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Crisis of Authority - Chapter 32

Protest movements, cultural change & the Nixon Era - AP US History

Bill Lourey

on 18 March 2013

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Transcript of Crisis of Authority - Chapter 32

Rights, Reactions & Limits - Chapter 27
cultural change, protest movements & the Nixon Era
Background & Review
1950's ------&------1960's
appeared to be a GOLDEN AGE (TV, suburbs, prosperity & post-war success)
however, MANY groups are denied access to the new American Dream & the Cold War dominates global politics
JFK's New Frontier, LBJ's Great Society & Civil Rights Movement
however, the Vietnam War is in full swing, and the decade is marked by tragedy (JFK, Medgar Evars, MLK Jr., RFK & Malcolm X)
So.... as the 1960's come to a close, we will see three major trends that will define the era...
1. Cultural Change - defined by the "Counter-Culture" youth of America - liberal, vocal, passionate youth who would revolutionize societal norms
2. Protest Movements - focusing on...
-Vietnam War & the draft
-Native-American rights
-Latino Rights
-Women's Rights
-Gay Liberation
3. The Nixon Era - beginning in 1968, would be characterized by the end of the Vietnam War & the "Great Society", the continuation of the Cold War and a clash between the Counter-Culture movement & Nixon's "Silent Majority"
"The New Left" - mostly young & white, they embraced the cause of minority groups
included men & women - many from college campuses and middle-class backgrounds
embraced philosophies from a variety of sources, including MLK Jr., Malcolm X, C. Wright Mills, karl Marx, Mao Zedong, Che Guevara & Ho Chi Minh
1962 - Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
1964 - Free Speech Movement starts at UC Berkeley - which was the first of a series of campus protests that spread nationwide by 1968
1969 - People's Park protest at Berkeley - symbolic of power of student protests
However... not all of the Counter-Culture movement was peaceful
"The Weathermen" conduct a series of arsons & bombings claimed several innocent victims
small scale violence was common at many protests, as clashes occurred between...
protesters & anti-protesters
protesters & police
1969 Stonewall Riots
1970 Kent State Killings - 4 college students killed by Ohio National Guard after protesting Nixon's bombings of Laos & Cambodia
Also, not all of the Counter-Culture movement
was guided by political action & philosophy
The "Hippie" culture focused on...
Drugs - Marijuana & LSD
Free-Love - including challenging cultural norms re: gender & sex
New Rock-n-Roll showed themes of anger, subversion, liberation, drugs and even Eastern religious influences
Early Beatles = "I want to hold your hand"....... Later Beatles = "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (LSD)
Concept 2: Protest Movements
remained mostly ignored by civil rights progress
1950's - "Termination" policy
1961 - 67 tribes gathered in Chicago - issued Declaration of Indian Purpose
Wrote books to correct historical omissions
1968 - American Indian Movement (AIM) formed, and Indian Civil Rights Act Passed
But... by the early 1970's - the movement turned radical
groups occupied Alcatraz island and the town of Wounded Knee
While the movement was limited in its successes, it did result in increased tribal status and renewed identity
By the late 1960's, population was growing rapidly throughout the country - Puerto Rican & Cuban Migrants on East Coast & Mexican migrants in the West
In addition to migrants, Latino-Americans represented a growing section of America's population - but unlike African-Americans, had to deal with language barrier, and were slower to develop political activism
1965 - Cesar Chavez led the United Farm Workers (UFW) - migrant farm workers in protests & boycotts
1974 - US Supreme Court rules in favor of bilingual education
Gay Liberation
Probably most surprising protest movement to take shape in the late 1960's
reflected the fact that homosexuality had been unaknowledged throughout history, however, like all groups of the era, were no longer content to remain silent
1969 - Stonewall Riot occurs in NY after a police raid on a gay nightclub - led to marches & protests for equal civil rights
The New Feminism
Women's movement had seemed relatively silent since 1920's & the 19th Amendment
1963 - Betty Friedan's "Feminine Mystique" - challenged the myth of the happy suburban housewive
1964 - Title VII of Civil Rights Act extended all legal protections to women
1966 - National Organization for Women (NOW) - addressed all women's issues, but focused on "equal opportunity" issues, especially in the workplace
Similar to the Civil Rights Movement, the issue for women shifted to "Institutionalized" Sexism
Concept 3: The Nixon Era
Republican, former VP, elected in 1968 - reaction against LBJ's failing efforts in Vietnam, and seen as a return to traditional values
Shifts war effort to "Vietnamization", "Peace with Honor" & a draft lottery- but US stays in the war until 1973, hitting lowpoints with the My Lai massacre, Easter Offensive & Christmas Bombings - Saigan would fall to communism in 1975, but Nixon did negotiate release of POW's
Re-elected in 1972 - defeated super-liberal George McGovern in landslide victory
However, during the election Nixon supporters planned and carried out a burglary of Democratic headquarters at the Watergate Hotel
There was never proof that Nixon authorized it, but it was revealed that Nixon and his staff engaged in a cover up to prevent the information from going public
Meanwhile, his VP Spiro Agnew had to resign for unrelated bribery charges
After investigations by Congress and court orders that revealed Nixon's involvement, he would resign in August of 1974
Nixon - Domestic Policy
Claimed support from the "Silent Majority"
dismantled most of the Great Society policies est. by LBJ, and was not a strong supporter of using federal power to enforce Civil Rights issues
attempted welfare reform, but it died in the Senate
Capitalized on several retirements of liberal Supreme Court Justices - including Earl Warren, whose recent rulings had banned prayer in school (Engel v. Vitale) and supported 1st amendment rights for obscene materials (Roth v. USA) - Nixon nominated Warren Burger & other conservative judges - however - the Court was not strictly conservative (Roe v. Wade)
Economy marked by inflation, deindustrialization & energy concerns (OPEC)
Nixon responded by reducing spending and raising taxes (neither are ever popular) and then by controlling currency through raising interest rates and lowering the money supply... creating "Stagflation"
Nixon - Foreign Policy
1972 - established diplomatic realtions with China - adding a new layer of complexity to the Cold War
1972 - SALT I - reducing tensions over nuclear arms
with aid from advisor Henry Kissinger, Nixon adopted a foreign policy to deal with a "Multipolar" world
Nixon Doctrine - we would defend/support allies & friends, but leave basic responsabilities up to other nations -- declining role in containment of communism - but, we also lent continued to lend support to any "non-communist" government
Our support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War led to an Arab backlash and oil crisis from OPEC
Wrapping it up...
-Considering our studies & discussions this year, evaluate how each of the following either fits into, or breaks away from the traditional patterns/themes of American history...
1. Ending of the Vietnam War
2. Counter-Culture movement
3. Minority Group Protest movements
4. The decline of Richard Nixon

So... Why did Nixon win 2 elections...?
1. Vietnam war was dragging on
2. Return to traditional American morality

Good... now what exactly was his official crime? Was this really worse thatn what previous presidents had done?
His crime was "obstruction of justice" - basically covering up information during an investigation... and... no... probably not worse than what many presidents had done...
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