The decade of the 1970s was in many ways a continuation of the late 1960s. The liberals and radicals of the 1960s inspired the social-justice crusades or liberation movements of the 1970s. There was new freedom for women, homosexuals, Native Americans, Chicanos, the elderly, the handicapped, and other minorities.
This decade, however, also reflected the dashed hopes and widespread political disillusionment that followed. Assassinations (John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy), campus unrest and urban riots, the resignation of President Richard Nixon, and American participation in the Vietnam War all contributed to the unease of the decade.
The seventy-five million baby boomers who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s were maturing in the 1970s. They had educations, jobs, careers, freedom, and independence. What they did with these things and the choices they made in their leisure time are as important as indicators of American society as how they voted. Their huge numbers made an enormous impact on everything in the culture, and their tastes and fads became national trends. As they matured from children to adults, they had an important influence on every aspect of American society.
(The entire section is 1169 words.)
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