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Comparing Declarations for Changing Times: Student Protest Manifestos from the 1960s - Essay Example

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JF Kennedy epitomized an American ideology which started in the mid-50s, reached a climax in 1960, and continued until around 1965. This was none other than a liberal ideology that was built on six basic…
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Comparing Declarations for Changing Times: Student Protest Manifestos from the 1960s
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The early 1960s saw the United s in an Augustan mood. JF Kennedy epitomized an American ideology which started in the mid-50s, reached a climax in 1960, and continued until around 1965. This was none other than a liberal ideology that was built on six basic assumptions:
The existence of abundant capital and resources can solve social problems
American capitalism works; it creates abundance and hence has a potential for solving social problems
Communism was the main threat of capitalism; however, its threats were contained
There is increasing equality in the USA; class is being eliminated; workers are becoming members of the middle class.
Capital will ensure growth hence eliminating the predicted conflict over resources.
Since democratic capitalism works here, it is the duty of the U.S. to bring it to the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, two of the basic assumptions of this liberal ideology failed to materialize. Communism was not the greatest danger and consequently American capitalism did not offer all the predetermined solution to the American problems. Unconvinced with the world they inherited and from the frustrations they had from their parents, the youth of the 1960s formed a counter-culture which rejected several fundamental value of American society.
The 1960s movements include the civil rights movements, the student movement, the women’s movement, the anti-Vietnam war movement, the environment movement and the civil right movement. The issue of race was the main driver of the student protest in 1960.
Source 1 and source 6
Source 1 and source 6 are similar in that they are all characterized by protests. Source 1 protest’s was mainly influenced by racism discrimination while source 6 is characterized by protest against war. In both cases, students played a vital role.
Source 1
Political activism
In 1st February in North Carolina, four black students from students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University begin a sit-in at segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter. Even though these students were refused service, they were allowed to stay at the counter (LAT, 5/25/61). This action triggered several nonviolent protests throughout the southern United States. As a result of these protests, the four original protesters were served with lunch at the same counter six months later. This demonstration was organized by members of a group called the Ad Hoc Committee to End Discrimination. In fact, the protest was organized by members of DuBois Clubs which was associated with Communist Party. After a series of protests across the year, Bill Bradley announced the B and A action was suspended (LAT, 5/25/61). As a result, nearly 240 Negroes had been hired in white collar jobs between May and July. This was the end of the big civil rights demonstrations, partly due to the fact that employers were more willing to sign agreements, and partly due to the fact that the civil rights organizations had exhausted their human resources. However, it is worth noting that the Student for a Democratic society was the umbrella for democratic protest and hence become the most important white radical organizations of the 1960s (LAT, 5/25/61).
Source 6
The war/Anti-War/Political Activism
The war
In January 31, 1966, after five week break, Air strike against North Vietnam resume in an effort to deprive Vietnamese communist forces of essential military supplies. May 1966, the President of University of California was accused of having permitted the infiltration of communists leading to “left wing domination of Berkeley campus”. The war resulted to an uproar among the communists society. A Gallup poll conducted in early 1966 showed that 47% of US college students supported President Johnson’s conduct of the war . By June that year, the same poll indicated that support of the war had slipped to 41% (LAT, 6/8/66). On November 30, 1966, around 59 to 100 students stage a sit-down protest around a Navy recruiter table in the UC Berkeley Student Union. This was followed by several students and activists protest against the war.
Work cited
"Campus Protests Are Tied to Reds By Senate Panel" New York Times, June 20, 1966. p. 1 (2 pages)
"27 On Freedom Busses Arrested In Mississippi." Los Angeles Times May 25, 1961. p. 1 (3 pages)
"Vietnam Support Slumps." Los Angeles Times, Jun 8, 1966. p. A5 (1 page) Read More
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