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The Importance of the Port Huron Statement

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The Port Huron Statement is often remembered as the most influential founding document of the New Left. Using the copy of the document please answer the following questions:

1. What were the historical origins of the movement that came to be known as the " New Left?"

2. Should the Port Huron Statement be viewed as a radical document? Why?/ why not?

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Solution Summary

This solution offers an explanation of the Port Huron Statement along with the influence of the "new left" movement in US society in the 1960s.

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The movement known as the "New Left" made its appearance in the early 1960s, made its peak around 1965, and finally dissipated in the early 1970s. It began as a revival of the 1930s "Old Left" civil rights, anti-war, and socialist movements. The "New Left" was closely associated with protests against the Vietnam War. The spread of the "New Left" across college campuses led to the formation of several leftist organizations like: Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Indeed many affluent, liberal-minded college students (such as Tom Hayden) were receptive to the idealism of the civil rights movement and the campaign against nuclear testing. They were determined to change society for the positive and not be labeled the "silent generation" like young adults of the 1950s.
<br>The most influential of the "New Left" political organizations was Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Those who joined SDS sought to achieve progressive social change in postwar America. In particular Tom ...

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