Essay Example about 1950s-1970s Social Movements

Published: 2022-05-02 13:18:05
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"America: The Essential Learning Edition" is a book written by David E. Shi, George Brown Tindall, and Jonathan Lee. The book's central concepts are based on the social movements that occurred during the 1950s-1970s. It also talks more about the significant changes that were brought about by these social movements. The book is also helpful as it acts as an excellent source of knowledge to students especially those that are interested in learning history. In 1969, Richard M. Nixon encountered a social movement to the white house where he took charge of a country whose social fabric was not in good condition (Shi, Tindall, and lee, 1047). It is because many institutions within the state had been attacked and hence things were not flowing well. In his office, Nixon looked forward to improving America since it had been divided and its future was not looking bright at all.

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Nixon also faced social problems as the leader of America since he had a huge task ahead of him to correct all the mistakes that America had suffered and placed it in a better position to separate the past from the future. He carried out a considerable campaign whose main aims and objectives were to restore social harmony amongst Americans who had been disintegrated in large numbers. Unfortunately, he did not succeed in these goals as every social movement he tried to make worsened the condition of the Americans, and hence it did not reduce any social tensions that were present at that time (Shi, Tindall, and lee, 1048). It meant that all the citizens were stressed after Nixon's efforts to restore their social harmony and improve their country in general.

Additionally, in the early 1950s and 1970s, America encountered social upheaval, and hence this was traced back to its encounters with cold war, increased consumer culture and baby boom. These were the same factors that had placed the country in a better place when it came to social harmony, but this time the same factors led to the growth of its social problems. Another social movement involved the civil rights movement which entailed the fight for the equality of the African American rights (Shi, Tindall, and lee, 1049). Also, the campaign was directed towards proper treatment of all other minority groups within America such as Hispanics, women, Native Americans, and gays. This movement was directed merely at achieving equality amongst all American citizens so that better social improvements would be completed in the future.

The period of the 1960s to 1970s can be termed as the most significant in the American history. It is because during that time the country faced many social movements which were both advantageous as well as disadvantageous. It brought about threats, explosions, and transformations that had a significant impact on the country. For instance, President Nixon put more efforts in ensuring that America would only achieve positive social movements but all this was in vain since he ended up worsening the situation. He led to the growth of cynicism amongst the government officials and this only brought about more weaknesses in his leadership and execution of projects within the country. For example, in 1973 and 1974, the execution of the Watergate scandal led to a significant constitutional crisis, and hence more conflicts were brought about in the constitution (Shi, Tindall, and lee, 1050).

Some of the significant weaknesses of the social movements that were significant during the 1950 and 1970s are that more American citizens were disintegrated instead of unified. It is so because President Nixon worsened situations in his execution of projects that were directed towards the achievement of peace and harmony (Shi, Tindall, and lee, 1047). Also, the social movements led to arising conflicts amongst the government officials and hence showed that the country was far away from correcting its mistakes. Also, the minority groups continued to be discriminated against because their rights of equality were not fulfilled as stipulated.

According to Howard Zinn, America encountered adverse social movements in the early 1970s. It was so because the government officials had lost trust amongst its citizens and hence the public was helpless about the situation (Zinn, History). Therefore, confidence in the government was low and this profoundly affected the working of the projects which had been set underway to correct the current mistakes America was facing. Additionally, George Wallace had been identified as the most significant opponent of the civil right social movement in 1963 (Wallace, Segregation). This state, therefore, meant that the rights of the African Americans had not been fulfilled and he even blocked two students of the same race from joining the University of Alabama. This act showed that he had a great hatred for the race and hence their rights would be hard restore. This act continued to disintegrate Americans and bring about more race conflicts amongst them.

In conclusion, during the 1950 and 1970s, America faced a lot of social movements which were mostly not beneficial to them. For instance, President Nixon was highly against the harmony of government officials, and this only meant that there would be more crises amongst them and less developments. Also, George Wallace was highly against the social movement which fought for the rights of the African Americans and other minority groups within the country. Unfortunately, all these disagreements acted as weaknesses for the nation to move a notch higher and achieve its social movements.

Works Cited

Shi, David E., Tindall, George Brown, and lee Jonathan. "America: The Essential Learning Edition." Inquisitive. 1865.

Wallace, George Corley. "George Wallace Segregation now Segregation forever." Black past. 1963.

Zinn, Howard. "A People's History of the United States." The Seventies: Under Control? 1971.

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