The Sixties: A Decade of Rebellion Essay

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“Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans” (Kennedy 916). With these words, John F. Kennedy in his inaugural address in 1961 described the 1960’s decade. This era in American history encapsulated a belief in the power of young people to change the world, a desire to help others globally and accept their differences, and a war that would eventually destroy all that America stood for. It was a time for new ideas in all aspects of life. This shift in thinking is apparent when looking at the happenings in society, the younger generation, and the media. The sixties were the beginning of many great revolutions in society.
The sixties were a time of
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The third president during the sixties was Richard Nixon, a republican who paid much attention to foreign affairs. He withdrew the United States from the Vietnam War and reestablished diplomatic ties with China (Horton 165). He was involved in the Watergate scandal and was also responsible for a great deal of illegal wiretapping. Richard Nixon was eventually impeached in 1974 for abusing his powers (Carter-Cooper). These events directly affected people’s lives and impacted the country’s society.
People’s lives were both directly and indirectly affected by the politics of the sixties. Society reacted to political events in different ways depending on what social class they belonged to. The tone of the decade was one of rebellion. One significant influence was the feminist movement and women’s rights. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan inspired many women and caused new women’s groups to be created. Women all across the country began to question the roles they had and fight for equal rights (Horton 32-41). Birth control was legalized in the United States, and abortion was a huge topic of controversy (Holland 126). Women wanted to be able to procure abortions without the risk of complications, and many got abortions even though they were illegal and in most cases, unsafe (Singleton 2). Women also wanted to get paid the same wages for doing the same work as men, which eventually happened in 1963 with the passing of the Equal Pay Act (Horton 41).
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