Slient Majority White southerner voters for Nixon in the 1972 election won him the election P. 35 people who wanted change began to speak, war protestors

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Slient Majority

  • White southerner voters for Nixon in the 1972 election won him the election

  • P.35

  • people who wanted change began to speak, war protestors, black militant/radicals

  • realignment of national politics

  • targeted white southerners said he would slow pace of desegregation

  • blue-collar notherners


  • break in happened 1972

  • the covert agencies Nixon established in the white house and the wide range of illegal and subversive activities they conducted

  • break into Watergate apartment and bug the telephones of Democratic national chairman

  • * was the most obvious of nixon’s efforts to narrow the space for political organizing and public action in American life

  • “gate-ing” of America  got attached to every little problem, LED a tangled legacy = significance  forever altered the way Americans saw politics  corrupt

  • Diret involvement of the president  using his powers

  • Timing was after Vietnam

  • Raises questions about president power/ toppling of a president


  • 1970 – “stop kicking the south around” Nixon declared

  • New locus of power in national policics, a region that connected the booming subdivisions of the metropolitan south, Florida to southern California and the desert southwest.

  • Republican Virginia, the Carolinas, florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky

  • Gov gave more money to south which meant stronger politics

Busing/ Millikin v. Bradley

  • P. 57

  • 1974 did not bus students between Detroit and neighboring suburbs

  • Significance = people with the means can abandon any commitment to city schools or educations for their less advantaged neighbors

  • Residential segregation

Milton Street/Tenants Action Group

  • Found in 1974 to engage in political advocacy and militant grassroots organizing

  • Tenant complaints/grievances as well as concerns about housing and redevelopment policy from African American, white and Latino communities across the city

  • Built an organizational framework to respond to the deepening housing crisis

  • Dedicat4ed itself to mobilizing “direct action: throughout the city to force legislation protecting the rights and interest of the poor

  • Streets threatricalization of protest definitely squatting to send a message but could be to give people housing needs

  • Milton street- housing activist that led squatting movements  joined because controversy over the placement of his hotdog stand

  • Significance = a power shift in the city government and social transformation in racial terms

Regents of the University of California v. Bakke- Allan Bakke a white male applied twice for admission to the University of California Medical School at Davis and was rejected both times. The school reserved sixteen places in each entering class of one hundred for “qualified” minoritites, as part of the universities affirmative action program. Bakke’s qualifications exceeded those of any of the minority students admitted in the two years Bakke’s applications were rejected. Bakke contented, first in the California courts, then in the Supreme Court, that that he was excluded from admission solely on the basis of race. There was no single majority opinion. Four of the justices contented that any racial quota system supported by government violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Justice Lewis Powell, Jr., agreed, casting the deciding vote ordering the medical school to admit Bakke.

The “Me Decade”- the 1970’s was an era of narcissism, selfishness, personal awareness rather than political awareness, Novelist Tom Wolfe coined the term Me decade in New York magazine in August 1976. The term describes a general new attitude of Americans towards atomized individualism and away from community in clear contrast with the 1960s. US peoples obsession with self-exploration, seeking new identities and sources of spiritual awareness’s. People in the 70s “plugged in” the breaking off of conventional society (family & community) to create world of their own, ex; young people found communes, elderly retirement centers, new age spirit seekers. The eclectic religious revivals new spiritual searches. The revival of ethnicities among white (Jews, Italians, Irish, poles, Wasp, etc) as a result of the black power movement, instead of focusing on assimilating to the WASP ideal American ethnic minorities developed pride. The “Me decade” attitude led to the escaping of the mainstream, leading to subcultures and enclaves.

Singer-songwriters-Who: Individual artists such as James Taylor and Jackson Browne Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, and Carole King

What: Musicians who write, compose, and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies

Where: All over the nation

When- shift from 1960’s rock to the 1970’s singer/songwriter movement (1970-1976 were the boom years)

Significance: reflected a larger narrative of transformation from the search for the beloved community to the search for self, from the concern with social justice and global peace to the quest for inner peace, from fighting to liberate the oppressed to the triumph of personal liberation. Women singer/songwriters strived to achieve a subjective voice as artists with an integral personal vision, escaping the confines of their tradition roles within the music industry as one-dimensional sex objects. Male singer/songwriters explored the more sensitive, “feminine” regions of their emotional range more often than had the 1960’s rockers. Singer-songwriters forged a new kind of political message that was more informal, gradualist, and outside the scope of institutional change than the 1960’s. These artists came around to engage, in politics and social issues as they journeyed into the middle age, in ways that sought to reconcile authentic self-expression creative autonomy and commercial ambition with larger communitarian and global concerns.
New Age-

Who: Metaphysical leaders began to articulate the New Age vision by 1971. The East West Journal was the first national periodical to serve the New Age movement as it began publication in 1971. Werner Erhard established est (aka Erhard Seminars Training), the first and most influential self-motivation training seminar. In 1972, Baba Ram Dass, a 'transformed refugee from the psychedelic age, appeared as the movement's first major prophet and published "Be Here Now," the first of a series of influential treatises. Also in 1972, the first national directories of New Age networks appeared: "The Year One Catalog" and the "Spiritual Community Guide."

New Age had their own theologians such as: David Spangler, author of "Emergence: The Rebirth of the Scared", Marilyn Ferguson who wrote "The Aquarian Conspiracy" which became the movement's bible, and dissident Roman Catholic priest Matthew Fox.

What: New Age encompassed a broad range of beliefs and activities. It included non-Western spiritual traditions (i.e. Zen Buddhism, yoga, and Native American spirituality), and other types of supernatural phenomena and belief systems (i.e. channeling, Wicca, and neopaganism). New Age claimed certain spiritualistic branches of environmentalism like Gaia worship and featured a variety of therapeutic disciplines (i.e. meditation, herbalism, and Arica). The movement synthesized Western psychology, the occult, and Eastern spirituality.

Where: The movement had a spiritual center, the Esalen Institute, which was a place to soak up spirituality from the most respected gurus of the new consciousness. 10,000 people a year went to the institute's central California campus, attending seminars and bunking with roommates in rustic accommodations. The institute became a 'Mecca for an entire generation.' Esalen co-founder was Michael Murphy.

When: The New Age emerged circa 1971. By that year, the New Age achieved a significant level of popularity.

Significance: By late 1970s: the ''consciousness revolution" extended across the U.S. and a network of therapeutic and spiritual outlets emerged, serving millions of Americans that were 'dissatisfied with their lives, looking for a direct experience with God, or just plain bored.' The New Age formed part of a broad evangelical awakening.

Pgs 96-100 “The Seventies”

New Right- A movement of older married women and younger religious women disturbed by the achievements and the cultural style of women’s liberation. Family- the New Right theorists see the family as the cornerstone of society. The nuclear family is the ‘normal family’ in the view of the New Right. The New Right sees the family in a state of deterioration. They point to the following evidence to support their claims: lone-parent families, fatherless families, and divorce rates. Crime- People will commit crime if the benefits outweigh the risk involved. Therefore, suggesting remedies like harsher sentences would help resolve crime. Te main problems of crime is it prevents the formation and maintenance of community. With the absence of community, crime rates soar. This ideas helped pave the way for President Regan to win the election of 1980


Who: A neoconservative in American politics is someone presented as a conservative but who actually favors big government, interventionalism, and hostility to religion in politics and government.

That reflects both their emphasis on foreign policy and their downplaying the significance of the differences in cultures and religion around the globe. In contrast to traditional conservatives, neoconservatives favor globalism, downplay religious issues and differences, are unlikely to actively oppose abortion and homosexuality. Neoconservatives disagree with conservatives on issues such as classroom prayer, the separation of powers, cultural unity, and immigration. Neoconservatives favor a strong active state in world affairs. Neoconservatives oppose affirmative action with greater emphasis and priority than other conservatives do. On foreign policy, neoconservatives believe that democracy can and should be installed by the United States around the world, even in Muslim countries such as Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

CBGB- (Country, Bluegrass, and blues)

What- A music club that started in the early 70s in new York, it was originally intended to for just the music in the title. However it started the punk music movement through the performances at the club, one of the first venues for The Ramones

Where- Started in Manhattan

Who- Started by Hilly Kristal lead to the American punk music trend.

When- 1973

Significance- Started an anti-authority movement in the American youth, and cause revolt at a time where people were searching for personal Identity

Saturday Night Fever

What- Movie that came out in 1977 depicting the life of a blue collar worker, that on the weekend got away from work, and went out with his friends drinking and dancing.

Who- Iconic figure of John Travolta in the white suit, on front cover

When- 1977

Where- working class communities

Significance- working class people could relate with the Travolta character. Made the weekends an escape from regular day to day life to the disco scene where they could release tension. People knew the movie, and the soundtrack by the Bee Gees which was a top sellar for a short period of time. polyester fakery, its sense of hedonism, its supposed cultural bankruptcy

New Hollywood

What- A movement of new younger filmmakers into the industry. They influenced what was shown in films, as well as how it was filmed marketed and produced. The move from huge motion picture companies to smaller more independent ones began. Also the age targeted by movies has become younger.

Who- Young filmmakers, Actors and the younger audience in America

When- mid 60s- early 80s (Bonnie and Clyde, 1967)

Where- LA, Hollywood area, movies played nationwide

Significance- Started a new trend that was never seen before in the film industry. Showing some violence and sexual nature which was never before seen. Also targeted a younger crowd and was partly reason for the movie rating system to start.

OPEC Oil Embargo

What- An oil embargo against the United States in 1973. It was in response to the U.S. deciding to resupply Israel in the Yom Kippur War.

Who- Arab members, along with Egypt, and Syria

When- 1973

Where- Arab nations and the U.S

Significance- Generated an oil crisis in the United states causing an increase and gas prices, and a rationing of resources. Also made the United States society realize that they were too dependent on foreign resources, and that many households were consuming beyond their actual needs.

Proposition 13

What- A billed that was passed that limited the yearly inflation that was allowed on property taxes. The bill also called for an equal distribution of fund among the districts no matter how wealthy they were. It also stopped the reassessments of properties so their taxes could not rise to the point where they could not afford them.

Who- Californians

When- bill passed June 6, 1978

Where- Cali

Significance- Lowered property taxes across the state. Also limited how much taxes could rise on properties year to year keeping the taxes affordable for the people living there.


What- Slang term used to describe middle class people that were in their 20s-30s. That were identified by their constant rise in society and their over consumption and spending and are mocked for it.

Who- Middle class people in their 20s-30s, that were obsessed with their social standing, and constantly spent money on unneeded things to prove social status. Considered vain and materialistic.

When- Term was used in the late 70s/early 80s


Significance- Made society look down on these people because of their actions, and their material nature, and unneeded spending.

Essay (50 Points)
Two of the following topics will appear on the midterm examination. You are required to write a coherent essay about one of them. Make sure you avail yourself of the relevant course materials and integrate their insights as fully as possible in framing your answer. Be sure to use specific examples and evidence to support the well-articulated argument you introduce in your introductory section.
2) In Patty’s Got a Gun: Patricia Hearst in Seventies America, William Graebner’s analysis relies heavily on the idea of the 1970s as a “transitional” period between the liberal 1960s and the conservative 1980s. On the other hand, historian Andreas Killen has argued that “More than simply the aftermath to the 1960s and the prelude to the 1980s,” the 1970s “should be considered on its own terms, as a distinct cultural moment, a moment of rupture and discontinuity in American history but also of tremendous creativity.”
Which historian’s characterization of the 1970s holds greater explanatory power and why? What are the most salient virtues and shortcomings of these two competing characterizations of the decade?
A: Killen’s main explanatory power argues that Patty’s “conversion” to SLA solider Tania was an extreme version of the attempts to “revolutionize” the self that proliferated in the 1970s, famously label by tom wolf as the “me decade”.

– the largely positive reading of changing self, emphasizes its subversive, antiauthoritarian possibilities, suggest a cultural link with the punk rock and NY scene reflect her highly individualized transformation

  • Patty exhibited the “wild travesties of patriarchal authority” which killen identifies with Manson, and Lyndon LaRouch cult figures who responded to the social instability of the late 1960s and early 70s with fantasies of male dominance

  • Killen write that “Amid the wreckage Americans discovered that instead of being the chosen people they had become a nation of survivors” this statement is due to wave of closing factories, skyrocketing gas prices & home heating bills, stagent stock market, and rising divorce rates and single parent families

  • The idea developed that during the 70s people were independent survivors from one disaster to another, they were living through a disastrous era that defined life as survivorship, this was seen in movies and songs, Saturday night fever & Bee Gees Stayin alive.

  • Rising personal responsibility = with the anti-viticm sentiment, this idea even the POWs from Vietnam were looked at as hero’s not victims by the Nixon administration, Patty was not a victim

  • Also Silent Majority Public sentiment of Rich vs. Poor, Patty shouldn’t go free because of her social position and family wealth

Also, Andreas Killen argues, in 1973 Nixon used his frequent welcoming sessions for released POWS to establish an iconic image of the POW as triumphant male hero, a figure of resistance unchanged by years of captivity, doggedly clinging to his faith in American institutions. Even as the withdrawal of American troops signaled a humiliating end to the long war, the imgae of the immutable POW stood for a curius sort of victory, or at least a refusal to be defeated, and it foreshadowed a decade-long effort to use the POW issue to recast and redefine conflict in Vietnam. For our purposes, the prominence of the POW issue in national politics in the mid 1970’s exposes the ideological currents that swirled through Patty’s trial as the defense sought to associate Patty with vicitimized Korean War POWs and the prosecution tried just as hard to dismiss the analogy or, indeed, any relationship to the POWs. If the Patty/ POW link was found to be valid, to explain her conduct, it would have reflected badly on the new, highly political image of the Vietnam POW, threatening to destabalize that image and to disrupt the campain on which it was based. And it would have allowed a woman into the heroic pantheon. Americans could do anything they wanted to do. During the 1970’s, the great American anxiety was the anxiety of captivity- the captivity of cult followers, of those held hostage by Iranian militants, of the POWs, of Patty Hearst in the close-each instance a reminder that U.S. power was in decline.

3) Is there such a thing as a “Seventies sensibility?” If so, what are its unique attributes? If so, how do you reconcile the seemingly contrasting idea that the 1970s were an age of limits with the hedonistic, self-absorbed image of much of 1970s popular culture? Was 1970s culture a distinct break with that of the 1960s, or did it demonstrate important continuities with that earlier decade?

A: The public perception of the seventies, especially from those who grew up in the sixties and earlier, are misguided. Those individuals view the seventies a 'wasted' generation, a rootless youth culture wavering between the political commitments of the 1960s and the career ambitions of the 1980s - a generation that spent much of its uncertain time 'wasted.' The Seventies recall more serious concerns and depressing events: hostages in Iran and defeat in Vietnam, double-digit inflations, and lines at the gas pumps. The decade accomplished nothing worth remembering and nothing remains except insignificance of those years.
However, as Schulman argues throughout the "The Seventies," the decade was an era of transformation in America, a distinct break with that of the 1960s. The Seventies transformed American economic and cultural life as much as, if not more than, the revolutions in manners and morals of the 1920s and the 1960s. The decade reshaped the political landscape more dramatically than the 1930s. In terms of race relations, religion, family life, politics, and popular culture, the 1970s marked the most significant watershed of modern U.S. history, the beginning of our own time.
There were many historical events in the 70s that changed the way America thought. In 1973 alone, there was: the end of American intervention in Vietnam, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, the exposure of the Watergate conspiracies, the Indian occupation of Wounded Knee, and the first Arab oil shock. Billie Jean King won the Battle of the Sexes, "The Godfather" was the dominant film, and evangelical preached Jim Bakker, made his debut on airwaves to create "God's television."
The distinct break from 1970s culture with that of the 1960s came from significant fundamental changes in the 1970s. The nation's center of gravity shifted south and west. Political power, economic dynamism, and cultural authority continued to spread into the south. Before the 1970s, there was minimal influence in the nation from the South as Southern politics were put on the backburner as it was considered odd and different in the 1960s. Lyndon Johnson believed the country would never elect a southerner president. During the 1960s, southern culture had even lesser respect than their politics and Americans regarded the region as a land of moonshine and racism, a place that you passed as quickly as possible on your way to Florida. However, during the dace of the seventies, the transformation of the South and Southwest was substantial. The change was led by a booming economy and increase in population within the area. The region was renamed the Sunbelt as it sent the winning candidate to the White House in every election after 1964. The region's power was centered around the skyscrapers of Atlanta, the space centers and shopping malls of Houston, the subdivisions of suburban Charlotte and northern Virginia, and the retirement centers of Florida. The South had political, religious, and cultural influences throughout the nation as Country Music spread to New York City.
Another break/change from the 1960s to the 1970s was the growing skepticism of the government in 1970s. Due to increased skepticism of their political 'idols,' the seventies Americans relied more on the market and businesses rather than the government to provide essential services. Private enterprise, not government, was used to satisfy the country's social and economic needs. The 70s also allowed for reinvention of oneself. Men were able to grow their hair long and wear mustaches or beards. A new ethic of personal liberation was ushered in from the older notions of the 1960s.
The decade also created a frenzy of new associations and affiliations: religious pilgrimages and secular communes, senior citizen centers, and ethnic organizations, neighborhood associations, and mall-walking societies. The perspective of American civilization was to find personal fulfillment within a small community. The destruction of American public life and attempt to reconstruct the nation as a congeries of separate private refuges revealed itself across the traditional political spectrum and among all demographic groups. It energized the political left and right. It appeared in suburbs and cities, in religion and secular life. Politics increasingly became more intent to protect and nourish privatism.
During the period of the 1970s, the United States experienced a makeover, a reshaping to political, religious, cultural, and social landscape. Its economic outlook, political ideology, cultural assumptions, and fundamental social arrangements changed. As Schulman notes, Seventies sensibility offered an antidote to the Sixties sensibility, an antidote devised by a generation of youth just plain sick and tired of being told how they missed out on the glory days.



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