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Old 01-16-2012, 09:35 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Think about the sheer contrast between 1960 and 1969. The 60s were decidedly old-fashioned; I think of that era in black and white, because most TV, films etc were still in black and white. America was still cocooned in an idyllic suburban world of checkered shirts, cars with big fins and fenders, drive-in, hops...we were at loggerheads with the Soviets. Society was very conservative. Segregation in the South. Of course we know how much changed in the 60s...socially, culturally, all those revolutions, wars, the space race. In many respects 1969 isn't much different from today in terms of youth culture, attitudes to social issues such as sex, marriage.etc. Women still had a way to go, as did other races and minorities, but it seems like 1969 was a completely different world to 1960. I think of 1969 in glorious technicolour, it's hard to believe Woodstock was in the same decade as 1960...In contrast 2010 doesn't seem all that different to 2000.

Would you agree more changed in those 10 years than any other in history? Would 1890-1900 be comparable?
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:03 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
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I would think that any decade during the Black Death saw more change. Or the decade in which the Mongols showed up in your neighborhood. Or 1939-49. Or when the Commons in Britain were enclosed. Just for starters.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
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I guess it depends on what kind of change you are talking about...

But for sheer turd-stirring, I would call the 1940's the "most changeful decade" of all time, 3 major world powers vanished, two other relatively weak ones rose to the top, hundreds of millions of people were killed and/or displaced.

On the technology front, we went from propeller driven biplanes and rather pathetic monoplanes to jet aircraft, bolt-action rifles to submachine guns, television was invented and so was the nuclear bomb. Suburbia was also "invented" in the 40's to house returning GIs after the war and instead of scaling back, wartime production was retooled to create consumer culture itself.

The 60's on the other hand had hippies, protests and a trip to the moon (with rocket technology developed by German scientists in the 40's, BTW) The lifestyles of the majority hardly changed from the previous and subsequent decades, however...
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:54 AM
 
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Oh definitely, the 1920s were as well.

Things changed very quickly and very suddenly in the 1960s. I can see it from looking at the yearbooks from that time era. 1960-1962 resembled the 1950s, all the boys had their hair cut short and neatly combed with their dress shirts on. All the girls had their hair all girly and fixed up with their dresses down to their mid-calf. Around 1963, I started noticing the "beehive" hairstyle on girls and the dresses were slightly shorter (up to the knee). In 1964, the boys hairs looked a little bit messier. After this point, I noticed that the boys had longer and longer hair with each passing year. The girls hairstyles became bigger and bigger. Their dresses and skirts- even shorter. Then in the early 1970s, you see them wearing pants.

It's like nothing changed between the mid 1940s to the early 1960s. Then around 1963/64 ish, everything kind of exploded and spilled out.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:26 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90sman View Post
Oh definitely, the 1920s were as well.

Things changed very quickly and very suddenly in the 1960s. I can see it from looking at the yearbooks from that time era. 1960-1962 resembled the 1950s, all the boys had their hair cut short and neatly combed with their dress shirts on. All the girls had their hair all girly and fixed up with their dresses down to their mid-calf. Around 1963, I started noticing the "beehive" hairstyle on girls and the dresses were slightly shorter (up to the knee). In 1964, the boys hairs looked a little bit messier. After this point, I noticed that the boys had longer and longer hair with each passing year. The girls hairstyles became bigger and bigger. Their dresses and skirts- even shorter. Then in the early 1970s, you see them wearing pants.

It's like nothing changed between the mid 1940s to the early 1960s. Then around 1963/64 ish, everything kind of exploded and spilled out.
Yes I call 1946-1963 the 'Postwar Era' or the 'cultural 50s.' A decade of conservatism lived under the shadow of the Cold War. A lot DID change, but it just didn't appear like that on the surface because people's dress, mannerisms and attitudes didn't. The biggest change in that era I see was the boom in the 'modern lifestyle' in the 50s as the Boomers were kids, and the development of Rock'n'Roll (Chuck Berry, Elvis etc) which replaced the Bobby-soxers like the Rat Pack and that kind of sentimental oldies style music. 1963-64 saw the rise of Civil Rights/MLK, the assassination of Kennedy, the start of Beatlemania, the Gulf of Tonkin incident and the start of Vietnam - all the things which would precipitate the defining changes and events of the decade and shape the decade. They set the stage for the decade. Hence I feel the 'real 60s' only began about 1964. Which makes the change from 1964 to 1969, particularly 1964 to 1967, pretty mind-boggling. We went from British invasion mop tops to psychedelic rock in less than 3 years. Long hair wasn't exactly common in 1964, most people didn't know what a hippie or a beat was...then in 1967 all that changed.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:26 PM
 
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
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Having read thru this, and considering my personal knowledge/experiences, perhaps we should speak of the time from 1939 thru about 1980 as being "the most changeful period" in history.

Whaddaya think?
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:10 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nighteyes View Post
Having read thru this, and considering my personal knowledge/experiences, perhaps we should speak of the time from 1939 thru about 1980 as being "the most changeful period" in history.

Whaddaya think?
Well yeah definitely but I was just thinking of one decade.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Well yeah definitely but I was just thinking of one decade.
Then the lesson here might be avoiding boxing yourself in by postulating an artificial time period. Say for example that someone felt that the period 1965 through 1977 represented the most "changeful" time period. That answer isn't on your list, instead we have to fit events into specific decades, which really don't mean anything, they are just convenient distinctions we have created to help keep track of our chronology. It isn't as though some switch is thrown at the end of each decade and suddenly all is different because the calendar has been changed.

In my lifetime there have been three major social revolutions, each of which resulted in dramatic changes to American culture and traditional values. The Civil Rights movement we might peg as '54 through '65. The femnist movement dates '70 through about the end of the '80's, and the gay rights movement which began in the mid '70's, is still incomplete, but vastly different.

When I began my life, blacks were waiters and doorkeepers and maids and bellboys. They were just sort of invisible in the background..and assumed to be happy as such without greater aspirations. You could be a famous black man if you were a muscian or a prizefighter, but that was about it. Women were housewives, or if unable to catch a proper man, they could be nurses, teachers cashiers and waitresses. They were not lawyers and doctors and corporation heads. Gays of course were in the closet still and not spoken of it all, save for disgust if one should be exposed as a homosexual. We just sort of pretended that they didn't exist, and tolerated them as long as they kept everything completely hidden.

I don't know how to squeeze all that into one specific decade.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Central Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90sman View Post
Oh definitely, the 1920s were as well.

Things changed very quickly and very suddenly in the 1960s. I can see it from looking at the yearbooks from that time era. 1960-1962 resembled the 1950s, all the boys had their hair cut short and neatly combed with their dress shirts on. All the girls had their hair all girly and fixed up with their dresses down to their mid-calf. Around 1963, I started noticing the "beehive" hairstyle on girls and the dresses were slightly shorter (up to the knee). In 1964, the boys hairs looked a little bit messier. After this point, I noticed that the boys had longer and longer hair with each passing year. The girls hairstyles became bigger and bigger. Their dresses and skirts- even shorter. Then in the early 1970s, you see them wearing pants.

It's like nothing changed between the mid 1940s to the early 1960s. Then around 1963/64 ish, everything kind of exploded and spilled out.
Having lived this, I totally agree with you especially in regards to fashion and have always said that the '60's was like 3 decades in one! Before the JFK assassination, we were more like the 50's in dress, conformity, conservativeness, and wanting to help others who were not as fortunate as we were. Then after he was shot, soon came the Beatles and other British groups which totally changed not only our music, but also our fashion as the "mod" look was now "in" as skirts got shorter but men's hair got longer. No more "sedate" dressing that is for sure! And then the WAR and civil rights and MLK and Malcolm X and Timothy Leary and then the true fight for individual freedoms in the spirit of Emerson and Thoreau....hence the year of the hippies beginning around 67. And from there, to be honest, began our decline in civility and in other areas as assassinations and riots and demonstrations took hold, and people were beginning to thing that maybe self-discipline and personal responsibility were dirty words as they wanted to be totally free....but in contrast, it was also a time where science and technology grew putting a man on the moon, developing color tv for all, and eradicating many diseases.

And to me that is why this decade is really like 3 culturally for us; and in truth, like the OP said, it did go from black and white in so many areas and where the UK and the USA had the most influence on pop culture throughout the world.

Last edited by Sagitarrius48; 01-16-2012 at 06:57 PM.. Reason: added more
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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[Sagitarrius
Quote:
Before the JFK assassination, we were more like the 50's in dress, conformity, conservativeness, and wanting to help others who were not as fortunate as we were. Then after he was shot, soon came the Beatles and other British groups which totally changed not only our music, but also our fashion as the "mod" look was now "in" as skirts got shorter but men's hair got longer.
Is fashion really represenative of major changes? Although styles change, we are really just throwing off the prevailing conformity and replacing it with a different conformity. Everyone dressing one way, and then another, isn't overthrowing conformity.
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