America 's Cultural Revolution ! When Do We Want It? Essay

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What Do We Want? America’s Cultural Revolution! When Do We Want It? The 1960s!
The United States of America (and in fact, the whole world) has a long history of protest. From Nat Turner’s slave rebellion, to the trans-Atlantic Shakespearean rivalry that sparked the Astor Place Riot, to every workers’ strike from 1877 onwards; history can at times simply look like a long line of people taking action to right what they see as wrong. And yet there is one prevailing period of which the definitive image and mood is that of protest: the 1960s. Furthermore, this was a decade which, for the first time, engendered a culture of protest, as opposed to the outright violence of secessionists which sparked the Civil War, or the demand of Suffragettes to be treated as equals and integrated into society just like everybody else. These elements of violence and assimilation were, of course, features of the disparate range of grievances within 1960s protest movements, but the overarching message was a clearly articulated rejection of the status quo and a call for change both within and without the current system. Alongside this, and in the wake of capitalist post-Second World War optimism, a burgeoning counter-culture was beginning to emerge. America had seen counter-cultures in the past, most notably and decadently in the Jazz Age of the 1920s, but the counter-culture of the 1960s took on a new form. Here, a culture of protest or opposition became what we now recognise as 1960s…

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