The Hippie Movement

The Hippie or Hippy movement was a youth movement which began in the 1960s and continued to 1970s, it was a movement that rejected mainstream American life. The movement originated in college campuses in United States and later spread to other countries like Canada and Britain.  This counter cultures ideas in political, social, cultural, and everyday values were different from what American Citizens had seen before. Many view this movement as a direct result of various national and international struggles that defines the 1950s. The Korean war (1950 – 1953), hydrogen bomb test (1954), The African American Civil Rights Movements, all these events along with technological advances lead to the Hippie movement.

Hippies advocated nonviolence and love, their popular phrase being “Make love, not war”. Both folk and rock music were an integral part of hippie culture. Singers such as Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane were among those who were closely involved in the movement. Public gatherings, sometimes part music festivals and sometimes protests were an important part of the hippie movement. One of the most prominent events of this movement was the summer of 1967 also known as the ‘Summer of Love’, it was the most widespread social and political gathering in American history then. During this summer over 100,000 people relocated to Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco. This summer is remembered best because it became the cultural center for hippies, drug use and communal living became a norm. One of other significant events was the Woodstock festival in 1969. The festival was originally supposed to a three-day long event and people from all over the world attended it, many famous artists performed at the festival. The festival was controversial and almost shut down.

Why did the movement come to an end?

There were various reasons behind the movement coming to an end like drug addiction which lead to overdosing and violent crimes. By the end of 1967 Haight-Ashbury was full of burnouts and homeless people. Another cause for the decline was The Manson and Altamont Murder. In 1969, by Charles Manson’s orders, actress Sharon Tate was murdered and during the Altamont Music Festival in 1970 a teenager was murdered while rolling stones performed on the stage. Vietnam war was also something the hippies opposed, so by 1975 when the war ended the movement also started to die down and came to an end.