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Kennedy & the New Frontier

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Kennedy & the New Frontier

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  1. Kennedy & the New Frontier

  2. JFK’s New Frontier But, it was not the 1st time TV influenced politics… • The election of 1960 between Richard Nixon & John F. Kennedy was the 1st to use TV debates: • Nixon was much better known buttheTVdebates helped swing undecided voters towards JFK • 1960 marked the beginning of television dominance in politics • Image & appearance became essential traits for candidates McCarthy was destroyed by TV in the Army-Senate hearings Eisenhower used TV to campaign in 1952 & 1956 Nixon used to TV to defend himself in the “Checkers” speech TN Senator Kefauver used TV to investigate organized crime

  3. JFK’s New Frontier • Kennedy’ administration reflected youth, energy, & sharp break from Eisenhower • JFK promised a New Frontier: • Domestic reforms in education, health care, & civil rights • A foreign policy committed to defeating the Soviet Union & winning the Cold War The JFK era began “Camelot” comparisons with JFK as a modern-day Lancelot

  4. JFK’s New Frontier …the extension of Social Security… Aid for public schools… • JFK’s New Frontier promised a return of FDR-era liberal policies: • But, Conservatives in Congress opposed JFK’s social reforms in education & health care • Congress did help the poor • The modernization of industry, gov’t spending, & a major tax cut in 1963 stimulated the economy & created jobs An increase in the minimum wage …and medical insurance for the elderly were all shot down by Congress …unemployment benefits… Increased funds for public housing

  5. JFK’s New Frontier • One long-lasting achievement of the JFK-era was strengthening the presidency: • Eisenhower left many decisions to his staff, but JFK demanded more direct presidential control • JFK transferred much of the decision-making power from the cabinet to his White House staff JFK appointed tough, pragmatic, & academic “New Frontiersmen” to his staff Kennedy referred to his staff as the “the best & the brightest”

  6. Kennedy Intensifies the Cold War

  7. Kennedy Intensifies the Cold War • Addressing U.S. foreign policy & containing Communism was JFK’s top priority as president: • JFK believed Ike compromised with the USSR when the Cold War could have been won • JFK aimed to close the “missile gap” & increase U.S. defenses • Looked to solve issues in Berlin, Vietnam, & Cuba “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival & success of liberty. We will do this & more.” —JFK’s inaugural address

  8. Flexible Response • JFK shifted from Ike’s “mutually assured destruction” to a “flexible response” capable of responding to a variety of future problems: • Increased nuclear arsenal to 1,000 ICBMs & 32 Polaris subs to create a “first-strike” capability • Increased the army & air force • Expanded covert operations & created the Green Berets JFK was convinced that the USSR had more missiles, but really the U.S. had the lead with 600 B-52s, 2 Polaris subs, 2,000 warheads To combat Communism & to help underdeveloped countries, JFK created the Peace Corps & the Alliance for Progress

  9. The Space Race The Apollo Program • JFK hoped to avoid another Sputnik & hoped to beat the Soviets to the moon: • JFK greatly expanded NASA & announced that the U.S. would get to the moon by 1970 • The U.S. landed a man on the moon in 1969

  10. Crisis over Berlin • JFK’s 1st confrontation with the Soviet Union came in Berlin: • Khrushchev was upset with the exodus of skilled workers from East Germany to West Berlin • The USSR threatened to remove all U.S. influence from West Berlin, but settled on building the Berlin Wall in 1961

  11. “Ich bin ein Berliner” —JFK, 1963

  12. Containment in Vietnam • Vietnamprovedtobeatoughtest: • Since 1954, Communist leader Ho Chi Minh gained popularity in North Vietnam; By 1961, he gained a foothold in the South • The U.S. gave aid to unpopular South leader Ngo Dihn Diem • When Diem lost control of the South, JFK gave the OK for a coup against Diem in 1963 “Strongly in our mind is what happened in China at the end of World War II, where China was lost. We don’t want that.” —JFK

  13. Vietnam Viet Minh are Vietnamese communists in North Vietnam Viet Cong are Vietnamese communists in South Vietnam

  14. Monk Quang Duc protested Diem’s treatment of Buddhists

  15. Containing Castro: Bay of Pigs • Fidel Castro took over Cuba in 1959&developed ties with Russia • The Eisenhower administration (directed by the CIA) had been training Cuban exiles for an invasion & overthrow of Castro • In 1961, JFK gave the OK for the CIA to initiate the Bay of Pigs invasion JFK blamed the Republicans for allowing a “communist satellite” to arise on “our very doorstep”

  16. The invasion called for U.S. air support but JFK canceled the air strike; without air support, Castro squashed the invasion Kennedy took full responsibility for the failure of Bay of Pigs, but did not apologize for coup

  17. Cuban Missile Crisis 24 medium-range & 18 short range ICBMs • To protect Cuba from another U.S. invasion, the USSR began a secret build-up of nuclear missiles • On Oct 14, 1962 a U-2 spy plane discovered Cuban missile camps • How would the U.S. respond? Immediate air strike? Full-scale invasion? Kennedy chose to “quarantine” Cuba to keep new missiles out & an invasion of Cuba if the USSR did not remove its nukes Diplomacy: trade nukes in Cuba for nukes in Turkey? Naval blockade to keep warheads out?

  18. Kennedy announced a quarantine (blockade) to keep more missiles out & demanded that the Soviets remove the missiles already in Cuba The Cuban Missile Crisis "We are eyeball to eyeball, and the other fellow just blinked." —Sec of State, Dean Rusk

  19. Cuban Missile Crisis And…U.S. removal of nuclear weapons in Turkey • The standoff ended when Russia removed its Cuban missiles & the USA vowed to never invade Cuba • The impact of the crisis: • SeenasapoliticalvictoryforJFK • Installed a “hot line” to improve US-Soviet communications • This near-nuclear war convinced both sides to move from confrontation to negotiation “Our most basic common link is the fact that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. We are all mortal.” —JFK

  20. “Let Us Continue”

  21. "Let Us Continue" • On Nov 22, 1963 in Dallas, JFK was assassinated & VP Lyndon Johnson became president: • LBJ was a master politician with a reputation for getting results • LBJ promised to continue Kennedy's liberal agenda • LBJ ultimately exceeded JFK’s record on providing economic & racial equality LBJ helped push through the greatest array of liberal legislation in U.S. history (“Great Society”), surpassing FDR’s New Deal

  22. Americans were stunned this rapid succession of events

  23. Lyndon Johnson in Action • LBJ quickly pushed through Congress 2 key “Kennedy” bills: • A $10 billion reduction in income taxes that led to increased consumer spending & new jobs • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 that declared segregation in public facilities illegal & protected black voting rights The most significant legislation on race since the Reconstruction Amendments

  24. Lyndon Johnson in Action • In 1964, LBJ waged a “war on poverty in America” & created the Office of Economic Opportunity: • Created the Job Corps for high school dropouts • Head Start for preschoolers • Adult education & technical training opportunities • As a result, America had 10 million fewer poor people by 1970 In 1964, the U.S. had 35 million poor people

  25. The Election of 1964 • In 1964, LBJ ran against: • Conservative Republican Barry Goldwater rejected LBJ’s liberal welfare programs & called for a stronger foreign policy stance • Segregationist George Wallace • LBJ won in a landslide & the Democrats took control of Congress for 1st time in 25 years

  26. The “Daisy” Campaign Spot http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1964/peace-little-girl-daisy

  27. The Great Society • Once elected, LBJ initiated his “Great Society” domestic agenda: • Medicare & Medicaid extended health insurance to the elderly & the poor • Extended $1 billion to improve public & parochial schools • The Voting Rights Act of 1965 banned literacy tests & provided for federal registrars for polls

  28. The Triumph of Reform • By 1965, Congress passed 89 laws or reforms as part of LBJ’s social agenda: • The Great Society was the most comprehensive agenda of social reform since FDR • But…the American people did not respond well to LBJ • Soon…events in Vietnam, would taint his presidency

  29. Johnson Escalates the Vietnam War

  30. LBJ Escalates the Vietnam War “I am not going to lose Vietnam. I am not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went.” —LBJ • LBJ continued JFK’s strong foreign policy positions too: • He supported CIA-sponsored coups in Brazil, Panama, & the Dominican Republic • LBJ continued Eisenhower & JFK policies towards Vietnam • But in doing so, LBJ found himself under attack from Congress, the media, & universities

  31. LBJ Escalates the Vietnam War • During the Gulf of Tonkin affair in Aug 1964, the military bombed North Vietnam in retaliation for an attack on the USS Maddox • The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave LBJ the authority to: • Defend Vietnam at any cost • Unlimited military intervention to be used at LBJ’s discretion

  32. The Vietnam War

  33. Escalation LBJ’s advisors wanted 100,000 troops in 1965 & a plan for 100,000 more in 1966; Estimations were 500 U.S. deaths per month • 1965 marked the beginning of full-scaleU.S.involvement in Vietnam • LBJ was informed that “without U.S. action, defeat is inevitable” • LBJ authorized bombing raids into North Vietnam & requested 50,000U.S.soldierssenttoAsia • LBJ never explained to the American people how the gov’t planned to win the war in Vietnam LBJ took middle road of limited U.S. intervention: not a withdrawal & not a full-scale invasion of North Vietnam

  34. Stalemate • By 1968, 500,000 U.S. troops stationed to keep Vietnam from falling to Communism • U.S. bombings & “search & destroy” attacks were ineffective • Soviet & Chinese weaponry freely flowed into North Vietnam • Reckless bombings killed thousands of innocent civilians • The bloody stalemate & media depictionofthewarledtoprotests

  35. Image of the “My Lai Massacre,” 1968

  36. Conclusions • The early 1960s under JFK represented consumer spending, a strong stance on the Cold War, & more social reforms at home • The transition to LBJ in 1963 brought success at home (civil rights & the Great Society) • But, heightened involvement in Vietnam signaled the onset of the counter-culturemovementby1968

  37. A Generation in Conflict:1965-1974

  38. A Decade of Protest: 1965-1974 The Sixties generation was the best educated in American history • The decade from 1965 to 1974 was marked by protest due to: • Escalation of the Vietnam War • Attack on middle-class values • Increased college enrollment • The initial liberal protests began on college campuses but soon inspired other, national protests: Protests against Vietnam linked other social criticism—The “war abroad,” intensified a “war at home” African-Americans Mexican-Americans Native-Americans Women Hippies

  39. The Student Revolt Refused to allow Free Speech movement to collect money for off-campus causes • The student protest movement began at UC-Berkeley in 1964 with the Free Speech movement • Students protested the “corporate face” & “1950s rules” of UC-Berkeley • Students rioted when denied a political voice on campus • This inspired the formation of Students for a Democratic Society to end racism, poverty, & violence

  40. Mario Savio & the Free Speech riots The Berkeley protests & University of Michigan-based SDS inspired riots on campuses across the USA Brown University ended required courses & grades Many colleges ended “in loco parentis” rules

  41. The “New Left” • Student activism reflected a new democratic political movement called the “New Left” • Promoted youth involvement in issues (“participatory democracy”) • Supported Civil Rights • Rejected conventional “1950s” roles for young people • Opposed the conflict in Vietnam The Vietnam War was the most significant issue of the “New Left”

  42. The Cultural Revolution Increase in premarital sex & use of the “pill” Harvard professor Timothy Leary: “Let’s all try LSD!! Tune in, turn on, & drop out!” “Summer of Love” in 1967 • The student protests coincided with youth counter-culture in 1965 • Beginning in San Francisco & spreading throughout the US, the “hippie” culture emphasized: • Sexual expression • Clothing • Drugs • Music Use of psychoactive & hallucinogenic drugs “Everyone must get stoned,” Bob Dylan Folk music British invasion & electric rock Acid rock

  43. Folk singers like Joan Baez & Bob Dylan (until Dylan discovered the electric guitar) “Electric rock” like The Beatles “Acid rock” like the Grateful Dead Music was an important element to 1960s counter-culture

  44. Is this the nation’s youth?? Drugs Sex Rock ‘n’ Roll No work ethic? Mostly children from upper-middle class families

  45. 1968:The Year of Turmoil

  46. 1968 • 1968 was one of the most turbulent years in U.S. history • Martin Luther King Jr. & Robert Kennedy were assassinated • Riots broke out at the Democratic National Convention • The Tet Offensive showed that the USA was not winning the Vietnam War

  47. Protesting the Vietnam War • The most dramatic focus of youthful rebellion was Vietnam: • Mostly led by college students who escaped the draft • Students protested the draft, military research on college campuses, & disproportionate use of black & Hispanic soldiers • Protests got stronger as fighting intensified in Vietnam in 1966

  48. U.S. Troop Levels in Vietnam

  49. Vietnam in 1968 • In 1968, the Vietcong launched the Tet Offensive against U.S. forces in South Vietnam • The attack was contrary to media reports that the U.S. was winning the Vietnam War • The attack led LBJ to believe that Vietnam could not be won • In 1968, LBJ began discussions to seek a truce & announced that he would not seek re-election