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In the 1960's and 1970's during the Vietnam war, the Hippie movement saw its most success as a sub group of the counterculture movement. The Hippie movement evolved out of the beat movement of the 1950's. Hippies were mostly whites betweem the ages of 15 and 25. The term "hippie" was coined by a San Fransisco reporter Michael Fallon when he described the new bohemian lifestyle that emerged in San Fransisco's Haight-ashbury district. The name was the shortening of the term "hipster" and he used it to describe the baby boomer's generation of beatniks who migrated to Haight-Ashbury from the nearby North Beach. The Hippies embraced personal freedom, love, sexual liberation and the use of psychedelic drugs like marijuana and LSD. They opposed the Vietnam War, and violence in general, as well as established institutions. The embraced a mix of values from many different religions, and rejected the values of middle-class America. Hippies were nonmaterialistic and favored a return to nature and spirituality. external image dont20worry20be20hippie.jpg
Unlike the pure protestors who marched on Washington and held boycotts and sit ins, the Hippies protested the war by separating themselves from the society that they saw as corrupt and which they thought had too much dominance over their lives. They called their oppostion "The Establishment", "Big Brother", or "The Man". They created their own communities, in places such as Haight-Asbury, with the hope that their ideology and way of life would catch on and replace the values of the society that they rejected. They aimed to change the country by being the example of a nonmaterialistic community without greed, loneliness and hate. This power they held in society was evident in their critique of the war. Hippies believed that "the establishment" or "the man" conspired against them to control and supress the innocent love of life, nature and happiness that defined the hippie lifestlye. The Vietnam war became a symbol for that which the hippies opposed. The Hippies used the words "peace" and "love" in their call for a withdrawal from Vietnam. Although their numbers represented only a small portion of the population, they cornered the culture industry and saturated public opinion on the war and other cultural issues by using their music, fashions and lifestyle. The Hippie Movement saw its climax in 1967 in what's called the "Summer of Love". Concerts like the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and later the sybolic Woodstock Music and Arts Festival drew huge attendence and cemented the hippies' place in history as a movement that affected our entire society. Hippie inspired music, notably psychedelic rock, inspired the entire country and reflected the overall opinion that the nation, particularly its youth, the baby boomers had on the war, in which they were sent to fight.


Works Consulted:

"Hippie." Wikipedia. 3 May 2007. 3 May 2007 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippies>.

Nostalgia Central. 3 May 2007 <http://www.nostalgiacentral.com/pop/hippies.htm>.