The positive argument is that there was more freedom, individuality and experimentation. There were protests about people’s beliefs, which led to positive achievements such as more equal opportunities for men and women and the legalisation of homosexuality in 1967. Abortion was also made legal in 1967 and capital punishment stopped in 1965. The pill became available, family planning clinics were set up and divorce became easier from 1969.
Education was made comprehensive so that all children had more equal opportunities and the school leaving date was extended. There was a rise in the standard of living, which meant that there were less poor or homeless people and this was because more people were working and earning money. Britain also became a more multi-cultural society due to the Race Relations Act in 1965.
The negative argument is that when things went wrong in society more people were led astray. The new youth culture of the 1960’s embodies irresponsibility, selfishness and dangerous drugs. By the end of the 60’s especially, there was a lot of tension, there were violent riots and student protests turning violent. There were deaths at a Rolling Stones concert in the USA in 1965, which caused an uproar. The hippy movement which had provoked a peaceful, idealised lifestyle degenerated in drug taking. This was also the period that saw the beginning of organisedterrorism. It was a period of challenge to families, authority, church, government, law and order as they were all being undermined by the new ‘modern’ culture
Overall, I think the 60’s were a good thing as certain things are indisputable, such as the improvement in the standard of living.
The welfare state was enhanced, for example there were improvements in the NHS, education was extended making it better and social services were improved. I think there is also a down side to the 60’s, such as the violence and the drug taking, but there were more good changes than bad in society at this time.