The Influence Of The Hippie Movement In The 1960s-1970s

For a long time, we often hear about the Hippie movement, roughly speaking. Hippies are people who dress sloppily, have untidy hair, listen to rock music, and drink heavily. So who are Hippies, where do they come from, and especially what are their influences?

Through many documents and movies, I want to redefine it more specifically and clearly so that we can better understand Hippies, their influence on American society. But more interesting and special, which few people talk about, is their great influence on the Vietnam War in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Hippie bus from the 70s traveling with friends

What Is Hippie?

The word "Hippie" is used to refer to people who rebel, go against social norms, especially against the government. Their motto is demanding freedom, anti-war, love peace, equality of ethnicity, gender, close integration with nature. 

They dress colorfully, sloppy, have long hair, messy ears. Hippies use music to show that they are big fans of Rock music, especially acid Rock or Psychedelic Rock. They also smoke and drink alcohol in high intensity and use stimulants such as ecstasy, LSD to find a feeling of euphoria. They support same-sex relationships, free sex. But more interestingly, Buddhism is revered by many hippies.

The hippies are influenced by the styles and traditions of the Indians. So we can find similarities in their clothing. Their trends and personalities such as dog-loving, nature-loving, the color of the clothes. The way they paint, decorate, and tattoo themselves. You can see hippies often playing Didgeridoo, an Australian Aboriginal musical instrument.

A semi-subterranean wooden house in Lorien Commune, New Mexico, 1969.

Why Hippie And The Rebel Youth Movement?

After the second world war in 1945, the soldiers returned home, and the world population exploded! Children born in this period inherited peace, and especially in America. Their lives were greatly improved due to the development of science and technology. The birth of a series of disc players, recording techniques…. made music explode, especially the Rock genre.

By the 1960s, the "baby boom" children became students, teenagers and wanted to express themselves. Documents claim that the origin of the hippie movement was music. But Hippie flourished in the mid-1960s and spread into the early 1970s.

The 1960s was a decade of American society with many changes and complicated problems, inside and out.

Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. The domestic student uprising movement demanded freedom against the war, black American civil rights movement. Martin Luther King 1968 (great black American human rights activist) died. Many people are unemployed, drug addiction is rampant. The Vietnam war escalated, Cuban missile crisis 1962. The cold war between the US and the Soviet Union put humanity on the brink of the third world war.

Impact With People

In the late 1960s, the hippie movement developed so strongly. Teenagers were seen everywhere with long hair, smoking, drinking, topless, etc. 

The erudite idols like Thomas Edison, Jefferson, Mark Twain… were gradually replaced by rock stars, by Elvis Presley, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan….San Francisco became the Hippie capital. The monumental music festivals were held in Monterey 1967 (California), Woodstock 1969 (New York). They attracted the participation of nearly half a million Hippies from all states.

Thousands of people gather during a rock festival on Venice Beach, California, USA, 1968.

People organize free music shows, distribute drugs and alcohol. If you're a rock fan, you'll probably know about club 27, referring to legendary music stars who died at the age of 27. 

Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse are just the next generations, but before that young legends like Jimmy Hendrix (1942-1970), Janis Joplin (1943-1970), Jimmy Morrison (1943-1971). All died of drug overdoses.

The 1960s became the decade of a fast-paced lifestyle with the strong growth of Hippie. The motto was taken from The Who's hit ''My Generation'' and became a trend among young people at that time: ' 'Hope I die before I get old' (Hope I die before I get old).

That's what Hippie's influence is all about. Hope you will have useful and interesting information after reading the above article.