Paper 1 Michael
Looking back at the history of the United States helps open our eyes to the positive and negative impacts of decisions made by our elected officials. No matter who is President, we can find many accomplishments and failures a like. President Lyndon Johnson is no different. He had many successes and failures. One of his most notable accomplishments is creating the Great Society. This was his plight to attack poverty, race, and immigration. He decided after a report produced by the Council of Economic Advisers in 1964 that he would work to eliminate poverty. The report “estimated that 22 percent of the nation’s population lived in poverty, lacking adequate food, shelter, and clothing” (Schultz, 2013, p 494). He persuaded Congress to pass the Economic Opportunity Act, which was designed to include many programs to eliminate poverty. Many of these programs delt with education and jobs. He also worked to create Medicare and Medicaid to provide medical insurance for the elderly and poor (Schultz, 2013). When it came to civil rights of Americans, he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which “outlawed discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion or sex” (Evaluating the success of the Great Society, n.d. para 7). It also allowed lawsuits against segregated schools. These programs all were seen as a positive to LBJs presidency. One last positive to look at was his work on immigration. He got rid of the national origins formula from the 1920s and opened the United States up to all immigrants (Evaluating the success of the Great Society, n.d.). These were all considered positive accomplishments of his presidency. Many see his biggest failure as the Vietnam War. His fear of the domino theory that was the thought that if one country fell to communism the surrounding ones will also fall to communism (Schultz, 2013). He felt the way to help Vietnam was to send more troops but could not get Congress to declare war on Vietnam. Instead, it turned into a police action. His involvement in Vietnam was the downfall of his presidency. As the war continued, America was rocked with protests and he lost popularity with his own political party (History.com Editors, 2009). This was his political demise. Still to this day people question why we were there.
After my research, I would say that over all President Johnson did a lot of great things for the United States. we cannot judge a president off of a few mistakes. We need to keep an open mind and look at the Presidency as a whole. My opinion is that Johnson made great strides in America. His Presidency had great impacts on the citizens of this country. While I felt his decision on Vietnam was wrong, his idea of the Great Society had a positive impact on our country.
History.com Editors. (2009, October 29). Lyndon B. Johnson. History.com. https://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/lyndon-b-johnson#section_6.
Schultz, K.M. (2013). HIST, Volume 2: US History Since 1865. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
WP Company. (n.d.). Evaluating the success of the Great Society. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/national/great-society-at-50/.
paper 2 Beau
Lyndon B. Johnson, Estate of Kennedy
November 22 of 1963 marked a change within the course of the United States, several trigger pulls of Lee Harvey Oswald left the president sitting dead with the Cold War still predominant, racial injustice prevalent, -discontent with the state of the United States involvement in the Vietnam war coming to the forefront. To compound the issues of the time, the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, achieving success, with the Twenty-Fourth Amendment, Civil Rights Act, and mass protests against the equal but separate segregation being predominant milestones (Schultz, 2013).
Schultz states that Lydon Johnson, a man who was a skilled politician, but lacked the charisma of his predecessor, viewed poverty as more divisive than race, would seek the nations transformation through American liberalism with a series of programs that sought to end poverty while expanding upon education (2019). This was to be achieved through what the president called a “Great Society”, meaning that teachers would be staffed, well paid, with no child allowed to go hungry or unschooled, with human beings having the dignity of having a job (Schultz, 2013).
Johnson held several liberal views, with many bringing advances to the country, was the first president to appoint an African American Supreme Court justice, committed to the civil rights movement, championed immigration through law with the Hart-Cellar Act, with was one of the most influential acts in changing the appearance of American Society (Schulzt, 2013). Johnson falls within a pantheon of important presidents within the twentieth century, though he did have many exceptional achievements, accompanied by several terrible failures (Dallek, n.d.).
Johnson, who was not just content with his predecessors proposals, championed voting rights, immigration reform, environmental protection, cabinet departments for transportation – housing within urban development, while implementing the much-needed cultural reforms such as the National endowments for the Arts and Humanities (Dallek, n.d.). His war upon poverty is a major contributor contributing factor to his successes, having lived in poverty himself, he eliminated urban slums, crating public housing, while expanding upon social security. These acts allowed him to reduce the percentage of Americins living in poverty from 23% to roughly 12%, with his domestic reform said to rival the record of liberal alterations to FDR’s New Deal (Dallek, n.d.). The civil rights actions were the predominant methods that permanently changed the South, opening the roadway for equal treatment of African Americans in the country regardless of local -region.
Dallek (n.d.) notes that though his domestic policies changed the direction of the nation, his overseas affairs, with Vietnam especially, did not replicate the courage of wisdom found with his backing of civil rights. His decisions, based on the belief that a failure to fight the limited war within Vietnam would be against the national interest in combating communism, would ultimately lead to a larger war with Russia and China (Dallek, n.d.). Criticism of his mishandling of the war, the death toll of American soldiers, – the massive incurring debt led to doubts throughout the nation. Televised coverage turned negative, with reports becoming exceedingly negative, with reports stating the war could not be won on acceptable terms to the United States (Schultz, 2013). The Vietnam conflict created a nation so divided that Lyndon B. Johnson withdrew his presidential bid, paving the way for Nixon, the only president to resign within the history of the nation (Dallek, n.d.).
Johnson’s legacy will always be held with mixed feelings, as his historical reputation full of recriminations over Vietnam, but also with admiration through his great social -liberal changes. His War on Poverty, advancement of Civil Rights, immigration reform did much to create the diverse nation that we live in today. Feuerhed (2017) states that scholars mostly agree that the Great Society made an impact, which greatly aided the elderly poor, that of African Americans, who saw an income raise of half within that single decade. While not what I would subjectivly call the best president in history, is an influential character to be forever thought about in a historical context.
Feuerherd, P. (2019, February 6). How great was the great society? JSTOR Daily. https://daily.jstor.org/how-great-was-the-great-society/
Schultz, K.M. (2013). HIST, Volume 2: US History Since 1865. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Mr. Dallek. (n.d.). How do historians evaluate the administration of Lyndon Johnson? History News Network. https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/439
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