Lyndon B. Johnson’s GREAT SOCIETY

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Transcript Lyndon B. Johnson’s GREAT SOCIETY

Lyndon B. Johnson’s
Powerpoint by:
Chelsea Delcourt and Max
In 1937, LBJ used a New Deal Platform (also the basis of the “Great Society) on
his campaign for the House of Representatives. (Biography of Lyndon B.
Johnson, 1)
“In 1947, Johnson voted for the Taft-Hartley Act, which banned closed shops,
allowed employers to sue unions for broken contracts or damages inflicted during
strikes, and authorized a government-imposed cooling off period of 80 days for
strikes that might endanger the national welfare. (Morrow, pg. 44)”
In 1957 he helped to pass the 1957 Civil Rights Acts.
Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson took office after President Kennedy was
assassinated on November 22, 1963. (Biography of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1)
LBJ cont.
Based off of FDR’s New Deal, Johnson wanted “to build a great society, a place where the
meaning of man's life matches the marvels of man's labor."
Kennedy failed to provide aid for elementary and secondary schooling, whereas Johnson
“The measure that was enacted gave money to the states based on the number of their
children from low-income families. Funds could be used to assist public- and privateschool children alike.”
Great Society
"This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in
America," quote by Johnson. ("United States History - Lyndon Johnson and the Great
Society." , 1)
Basis for the “Great Society”: “Aid to education, attack on disease, Medicare, urban
renewal, beautification, conservation, development of depressed regions, a wide-scale
fight against poverty, control and prevention of crime and delinquency, and removal of
obstacles to the right to vote. (Biography of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1)”
“The Great Society reached even further. A new housing act provided rent supplements for
the poor and established a Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Reductions in poverty- between 1965 and 1968, black-family income rose from 54 percent
to 60 percent of white-family income.
Great Society cont.
In 1964 Johnson succeeded in gaining passage of the Civil Rights Bill.
 “…it was the most far-reaching piece of civil rights legislation enacted since
Reconstruction. Soon Johnson addressed other issues as well. By the spring of 1964,
he had begun to use the name "Great Society" to describe his reform program, and that
term received even more play after his landslide victory over conservative Republican
Barry Goldwater in the presidential election of that year.”
“The Office of Economic Opportunity provided training for the poor and established
various community-action programs to give the poor themselves a voice in housing, health
and education programs.”
“In September 1966, Johnson signed into law two transportation bills. The first provided
funds to state and local governments for developing safety programs, while the other set up
federal safety standards for cars and tires.”
During his presidency, Johnson began to realize that it was becoming impossible to build
and maintain his Great Society because attention is focused on the Vietnam War.
Great Society Successes
Rate of poverty decreased
Economic Opportunity Act- aid to help the poor.
Medicare- federally funded healthcare for the elderly.
Voting Rights Act of 1965-provided federal supervision of voter registration.
Medicaid- companion program of Medicare. It was for people who were too young to
qualify for Medicare.
These two programs were the first to make healthcare accessible/available to those who couldn’t
afford it.
VISTA- Volunteers in Service to America
 Was a domestic peace corps of citizens working in poor neighborhoods.
 Also funded Project Head Start- preschoolers from disadvantaged families get a leg up
on elementary education.
College Work Study and Higher Education Act- provided loans for students and
In all, the Great Society was the greatest burst of legislative activity since the New Deal.
Great Society Failures
Insufficient funding due to Vietnam War cost.
 $140 billion in total
Critics could point to problems unresolved by the programs.
All in all, the Great Society couldn’t live up to its high-set standards due to its
lack of funding.
"Biography of Lyndon B. Johnson." Welcome to the White House. 29 Apr. 2009
Kotz, Nick. Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Laws
That Changed America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005.
Morrow, Lance. The Best Year of Their Lives: Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon in 1948:
Learning the Secrets of Power. New York: Basic Books, 2005.
Nash, Gary. American Odyssey. Columbus, OH: Glencoe/Mcgraw-Hill, 2003.
"President Lyndon Johnson." American History and World History From History's Home on the Web. 3 May 2009
"United States History - Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society." Country Studies. 29 Apr.
2009 <>