Lessons from the 60’s
The 1960’s was a time that America can never forget. So much happened during this decade that affected things that are going on today. From wars to political affairs the 60’s was full of lessons that Americans should take into account. The majorities of parents today have experienced the 1960s and can pass experience to their children to prevent certain things from happening. Three major events that happened in the 1960s were the Vietnam War, Civil rights movement, and the Presidential elections. The following events influenced many things that are around in the present day.
The Vietnam War was one that the majority of America was opposed to rather than supportive. It was one that started for controversial reasons that are still even arguable today. Before the war began, Vietnam was facing influences from other nations like France. The Vietnamese people had enough and fought back to gain their independence and become a communist nation with the help of the Soviet Union. The United States’ reason to enter Vietnam when the Communists of the North went to war on the South was that if one country fell, others will fall behind it. This was called the Domino theory and many Americans disagreed with this idea at the time. This war was one of many new technologies like the use of napalm to burn jungles. The death rate for Americans was much higher than the ones of previous wars fought because of the Vietcong’s guerilla style of war which was unfamiliar to Americans. America learned that foreign affairs should be seen as neutral to America. They knew very little with what they were getting into and underestimated the enemy. After the war many people lost trust in the government.
As the war was going on another one was fought in the heart to the United States. This war was for equality between all Americans. African Americans were had rights but not equality among their fellow Americans. Racism still buzzing around the country and seemed almost out of hand. African Americans had enough and decided to stand up and fight for equality. One famous incident was when Rosa Parks wouldn’t get up from the front and go to the back the bus. This inspired so many people to do something to change how America treated minorities. People would march and sit-in to gain recognition without violence. Many African Americans were being attacked and humiliated still, but they endured on. Martin Luther King Jr. was an inspiring leader during the time of the Civil rights movement. He taught non-violent protests to gain equality but results were not going anywhere. He would later be assassinated by gunshot. Over time legislations and other things the government established would help bring equality among Americans but still racial tension is present in Modern America.
The leaders of America during the 1960s was varied and diverse. John F. Kennedy was the first President of the 60’s and was a great leader. He gave hope to Americans and his life was cut short when he was shot in a parade. Lyndon B. Johnson would take over and have to deal with what Kennedy started, Vietnam. He would lose popularity for his decisions to involve the United States in Vietnam but he did pass many antipoverty and civil rights programs. He would be a one term President mostly due to the lack of support in Vietnam. In the late year of 1969 President Nixon would be elected. He improved U.S. relations with the Soviet Union and China. Also, he gradually would return soldiers home from Vietnam with an idea called Vietnamization. But Nixon would be known the best for the Watergate scandal which he would later resign because of. The 1960’s held some of the hardest working Presidents in American History.
Americans learned that if there is no peace at the home front there won’t be anywhere else. Citizens of one country cannot be so divided like they were during the 60’s and years before that. Foreign affairs should sometimes be analyzed more before we go into something that could have huge consequences. Vietnam, Civil Rights, and the Presidents that watched over all taught America a lesson that they don’t know everything. The 60’s is an era that Americans will never forget.
Lessons from the 60’s