Vietnam & the 1970s American History II - Unit 7 Ms. Brown
Review • What were the 2 components of the Vietnamization plan? • Turn fighting over to the South Vietnamese • “Peace with Honor” – withdraw from war with dignity • What 3 incidents during Nixon’s administration weakened support for the war? • Knowledge of My Lai Massacre – US troops “ordered” to kill civilians • Invasion of Cambodia – Nixon sent troops into a country not involved with the war • Leaked Pentagon Papers – proved the gov’t always planned on escalation of war in Vietnam • What agreement marked the end of the war for America? What marked the end of the war for the Vietnamese? • 1973 - Paris Peace Accords – end of war for US • 1975 – Fall of Saigon – end of war for Vietnamese • Provide 2 ways the Vietnam War affected America. • 58,000 American deaths and 303,000 wounded • Veterans struggled at home – discrimination, shame, PTSD, drugs, alcohol, suicide • Vietnam Syndrome – Americans more cautious about intervening in global conflicts • Americans distrust the gov’t • War Powers Act – restricted the power of the President as Commander in Chief
1960s Counterculture • Counterculture – a 1960s movement made up of mostly white, middle-class college youths disillusioned with the Vietnam War and injustices in American society • Shared some beliefs of the New Left, but didn’t challenge or try to change the system • Left school, work, and home to create an idealistic community of peace, love, and harmony.
1960s Counterculture • Late 1960s – Hippie Era AKA “Age of Aquarius” • Counterculture members – “hippies,” influenced by the 1950s Beat Movement (disapproved of materialism, technology, and war) • Rock’n’roll, music festivals • Alternative fashion – torn jeans, tie-dyed shirts, military garments, love beads, Native American jewelry, long hair • Sexual freedom • Drug use – marijuana, LSD (acid) • Eastern religions – Zen Buddhism to attain enlightenment through meditation • Rejected conventional home life – joined communes (a group of people living together and sharing possessions and responsibilities) • Many hippies in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury (LSD legal until 1966)
Decline of the Counterculture • 1970 – Age of Aquarius died • Drug culture became dangerous and bred violence and illness • Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix overdosed on drugs in 1970 • “Communes” were not practical, the care-free attitude was not sustainable • “We were together at the level of peace and love, we fell apart over who would cook and wash dishes and pay the bills” • Needed money to live, many returned to mainstream society and got jobs
Effects of 1960s Counterculture • Art – rise of pop art (bright, simple, commercial looking images) • Andy Warhol – repeated images to look mass-produced and impersonal, criticizing materialism and the “cookie-cutter” lifestyle
Effects of 1960s Counterculture • Music was a large part of the Hippie Era – Woodstock – 1969, music and art festival in NY with 400,000 participants • Mostly hippies, opponents of Vietnam War – surprisingly peaceful and well-organized • Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane • Rock’n’roll became even more popular due to The Beatles – British band, extremely popular in America, broke up in 1970 • Girls loved them, boys wanted to be them • Inspired countless other musicians and bands
The Conservative Response • Republicans and conservatives criticized and questioned 1960s Counterculture… • Threat to law and order, promoted anarchy • Promoted moral decay • Disrespected established social norms • 1968 - Nixon’s election to POTUS represented this backlash and set the nation on a more conservative course • Conservative clash most prominently with the Women’s Liberation Movement of the late 1960s-70s
Emerging Women’s Movement • Feminism – the belief that women should have economic, political, and social equality with men • Mid-1800s – Seneca Falls Convention drafted the Declaration of Sentiments • Early 1900s – Suffragist movement and 19th Amendment (1919) • Feminist reawakening during the 1960s • 1961 - JFK created the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women women paid less for same jobs, seldom promoted to management positions • Civil Rights and anti-war protest experience (and discrimination within the movements) led women to take action on their own beliefs
Emerging Women’s Movement • 1950s – Betty Friedan surveyed American women and found that many women were unhappy and dissatisfied with their seemingly “perfect” lives • 1963 – The Feminine Mystiqueexpressed the discontent many women felt due to societal, economic, and political limitations
Emerging Women’s Movement • Feminism spread across the nation Late 1960s – “Women’s Liberation Movement” • “consciousness-raising” sessions – women meet formally or informally and discuss shared problems “This is not a movement one ‘joins.’ The Women’s Liberation Movement exists where three or four friends or neighbors decide to meet regularly… on the welfare lines, in the supermarket, the factory, the convent, the farm, the maternity ward.” - Robin Morgan, female activist
“The Personal is Political” • Most backlash concerning Women’s Lib centered on the argument that women’s “personal problems” had no place in the “political arena” • Women’s Lib activists responded with the phrase “the personal is political” - belief that women’s personal problems are not entirely their own fault, but are the result of systematic oppression • Women had always been told that they were unhappy or inferior because they were weak, stupid, mad, hysterical, having a period, pregnant, frigid, over-sexed, asking for it, etc… • Women were actually in bad situations because they experienced gendered oppression through structural problems in society that affected them deeply and PERSONALLY • When many people share the same personal problems… it becomes a public issue for the political arena
Creation of NOW • 1966 – 28 women (including Friedan) established the National Organization for Women (NOW) • Believed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) didn’t adequately address women’s grievances • Pushed for more childcare facilities (some subsidized) so women could pursue jobs and education • Pressured the EEOC to enforce the ban on gender discrimination in hiring and pay • EEOC pressured Congress to add Title VII to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – sex-segregated job ads illegal, illegal to refuse to hire women for traditionally male jobs
Gloria Steinem • Journalist and political activist, outspoken Women’s Lib supporter • 1971 – helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus – moderate group that encouraged women to seek political office • 1972 – helped found Ms. magazine designed to address issues from a feminist perspective
A Diverse Movement • By the late 1960s, Women’s Lib claimed over 175,000 supporters • Mainstream Women’s Lib – mostly white, middle class • African American groups worked for race and gender equality • Some openly lesbian members, many straight feminists were homophobic (fearing that lesbians would discredit the movement)
“Bra Burning” • New York Radical Women staged a publicized demonstration at the 1968 Miss America Pageant – burned “women’s garbage” (bras, wigs, etc) over “Freedom Trash Cans” • “Bra burning” was not a popular activity, but was widely publicized with this event • Modeled activism for other women • More moderate support of Women’s Lib • “Ms.” instead of Miss or Mrs. • Married women began keeping or hyphenating their last name
Title IX • 1972 – Title IX of the Education Amendments – ban on gender discrimination in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance • Increased opportunities in sports activities (more funding) • No discrimination against pregnant and parenting students • No discrimination towards women entering STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs • Addresses sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination, and sexual violence
Roe v. Wade (1973) • Background • June 1969 - Norma McCorvey pregnant, friends advised her to falsely state she was raped to obtain a legal abortion in Texas • Texas - abortion legal only when life of mother was threatened, rape, or incest • No police report documenting the rape, McCorvey was denied an abortion • Sued filed (under alias Jane Roe) against Dallas DA Henry Wade for denying abortion Weddington (Roe’s lawyer) Norma McCorvey (Roe)
Roe v. Wade (1973) • Arguments - Roe • The right to an abortion is protected by the implied right to privacy – 14th Amendment (guaranteed liberty) and 9th Amendment (protects rights of the people not explicitly listed in the Constitution/BoR) • In no case in its history has the Court declared that a fetus is a person. Therefore, the fetus cannot be said to have any legal "right to life.“ • The Texas law banning abortion should be declared unconstitutional • Arguments – Wade • The government has a duty to protect all life (created at conception) and unborn people are protected by the Constitution. • The Texas law banning abortion protects the health and safety of citizens, including the unborn.
Roe v. Wade (1973) • Decision – 7-2 in favor of Roe • Majority opinion • A woman’s right to an abortion falls within the right to privacy as protected by the 14th and 9th Amendments. • Women are granted total autonomy over their pregnancy during the 1st trimester (90 days), and states can make laws on the 2nd/3rd trimesters. • Did NOT make any comment as to when “life” begins • Dissenting opinion – White and Rehnquist • "If the state had an interest in protecting the potential life of the fetus" -- which, he believed, the state did -- "that interest existed, and was equally strong, throughout the pregnancy.“ • "The Court apparently values the convenience of the pregnant mother more than the continued existence and development of the life or potential life that she carries,"
Roe v. Wade (1973) • Public opinion – MIXED! • Support – Pro-choice • Vital to the preservation of women’s rights beyond abortion • Protected autonomy of the female body and female thought • Opposition – Pro-life • No Constitutional foundation for decision, therefore states should be allowed to make their own laws on the issue • In the absence of consensus about when “life” begins, it is best to avoid the risk of doing harm • Religious objections
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) • 1972 – Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) – designed to outlaw government discrimination on the basis of sex • BUT the ERA needed ratification by the states (38/50) before taking effect • Pro-ERA • Feminists, liberals • Women and men should have the same rights - “simple justice”
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) • Anti-ERA – “New Right” • “pro-family” movement, anti-feminist • Phyllis Schlafly – anti-feminist, ERA opponent • ERA would lead to the drafting of women, end of laws protecting homemakers, end of husband’s responsibility to provide for family, unisex public restrooms, same-sex marriages, etc • 1978 - Original deadline for ratification, 35/38 states deadline extended until 1982 • 1982 – 35/38 states ERA died
Women’s Lib Legacy • Transformed women’s conventional gender roles • Changed attitudes towards family and careers • 70% (1965) to 7% (1972) of female college graduates planned to stop work to raise children • 1970 – females were 8% of medical school graduates and 5% of law school graduates (1998 – 42%, 44%) • Increased women in politics • 1983 – women held 13.5% of elected state officials, 24 seats in US Congress • By 1980, “feminist concerns were firmly on the national political agenda and clearly there to stay.” - historian Sara Evans