Counterculture During the Vietnam Era Essay

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Counterculture During the Vietnam Era

With a country in shambles as a result of the Vietnam War, thousands of young men and women took their stand through rallies, protests, and concerts. A large number of young Americans opposed the war; with a common feeling of anti-war, thousands of youths united as one. This new culture of opposition spread like wild fire with alternative lifestyles blossoming, people coming together and reviving their communal efforts, demonstrated in the Woodstock Art and Music festival. The use of drugs, mainly marijuana, became a staple in the community of anti-war youths. The countercultures’ radical views and actions caused American society to turn its head and look to the young. They set themselves out as a
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Groups such as the Chicago Seven, Students for a Democratic Society, and on a whole, a new term, New Left, was given to the generation of the Sixties that was radicalized by social injustices, the civil rights movement, and the war in Vietnam. One specific incident was when Richard Nixon appeared on television to announce the invasion of Cambodia by the United States, and the need to draft 150,000 more soldiers. At Kent State University in Ohio, protestors launched a riot, which included fires, injuries, and even death.1

Through the growth of the new youth’s culture’s open hostility to the values of middle-class society the counterculture was formed. America became more aware of its young generation. Through protests, riots, and anti-war demonstrations, they challenged the very structure of American Society, and spoke out for what they believed in. Lisa Law stated her views; "The counterculture was an attempt to rebel against the values our parents had pushed on us."1 From the days of Woodstock to today, our fashion reflects the trends set in Woodstock. Trends such as long hair, tye-dye, rock, and folk music used as a form of expression for radical ideas and self-expression.1 While these trends are not harmful, others are; such as the extended use of marijuana, and the hallucinogen, LSD, which are still popular with the youth today. Marijuana captivated the counterculture. Timothy Leary, psychologist writes, "The
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