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Chapter 48

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Chapter 48

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  1. Chapter 48 Johnson’s Great Society: Reform, War, Disgrace 1961–1968

  2. LBJ • Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) • Sharp contrast to JFK • LBJ folksy, middle class • LBJ product of New deal • LBJ Senate majority leader by 1955 • LBJ expert at manipulating Congress • LBJ uses charm, cuts deals, twists arms • LBJ pushes through New Frontier bills • LBJ cuts taxes $10 billion • LBJ signs Civil Rights Act of 1964 • Civil Rights Act ends segregation • Fair Employment Practices Commission • Civil Rights Act improves race relations in South

  3. LBJ • LBJ calls program Great Society • Democrats become defenders of “victimized” • Democrats party of white middle class liberals • Women’s Liberation Movement burns bras • John Birch Society • Virulently anti-Communist • Conspiratorial • Felt forces of righteousness • Force within Republican party • Barry Goldwater was extreme conservative • Election of 1964 • LBJ wins 61% of popular vote • Nation still grieves for Kennedy • Many fear Republican candidate Barry Goldwater • Goldwater seen as right-wing extremist

  4. The Great Society • Domestic Program • LBJ continues New Deal programs • War on poverty: Job Corps, Head Start • Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), Medicare • Aid to schools, grants and loans to students • National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities • Critics • Conservatives claim trying to solve problems with money • Some programs not good oversight or management • Created white working class backlash

  5. Vietnam! Vietnam! • Ho Chi Minh Communist nationalist • Ho declares Vietnam independent after WWII • French fight to regain Vietnam with U.S. aid • U.S. refused to sign Geneva accords, 1954 • U.S. backs Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam • Diem oppressive, unpopular • U.S. provides Diem financial aid • NLF (Viet Cong) organize against Diem • Kennedy sends troops to Vietnam • Kennedy withdraws support to Diem • Diem assassinated; political chaos follows

  6. Mr. Johnson’s War • U.S., increased presence in Vietnam, 1964 • LBJ offers aid to North Vietnam for peace talks • Ho refuses to speak for NLF • NLF refuses to negotiate unless U.S. withdraws troops • LBJ accepts domino theory • LBJ fears South Vietnam becoming Communist • Congress passes Gulf of Tonkin Resolution • LBJ uses Resolution to escalate war

  7. Mr. Johnson’s War (cont.’d) • War escalates • 500,000 troops in Vietnam by 1967 • U.S. bombs North Vietnam, sprays defoliants • U.S. tries to initiate peace talks • North Vietnam just escalates in return • Tet Offensive • U.S. military promises peace • Enemy makes big gains in Tet Offensive • U.S. quickly regains territory • Tet Offensive destroys public support for war

  8. Troubled Years • LBJ craves consensus, unity • American people extremely divided • Hawks and Doves • Hawks say LBJ too cautious with war • Doves are anti-war, liberal Democrats • Increasing anti-war demonstrations • More young dodge draft • Anti-war movement • No unifying ideology • Some protestors radicals, some pacifists • Some believe war undemocratic • Some believe it hurts diplomacy

  9. Troubled Years (cont.’d) • Student movement • Widespread discontent among college students • Students for a Democratic Society • Groups push for greater democracy, aid to poor,etc. • Free Speech Movement, 1964 at Berkeley • Counterculture • New way of life based on “love” • Includes promiscuous sex, drugs, wild fashions • “Hippies” try communes, acid rock • Favor individual self-gratification

  10. Election of 1968 • Eugene McCarthy • LBJ can run for reelection • McCarthy announces candidacy • McCarthy attacks LBJ’s war policy • Johnson retires • Students go “clean for Gene” • Johnson knows he lacks support over war • Johnson announces retirement

  11. Election of 1968 (cont.’d) • Hubert Humphrey runs for Democratic nomination • Robert Kennedy runs for Democratic nomination • Sirhan Sirhan assassinates Kennedy • Humphrey gains nomination • Republicans run Richard Nixon • Democrats divided • George Wallace runs on segregationist ticket • Wallace hopes to throw election into House • Nixon refuses to stand with Humphrey against Wallace tactics • Nixon wins by narrow margin

  12. Discussion Questions • What is meant by the “Great Society”? How did it change America in LBJ’s time? Are they elements still in society today? • What was LBJ’s Vietnam policy? How successful was it? How did it affect his presidency? • Examine the counterculture movement of the 1960s. How does it connect with drugs, the New Left, hippies, and the anti-war movement? • Discuss the 1968 election and the impact of Hawks and Doves.