LBJ’s Path to Power Lyndon Baines Johnson was from Texas working-class family. He entered politics in 1937 as a Representative Johnson idolized FDR, and he styled himself as a “New Dealer” and spokesperson for the small ranchers and struggling farmers He had interest in politics that helped the poor and working classes
A Master Politician LBJ had a legendary ability to persuade senators to support his bills; people called it the “LBJ treatment” LBJ used his imposing physical size and intimidating personality to get his point across and persuade senators to vote in his favor “its tone could be supplication, accusation, cajolery, exuberance, scorn, tears, complaint and the hint of threat. It was all of these together. It ran the gamut of human emotions…”
The LBJ Treatment
What is the LBJ treatment?
Johnson’s Domestic Agenda Once he was President, Johnson asked Congress to honor the late President Kennedy by passing the civil rights and tax bill that he had proposed Early in 1964, Congress did indeed pass a tax reduction of over $10 billion This lead to economic growth because people spent more, which means more profit for businesses, which increases tax revenue Then later in 1964, Congress also did (finally) pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964: prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, and sex LBJ was able to persuade Southern Senators to stop blocking its passage
The War on Poverty Once Kennedy’s proposals were made reality, LBJ moved to pass his own agenda. His vision for America is called the Great Society. This included alleviating poverty in what he called a “war on poverty in America” LBJ proposed, and Congress enacted, the Economic Opportunity Act (1964); it created programs designed to fight poverty: Job Corps Youth Training Program VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) Project Head Start Community Action Program
What problems in American society did the Economic Opportunity Act seek to address?
-what problems was the Act made to solve?
The 1964 Election Dem: Lyndon B. Johnson Rep: Barry Goldwater Believed federal government had no business trying to right social and economic wrongs Suggested he would use nukes on Cuba and North Vietnam Believed federal government should continue to help right social and economic wrongs Johnson did not think we should send troops to Vietnam
The 1964 Election LBJ won the election by a landslide, winning 61% of the popular vote and 486 electoral votes; Goldwater won only 52 electoral votes Democrats also increased their majority in Congress A Democratic President with a majority Democratic Congress: LBJ could launch his reform program (the Great Society) full speed ahead.
Building the Great Society The Great Society was LBJ’s vision for America in which there would be no poverty and no racial injustice Also, a higher standard of living, equal opportunity, and richer quality of life for all By the time LBJ left the White House Congress had passed 206 of his proposals
Building the Great Society- Education LBJ considered education “the key which can unlock the door to the Great Society.” The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 provided over $1 billion in federal aid to public schools to buy textbooks and library materials First major federal aid package for education in the nation’s history
What were the goals of the Great Society program?
What did LBJ want to achieve in this Great Society?
Building the Great Society- Healthcare LBJ and Congress changed Social Security by establishing Medicare and Medicaid Medicare: provided hospital insurance and low-cost medical insurance for almost every American age 65 and older Medicaid: extended health insurance to welfare recipients
Building the Great Society- Immigration Before 1965, existing immigration laws established immigration quotas that discriminated strongly against people from outside Western Europe Under LBJ’s administration, the Immigration Act of 1965 opened the door for many non-European immigrants to settle in the United States by ending quotas based on nationality
Reforms of the Warren Court Just as LBJ’s presidency was characterized by liberal reform, so was the Supreme Court of the 1960s characterized by liberal reform The Chief Justice of this Court was Earl Warren, so the court is called the Warren Court The Warren Court took an activist stance on the leading issues of the day
Warren Court: Brown v Board of Education Supreme Court declared school segregation unconstitutional
Warren Court- reapportionment Reapportionment: the way in which the states redraw election districts based on the changing number of people in them Cases: Baker v Carr (1962), Reynolds v Sims (1964) “one person, one vote” Federal courts had the authority to tell states to reapportion (re-divide) their districts for more equal representation
Warren Court- Rights of the accused The Warren Court greatly expanded the rights of people accused of crimes Mapp v Ohio (1961): the Warren Court ruled that evidence seized illegally could not be used in court Gideo v Wainwright (1963): Court required criminal courts to give free legal counsel to those that could not afford it Escobedo v Illinois (1964): ruled that the accused person has a right to have their lawyer present during questioning Miranda v Arizona (1966): all suspects must be read their rights before questioning
Miranda RightsCorrect Miranda Rights
How did the Warren Court change American society?
Impact of the Great Society The Great Society and the Warren Court changed the United States Lyndon B Johnson extended the power and reach of the federal government more than any president in the post-WWII era Poverty did decrease, from 21% to 11% A growing budget deficit LBJ had been a peace candidate in the 1964 election, yet later on he was called a “hawk,” a supporter of the Vietnam war