The Youth Movement, Counterculture, and Anti-War Protests

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Who started the Hippie Movement?

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Rebeka Auer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Hippie Movement originated from the term hipster, which was a word used to describe the beatniks of the 1950s.

In the '60s, the poems and novels of the beatniks were becoming increasingly popular among the younger generation, who related to the anti-establishment views that they expressed.

Adopting the beatnik's ideas on finding inner peace and even the study of Eastern religions, they turned their attention to wider problems such as the Vietnam War and civil rights. College students, in particular, began rejecting the middle-class values of their parents and advocating non-violence and peace, hence such mottos as "make love not war."

The hippie movement expressed itself through singers like Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, bands like the Beatles and Love, writers like Ken Kesey (the writer of One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest) and films like Easy Rider.

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djbutler241 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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There is not one person who is credited with starting the Hippie Movement, but there are several social reasons why many young people during the 1960s and 1970s strayed away from the mainstream society and began to live the Hippie lifestyle. Its origins may trace to European movements such as the Bohemians, who deeply valued art, music, and literature. During the 1960s, many young people in the United States were enraged at social issues, such as civil rights, equality for women, and the growing tension in Vietnam. There was also anger towards authority and a curiosity about psychedelic drugs. Due to this unrest, the Hippies took a countercultural stance and believed that there were other "American Dreams" that did not involve traditional beliefs and culture. The Hippies created different music, believed in peace and love, and were known for experimentation with sex and drugs. Although there is not one root cause or one primary leader, the Hippie Movement was an outlet for many frustrated young men and women who needed to separate themselves from what they believed to be a corrupt society and create a utopian society instead.

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