What have we learned?
What have we learned about the youth of the 1960’s? Well, according to the information we provided, the youth of the 1960’s was one of the most active generations in American history. How were they active? Let's remember Civil Rights and foreign affairs. As discussed, the youth of the 1960’s was deeply involved in protests and political activism. During the Vietnam War, thousands of young adults marched on the streets protesting America’s involvement in the war. In 1963, when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have a Dream” speech in Washington, more than 250,000 people marched with him, becoming the largest civil demonstration in America’s history. Not only was the youth of the 1960’s active, but it was heavily influenced by music and media in a positive way. Unlike today, music in the 1960’s focused on actual issues and provided motivation for the youth to get out with those picket signs and shout! During the 1960’s the television was just becoming a fundamental household item, and when put into homes, the visuals of the Vietnam protests enlightened the youth of what was really happening in the war. They used this information to spread awareness and express their opinions through participating in sit-ins and protests. Lastly, technology and morals have dramatically changed in the past fifty years. In 1960, the most up to date electronic devices included: the television, the radio, and the rotary phone. The moral standards in the beginning of the 1960’s were different from the morals at the end of the 1960’s. For example, before the birth control pill was introduced to society, it was commonly known for a woman to only be with one man. However the birth control pill changed this common view and some women began sleeping with more men with the reassurance that they would not become pregnant.
Now let us take a look at what American youth is doing today. For civil rights today’s youth is more focused on pro-choice vs. pro-life and gay rights movements, but they are not as involved when compared to the racial equality movement in the 1960’s. Today’s foreign affairs consist mainly of conflicts in the Middle East. Although, much of the youth today disagree with the United States being involved in these conflicts they choose not to express their opinions in major forms of protest. Music, media, and morals have all followed the trend set by the current youth’s involvement in foreign affairs and all declined in their own ways. Music for instance has lost that deeper meaning it had in the 60’s and is rarely relevant anymore to current events in our nation’s culture. Media has increased in accessibility and sources yet it has been lacking genuine content and positive influences on morals. Lastly, morals have shown a decline over the years and is evident from factors like the lower amount of religious affiliations, an increase in selfishness, and increases in family separation to name a few. The moral transformations that occurred during the 1960's, with things like the birth control pill as mentioned earlier, have intensified over the years and have resulted in the current state of moral principles today. Technology, however, has increased exponentially. It has opened many doors for advancement in society, but it has also made the youth more self-absorbed and disconnected from the outside world. After examining the youths from both the 1960’s and the present, it is apparent that the American youth of today is complacent with focusing on themselves and they show an apathetic attitude towards issues facing the nation. The multiple examples in each section of this website reinforce this statement.