LBJ and The Great Society

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Transcript LBJ and The Great Society

• What did Eisenhower warn against in his farewell
• A = the rise of the military industrial complex.
• What was the closest that the USSR and the US ever
came to actual fighting during the Cold War?
• A = Cuban Missile Crisis
• What was the CIA backed attempted invasion by Cuban
exiles to overthrow Castro called?
• A = Bay of Pigs
• Who were the group of writers and poets who wrote of
their disenchantment with middle-class conformity in the
1950s and 60s?
• A = Beats
• What was the “GI Bill”?
• A = Serviceman’s Readjustment Act. Gave $ to WWII
vets for college and housing.
• What was “GATT”?
• General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade—lowered tariffs
to encourage trade between nations.
Final Junk
• What is America’s space program called?
• A = NASA
• What year did America put a man on the moon and who
was he?
• A = 1969, Neil Armstrong
• What was Kennedy’s program to give lots of financial
aid to Latin America to help it develop and thus not turn
to communism?
• A = Alliance for Progress
It Never Ends
• What was the main obstacle that Kennedy had to
overcome as he ran for president In 1960?
• A = His religion (Catholic)
• Who was Kennedy’s opponent in the 1960 election?
• A = Richard Nixon
• What was the name of the program started by Kennedy
to send young people to developing (3rd world) countries
to help do things such as dig wells, build schools, etc.?
• A = Peace Corps
Last but not Least
• Why did the Kennedy presidency not
produce much in the way of substantial
domestic achievements?
LBJ and The Great Society
The High Point of American
LBJ Takes Over
• JFK is assassinated on November 22, 1963.
Warren Commission
• Government commission
headed by Supreme Court Chief
Justice Earl Warren to
investigate JFK assassination.
• Said that Lee Harvey Oswald
acted alone and killed Kennedy.
• Vice Pres. Lyndon Baines
Johnson takes over.
Who is LBJ?
• Lyndon Baines Johnson
• Politician—Congressman, Senator,
and V.P.—from Texas.
• Considered by many to have been
the most effective Senate majority
leader in U.S. history.
• Can be crude & has a big ego, but
driven and ambitious.
Many liberals don’t trust LBJ.
• Johnson’s personality
and being were great
contrasts to JFK.
• Believed that Govt. could
be used to improve
people’s lives.
• Thought that America had
such abundance that
there was no reason that
anybody should live in
poverty. He was an
Johnson’s Ability to Get Laws
• Johnson was a much more skilled politician than
• He took many plans that JFK could not get
through Congress and got them made into law.
• It was because of public support over the death
of Kennedy and LBJ’s skills.
• Also, a feeling amongst many people that the
country had the means to fix social inequality.
The Johnson Treatment
• Johnson would use
whatever means
necessary to
influence members of
Congress to vote his
• His relentless, inyour-face method was
referred to as “The
Johnson Treatment.”
Michael Harrington’s The Other
• Book published in 1962.
• Claimed that despite great wealth,
approximately 25% of Americans still lived in
• Claimed that there was a “culture of Poverty”
that was both a result and cause.
• Very influential to liberals in the 1960s.
The War On Poverty
• In 1964, Johnson institutes his “War on Poverty.”
• Did not want to create a permanent welfare
state, but rather, offer programs that could end
poverty and then be dissolved.
• Final bill includes among other things: Job
Corps, domestic peace corps [Volunteers in
Service to America (VISTA)], Community Action
Programs (CAP), and the creation of the Office
of Economic Opportunity (OEO).
LBJ Wins his own Term
• Election of 1964 = LBJ (Dem.) vs.
Barry Goldwater (Rep).
• Goldwater is perhaps the most
conservative Senator at the time.
• He claims, “Extremism in defense of
liberty is no vice…(and) moderation in
pursuit of justice is no virtue.
• Makes inflammatory remarks about
using nuclear weapons in Vietnam.
George Wallace
• Gov. of Alabama.
• Racist and populist—antiintellectual/elite.
• Southern demagogue who
actually garners support
outside of the South.
• “Segregation Now!
Segregation Tomorrow!
Segregation Forever!
• Showed the “beginnings of
white backlash.”
Johnson Wins in 1964
The Great Society
• After winning election in his own right, LBJ calls
for creating “The Great Society.”
• Great Society = LBJ’s domestic plan to fix
• The most ambitious plan for government action
in a time of non-crisis.
• Is the pinnacle of American Liberalism.
Major Great Society Programs
• Medicare (1965) = Federal aid to the
elderly for medical expenses.
• Medicaid (1966) = Federal medical
assistance to welfare recipients and
other poor people of all ages.
• Head Start
• Food Stamps
• Immigration Act of 1965—ended
quotas, made it easier to immigrate to
the US.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
• Most comprehensive Civil Rights Bill since
• Banned racial discrimination in privately run
accommodations for the public—theatres,
restaurants, hotels, etc.
• Authorized the attorney general to eliminate
segregation in public places—schools, hospitals,
playgrounds, etc.
• Forbade discrimination in employment based on
race, color, religion, and sex.
Shortcomings of Civil Rights Act of
• Nothing about voting rights.
• Nothing to alleviate the poor economic
condition of most blacks.
• Thus the law promoted legal, not social
Voting Rights Act of 1965
• Federal supervision of Voter
• Makes it so blacks in the South
can vote.
• Impact of Civil Rights Act &
Voting Rights Act are that
white’s in South start to abandon
the Democratic party and
become Republicans.
LBJ & Vietnam
• When LBJ takes over, America is already committed to
supporting South Vietnam both economically and
• Johnson has great confidence in U.S. technological
superiority and thinks that “escalation” of the war will
defeat the primitive enemy.
• Gulf of Tonkin incident (1964)—Congress gives LBJ
unlimited authority to do what he wants in Vietnam.
Vietnam and the Downfall of LBJ
• LBJ’s escalation of the
Vietnam War proved to be
very divisive to U.S. society—
Hawks v. Doves.
• An anti-war movement began
to arise.
• The popular chant of
protesters became; “Hey, hey,
LBJ. How many kids did you
kill today?”
LBJ Review
• What was LBJ’s domestic plan called?
• A = The Great Society”
• A = What were some of the Great Society Programs?
• A = Medicare, Medicade, Head Start
• What did the Immigration Act of 1965 do?
• A = ended the quota system from the 1920s and made immigrating
to the US easier.
• Where did many white people move to after WII?
• A = the suburbs
More LBJ
• What were the 2 big pieces of civil rights legislation hat
were passed by LBJ during the mid 1960s?
• A = civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of
• How did the Vietnam war impact America at home
• A = was very divisive (Hawks v. Doves)
• What factors made the 1960s so tumultuous?
• A = Civil Rights, Vietnam War, the emergence of the
Counter culture.
Last One
• What was it called when many older
middle-class whites became upset with the
turmoil of the 1960s and started to support
more conservative politicians?
• A = “White Backlash”
• “Long, Hot Summers” --Blacks riot in
various cities in the Summers of 1965,
1966, 1967.
• Biggest are in Watts (1965) & Detroit &
Newark (1967).
• More Riots after the assassination of MLK
on April 4, 1968.
Counter Culture
• “Hippies” People that reject traditional values (“the
• Long hair/different clothes
• Drug use (pot and LSD)
• Rejection of mainstream ideals of sexuality
(availability of birth control).
• Eastern religion and communes.
• Change in music
Impact of Counterculture
• Health Food Stores
• Fashion
• Music
Reasons for Counterculture
• Disillusionment
– A. Civil rights
– B. Vietnam
– C. Materialism of mainstream culture.
Blame elders for creating these problems.
Creates a “Generation Gap” –-Difference in attitudes
between generations.
The End for LBJ & American
Social Turmoil of the mid to late 1960’s causes “white backlash.”
1. Vietnam war – Anti-war demonstrations.
2. Civil rights—Violence and riots.
3. Counterculture (hippies!)
To many whites (especially middle-class, blue collar), society seems to be unraveling
and they blame the party in power (and liberalism).
Also feel that they are being neglected—the minorities and women are getting the
White Backlash = middle-class whites begin rejecting liberalism and becoming more
conservative in their political and social outlooks.
This begins America’s move towards conservatism (particularly amongst blue collar
white men).
Cultural issues replace class issues.
Election of 1968
• Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy is anti-war candidate.
• “Be Clean for Gene”
• Comes in a close second in New Hampshire Primary.
• Robert Kennedy.
• Johnson decides not to run.
• Kennedy takes lead but is assassinated.
• VP Hubert Humphrey gets nomination & leads to massive protest at
Democratic convention in Chicago.
Democratic Convention—Chicago
Nixon’s Comeback
• After losing to Kennedy in 1960, loses Cal. Gov.
race in 1962.
• “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.”
• Remerges in 1968 claiming to represent the
“Silent Majority.” Says he will restore “law and
order.” Thus end the chaos of the 1960s.
• For Vietnam claims to have a secret plan to
achieve “peace with honor.”
Nixon Wins
• Republican Richard
Nixon wins the
• Segregationist
George Wallace wins
some Southern
Definitions of Political Outlooks
• Liberals are people who think that the government can
be used to fix social problems.
• On social issues, liberals tend to be for legalized
abortions, for gun restrictions, for gay marriage, and
against prayer in school.
• Conservatives are people that think the government
interferes with personal freedom. Thus tend to be
against government programs.
• On social issues, conservatives are generally against
abortion, for gun ownership, against gay marriage, for
prayer in school.
Department of Housing and Urban
• LBJ appoints an African American—
Robert Weaver—as Dept. Secretary.
• 1st African American cabinet member.