What is Counterculture?
An anti-war parade outside the Washington Memorial

  • With many of the the young teens avoiding the war by burning their draft cards, fleeing to Canada or going to college, these educated men and woman who avoided the war were able to help contribute to movements.
  • Throughout the 1960's society's normal values were whisked away, particularly amongst the youth. Many college aged men and woman became politically educated and became political activist and started movements that were able to push civil rights and anti war beliefs to the public.
  • Also throughout the 1960s the baby boom was entering its teen years, and in numbers and size they represented a larger force than any prior generation in the history of the United States. As more children of middle-class Americans entered college, many rejected the suburban conformity designed by their parents.The youth questioned America's cultural and political views, and with the young seeking a better world to live in. With the use of music, politics, and alternative lifestyles, an era was created which came to be known as The Counterculture Era.
  • In this era, citizens from the U.S. faced many strong issues such as civil rights, the Vietnam War, nuclear arms, and also the environmental use of drugs, sexual freedom, and nonconformity.

Vietnam Era Counterculture Movements
external image mario_savio_car.jpg
  • Some of these movements came to be known as The New Left, Free Speech Movement, Youth Internationals Party, and even the Students for the Democratic Party.
  • For most of the other men and woman who didnt go to college, they became involved in a culture which revolved around drugs, rock n roll and alcohol along with an altenative type of appearance and lifestyle. These type of people came to be known as "hippies".
  • The sexual revolution came into full play during the 1960's on American college campuses.
  • Birth control and the rejection of traditional views of sexuality led to a more casual attitude toward sex. Along with this attitude, more displays of public nudity became a commonplace.
  • In time, living together outside marriage shattered the old norms.
  • The Hippie lifestyle began to be known for sexual promiscuity and recreational drugs, such as marijuana, salvia, and the hallucinogenic LSD, acid, and sometimes mushrooms.
  • The Counterculture Youth of American broke profoundly amongst the youth communal lifestyles, innovations in food, fashion, and music.
  • In addition to the different views in sexual attitudes, many of the youth and young adults experimented with drugs such as Marijuana or LSD which were used the most common.

marijuana strain/ white widdow
marijuana strain/ white widdow


LSD tab/ people placed on thier tongues in order to cause halucination or in other words make you "trip".
LSD tab/ people placed on thier tongues in order to cause halucination or in other words make you "trip".

Drugs, Alcohol and Rock "n" Roll
    • The sex and drug culture reflected around the rock culture which influenced the counterculture era were Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and groups such as Jim Morrison and Th Doors, The Grateful Dead, and Jefferson airplane each contributed the the 1960 to mid 1970's culture. Along with the music, their fashion and appearance helped landmark the hippie era.
    • Some of the Most common signs of a hippie would be long hair, tye-dye shirts, facial hair, beards, sandals, beads, and Levi jeans.
    • The Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco and the East Village in New York became the focal points of counterculture throughout the 1960's. Also one of the biggest contributions to the counterculture was the 1969 Woodstock music festival which hosted many of rock n rolls greatest bands.
    • Un-counted numbers of adolescents left home or school in the early 1970s to enjoy the hippie life in Boston, New York's Greenwich Village, San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, or in rural communes.
modern days counterculture fashion
modern days counterculture fashion
Jim Morrisin

Jimi Hendrix live at woodstock
Jimi Hendrix live at woodstock

Fashion during the 1960's-1970's
  • During the 1970's, mini-skirts, bell bottoms, platform shoes, and flared jeans were popular. Some articles represented the hippie movement, where other pieces represented a rebellious side like mini-skirts did. Platform shoes and other attire represented the dance scene, or the disco era. Flared trousers and bellbottoms led the way to the hippie stage introduced in the 1960s.
  • In 1964, bell-bottomed trousers were a new alternative to the capris of the early 1960s. They were usually worn with chiffon blouses, polo-necked ribbed sweaters or tops that bared the midriff.
  • One protest method against war would be men growing out their hair to very long lengths due to the fact that the first thing you had to do when entering war would be to shave your head.


Colleges were starting to become crowded as soon as the Vietnam War started. The reason for the increase in college applicants is for the weak men who didnt want to be drafted into the Vietnam War.

Back to the Home Page