What were some of the movements that were prominent during the 1960s?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were a number of movements that were prominent to one degree or another during the 1960s.  Let us look at some of the ones that were most prominent.

One of the most important movements of this time was the Civil Rights Movement.  This movement did not originate in the 1960s (having begun in the 1950s with such events as the Montgomery Bus Boycott), but it reached its peak in this decade.  It had its greatest successes with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Another of the most important movements was the women’s movement.  This movement’s major moment in the 1960s was the 1963 publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique.  This was also the decade in which the National Organization for Women was created.

A third movement was the anti-war movement.  The Cold War was at its hottest in the mid-1960s.  In 1964, the Johnson Administration got Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and truly massive American involvement in Vietnam began.  That led to a great deal of opposition to the war within many parts of American society.

Finally, there was the counterculture.  This was not a political movement per se, but more of cultural movement.  The counterculture hoped to remake American society with a different set of values.  They wanted to make the US less materialistic and less inclined to obey authority.  This was the “hippie” movement that, to many people, typified the 1960s.