USSR and China not involved in plot to take over world—were in fact enemies Domino theory wrong The nature of the opposition:  The nature of the opposition As the war grew, critique broadened Movement became more anti-imperialistic By 1969, 60% of Americans disapproved of the war, but many didn’t like protesters, finding them unruly and disruptive The Counterculture: sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll:  The Counterculture: sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll 1960—introduction of birth control pill, though not legal in every state Pill allowed women more sexual freedom Such freedom—the sexual revolution—horrified many Rock ‘n roll:  Rock ‘n roll Revival of folk music and protest songs—move away from bubblegum pop of the 50s Bands with large followings like the Beatles as opposed to one-hit wonders Psychedelic music—The Grateful Dead—very tied in with drug culture Hippies:  Hippies LSD—developed by Timothy Leary of Harvard Marijuana also very popular “Tune in, turn on, drop out” Many political activists put off by hippies, but “middle America” thought their children had gone crazy Hippie chic:  Hippie chic Long hair for men and women Clothing became part of self-expression Loose, “ethnic” styles Hand made, embellished items Sexual, colorful, nonconformist Hippie philosophy:  Hippie philosophy Live communally—share what you have Reject materialism Follow your heart Express yourself through music and art Love and peace most important

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