Abstract: How the political climate influences music

Throughout time, music of all forms has been used as a political outlet for musicians to reflect on the political events of the time. This study will specifically analyze how the political climate in America during WWII and the Vietnam War influenced and shaped the music during this time. While WWII was broadly seen as a time of unity with all citizens contributing towards the American victory on the home front and abroad, the Vietnam War divided society, with many citizens disapproving the government’s decisions and resenting the acts of American soldiers abroad. This study will focus on the comparison between these two political events and how the music of the time reflected these differences between unity and divide. The findings of this study aim to show a strong connection between politics and music. This connection would suggest that music can be used to educate the general population on political history and current events in an engaging and innovative way, and to voice opinions in times of political conflict in a constructive and useful way, rather than using violence and forceful speech to get messages across. By understanding the deeper meanings of songs and how they reflect the political climate, people can learn about their world and gain empathy towards their forefathers and fellow citizens, which is what I hope to show through this analyzation of the influence of the political climate on music.