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1960‟s Britain and BeatlemaniaWas it really swinging?
The 1960‟s The legacy of the sixties has been definitely very important for the development of society and culture in Britain The sixties were in many respects revolutionary. It was marked by not only pop music, mods and rockers, flower power, the Vietnam War, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, or CND for short and a rediscovery of poverty.
Decolonization In 1960 that the British Prime Minister, Harold MacMillan gave his “Wind of Change speech” to the Parliament of South Africa, on 3 February 1960 in Cape Town The speech signalled clearly that the British Government intended to decolonise and most of the British possessions in Africa subsequently became independent nations in the 1960s.
Was Britain really swinging? In some ways, the cliches of the 1960s are true for some. In the media the economy seemed to be good, unemployment appeared to be non- existent and wages were steadily rising.• Millions of families bought their first cars, washing machines, fridges and televisions. Millions of teenagers, too, were transfixed by the sound of the Beatles and the look of Mary Quant• But it doesn‟t mean that they could imitate the lifestyle.
In other ways no.. A true reflection of Britain in the 1960‟s also includes “a rediscovery of poverty” – there was an assumption by the post-war government that the welfare state had eradicated poverty. The continued existence of poverty in the Sixties was also characterised, tragically, by differences in health between different social classes. Slum housing still existed. Wages for many people were still low – creating extreme socialism and strong unions which would mark the 1970s. The Beatles were the icons of the decade, but the lifestyle they represented was not a reality for ordinary Britons. The Beatles did not reflect a widespread take-up of alternative lifestyles throughout the country.
Social blur between the classes The increasing pay slightly blurred the boundaries between classes this concerned mainly the working class and the middle class, the upper class being a bit detached. Regional accents, many of which had been connected with the working class (e.g. Cockney), began to be generally accepted and started to appear on television and radio And above all, people of working class origin began to be successful, of which the Beatles are an excellent example.
Changing Attitudes Many of young people of Britain were against the “Victorian moral code” with its prejudices and uptight attitudes. The sixties can be considered to be a response to the fifties. Marked by affluence, youth, drugs, pop, and equality movements. The sexual revolution that started in the U.S in the sixties influenced the country and inspired many important changes.
Changes and important cases in British Law „Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ is a novel by D. H. Lawrence that was written in 1928 and printed at that time privately in Florence. The publication of the book caused a scandal due to its sexual content. When it was published in Britain in 1960, the publishers were charged under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959 was a major public event and a test of the new obscenity law. At the trial various academic critics, were called as witnesses, and the verdict, delivered on November 2, 1960, was not guilty. This resulted in a far greater degree of freedom for publishing explicit material in the United Kingdom.
Changes and important cases in British Law Abolition of the Death Penalty Act 1965 In 1967 two crucial laws were passed. The Abortion Act made it easier for women to have an abortion. Sexual Offences Act ended prosecution of homosexuality. The “Victorian moral code” wasThe Moors murders were carried out by relaxed, British society becameIan Brady and Myra Hindley between more liberalJuly 1963 and October 1965, deathpenalty abolished while awaiting trial
Music In the sixties entertainment and fun ceased to be the chief and only purpose of music, and a new form emerged: music that carries a message, songs in which the lyrics are more important than the tune. Bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and The Who
John Lennon - Rhythm GuitarGeorge Harrison - Lead GuitarPaul McCartney - BassRingo Starr - Drums
The Beatles Most people in Western society who has not heard “She Loves You” or “Help!” The hairstyle the Beatles were wearing in the first half of their career is usually referred to as the „beatle-hairstyle Glasses with round rims are called „lenonky‟ in Czech, Allusions to their songs and lives are often used in movies
Why were they so popular? Their fresh and cheeky behaviour must have been appealing to British teenagers in the early sixties. Fashion does not last very long, but Beatlemania lasted more than three years (it started in October 1963 and stopped by 1967) Popular with teeny boppers / young girls
Influences For example, when in the late 1960s the Beatles, who had previously been marketed as clean-cut youths, started publicly acknowledging using LSD, many fans followed. "All You Need Is Love" was a popular saying in the 60s anti- war movement. The song was released in the middle of the Summer of Love (1967). It was a big part of the vibe.
Brian Epstein - Manager The Beatles early success has been attributed to his management and sense of style. Paul McCartney said of him: "If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian.” Epsteins homosexuality was a secret that had to be avoided throughout his public life, as it was not decriminalised in England and Wales until the year of his death of an accidental drug overdose at his home in London.
Going into the 1970s 1967 was the beginning of the end of the Beatles after Brian Epstein‟s death “More popular than Jesus” comment The contradictions at the heart of the affluent society were becoming increasingly apparent. Despite Harold Wilsons promises of endless growth thanks to his National Plan, the economy was running into serious trouble. A year later, the public punished the Labour government for its perceived under-achievement. A new and much unhappier era was at hand. an era of industrial confrontation, rampant inflation, an unexpected oil shock and an unwelcome return of mass unemployment.