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The Politics and Culture of the 1960s Hippie Movement As the nineteen fifties turned into the early sixties the United States remained the same patriotic harmonious society of the previous decade often a teens most difficult decision was choosing what color lipstick to wear to the prom Yet after 1963 a dramatic change slowly developed in the cultural social and political beliefs of America particularly the youth The death of President Kennedy the new music the quest for civil rights the popularity of mind-altering drugs the senselessness of the Vietnam War and the invention of the birth control pill reacted like an imbalanced chemical equation to formulate a new American counterculture the hippie Contrasting with ever-dominant mainstream society the layed back hippie nobly tried to change the world not by force but through peace and love Though not entirely successful the hippie movement clearly marked the mid- to late-nineteen sixties and early seventies as a mixture of peace and brotherly love with sex drugs and rock and roll The formal definition of a hippie is one who does not conform to social standards advocating a liberal attitude and lifestyle However the true definition of a hippie in unclear no interpretation could categorize every person who fits into the ambiguous category of a hippie According to Phoebe Thompsons definition being a hippie is a choice of philosophy Hippies are generally antithetical to structured hierarchies such as church government and social castes The ultimate goal of the hippie movement is peace attainable only through love and toleration of the earth and each other Finally a hippie needs freedom both physical freedom to experience life and mental freeness to remain open-minded 12-13 In the view of some historians thus Thoreau and Ghandi were hippies and hippies continue to exist today 25 Yet what unique qualities characterized the American hippies of the nineteen sixties and how did this movement gain enough power to influence millions of teenagers The nineteen
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