Americans Attitude Change in the 60s Essay

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Question 1: For many Americans, the 1960s began with JFK’s “Age of Camelot,” an era that seemed to exude confidence in American institutions. Yet, by the early 1970s, those expectations and attitudes seemed to be replaced by a sense of bitterness and cynicism. Discuss and analyze the causes and consequences of this profound attitudinal shift.

Question 3: How did official US policy towards Vietnam change between 1950 and 1975? How did American leaders link events in Vietnam to national security interests? How did the American public react to the war in the sixties and early seventies?

Answer: These two questions are so intertwined with one another that combining the two answers is the most efficient way of telling the story. Vietnam was
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Within the center of this division lay Berlin. Russia’s communist intentions were becoming clearer to western powers. Stalin had no plans to back down from further conflict. In 1946, Churchill delivered the “Iron Curtain” speech, symbolizing future relations with the communist powers. In 1947, U.S. president Truman established his famous doctrine of containment policy, which outlined in vague terms the west’s distain and containment intentions of further communist expansion by Russia. In 1948, Americans witnessed the pressurized showdown in Berlin between western forces and Russian occupiers, which eventually led to the division of Germany, and the construction of the Berlin Wall. Once, the Russians began developing and testing nuclear weapons, and the subsequent development of space flight, Americans placed their lives in the hands of their government to handle this new, Cold War.

The baby boom generation grew up in this environment. They grew up with missile drills and McCarthy’s witch-hunt of communists within the government. Communism was something to be feared, and America knew it.

The election of 1960 brought hope to much of America, despite the close margin of victory for the Kennedy camp. JFK himself had been a war hero, and was viewed by Americans as determined to win the cold war. JFK was an attractive man, had a beautiful wife, and a seemingly perfect family. “The best and the
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