The Berkeley Free Speech Movement Analysis

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The “American Dream”, a phrase that inspired the lives of American citizens for generations. The creation of success originated from a strong work ethic; one could build himself up from nothing through persistence and hard work. This belief drove the majority of American society. Perhaps the pinnacle of these ideals occurred during the childhood of the baby boomer generation, those born from the World War II generation. Average youths in this generation grew up in comfortable, middle-class families. Older generations instilled traditional values based on materialism, patriotism, and respect for authority into the younger generation. However, the baby boomer’s ascension into adulthood in the early 1960’s caused a rupture in these ideals. With…show more content…
University superior’s actions led to rebellion against their power and backlash by the youth, causing large-scale, campus activism. The Berkeley Free Speech Movement was the movement to pave the way for 1960’s campus activism, one of the most famous instances being the 1964 Free Speech Sit-In. The University’s blatant past attempts at banning political activism led to the germination of an incredibly significant political group of student activists, the Free Speech Movement (“FSM”) led by Mario Savio, a civil rights activist and philosophy major. The FSM’s immediate response to the University’s actions was full of anger and disgust eventually led to several thousands holding a sit-in around a police car, which detained protester Jack Weinberg. During this sit-in, FSM leaders called for a lift on the University’s speech ban and freedom for Weinberg, who had been arrested because of protesting on campus. The Berkeley sit-in ended after two days by the students after the University superiors promised for the release of Weinberg and allowed for a discussion to be held regarding the political ban (Cohen). Other students followed in step with Berkley, rebelling against University superior’s actions. For example, Anti-war students at the University of Pennsylvania exposed their superiors for conducting germ warfare research for the Pentagon. These Free Speech Movements in Universities across the nation displayed a major loss in youth’s respect for educational authority, due to authoritative power’s actions that the students felt were unjust. As shown in the Berkeley Sit-In, students chose to fight against rules instilled by superiors for the first time in the history of the University. Since the normalization of University attendance, students had followed and obeyed rules and restrictions made by their school. Rules such as the political ban on
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