France Who: Workers/university students Why: Low wages/boredom, dislike of old people (respectively) What did they do: Riot, riot, riot What happened: De Gaulle had a brief panic attack, then offered a pay raise to the workers, who then abandoned the student movement to collapse What were the implications: De Gaulle crippled
Czechoslovakia Who: Basically everyone Why: Desire for better rights, freedom of press What did they do: Sit-ins, general protesting What happened: Soviets invade, Czech leaders are forced out What were the implications: End of Prague Spring, repression of Czechoslovakia, international disgrace for Soviets
Poland Who: University students Why: Discontent with the current regime, banning of theatre What did they do: Marched, a lot What happened: Government blamed “Zionists”, expelled Jews What were the implications: Post-Holocaust Jewish population is
United States Who: African Americans/college students/feminists/hippies, yippies Why: Killing of MLK, general oppression/Vietnam, Robert Kennedy assassination, no one likes Hubert Humphrey/Miss America pageant, general misogyny What did they do: Burning, yelling, rioting, sitting, marching etc. What happened: Police+protesters=lots of clubbing What were the implications: Creation/widening of the “generation gap”, oodles of social change
The 1968 Presidential Election They all ran for office…
Why They Were Unelectable SCARED OF CROKITE SECRETLIBERAL WIN RACIST SECRET HIPPIE ASSASINATED LIKED BOMBING VIETMANESE CHILDREN
Why the Election was Pivotal For the Right: -Age of Nixon -Shift to majority position (won 7 out of the next 10 elections) -Weakening of moderate elements (loss of Rockefeller) For the Left: -Division of the party: the New Left versus the party establishment -Loss of majority position (won 7 out of the last 9 elections) -Loss of the South -Establishment of the primary process
Conclusion 1968 marked the a crucial point in world history, when many of the old regimes of the World War II era were being rejected for the first time. It was a time of fierce division among the populations of many countries as many of the cultural differences between the old and new became evident. Anger grew as the youth felt increasingly excluded and alienated by the political establishment. This prompted the rise of activism, as the youth took matters into its own hands. The social climate and political activism of 1968 defines that of our present.