Chapter 10: Transformational Years Standard USHC-8: The student will demonstrate an understanding of social, economic and political issues in contemporary America. Enduring Understanding In the recent past, political views in the United States have embraced both conservative and liberal perspectives. To make informed political decisions about contemporary issues, the student will utilize the knowledge and skills set forth in the following indicators:
Indicators USHC-8.1 Analyze the African American Civil Rights Movement, including initial strategies, landmark court cases and legislation, the roles of key civil rights advocates and the media, and the influence of the Civil Rights Movement on other groups seeking equality. USHC-8.2 Compare the social and economic policies of presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, including support for civil rights legislation, programs for the elderly and the poor, environmental protection, and the impact of these policies on politics. USHC-8.3 Explain the development of the war in Vietnam and its impact on American government and politics, including the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the policies of the Johnson administration, protests and opposition to the war, the role of the media, the policies of the Nixon administration, and the growing credibility gap that culminated in the Watergate scandal USHC-8.4 Analyze the causes and consequences of the resurgence of the conservative movement, including social and cultural changes of the 1960s and 1970s and Supreme Court decisions on integration and abortion, the economic and social policies of the Reagan administration, and the role of the media.
Chapter 10 Terms Iron curtain Containment Truman Doctrine Marshall Plan Berlin Airlift Cold War China Korea Korean War Israel Dwight Eisenhower Eisenhower doctrine Nikita Khrushchev U-2 Incident Fidel Castro John F. Kennedy Berlin Wall Cuban Missile Crisis United Nations (UN) NATO Warsaw Pact SEATO Organization of American States GI Bill Middle Class Suburbanization Baby Boom Postwar Education Consumer Society Television Housewife Red Scare HUAC Hollywood Blacklist Joseph McCarthy Interstate Highway system Military Industrial Complex Demographic Changes
Essential Questions What did Winston Churchill mean by the term “iron curtain”? The Term Cold War refers to what? What does the term Baby Boomer refer to?
10.1 The Civil Rights Movement Following WWII, African Americans still endured racial discrimination. In the South, state laws continued to sanction segregation (separation by races). In northern states, whites often looked down on and segregated themselves from blacks even though they didn’t have to. Most African Americans resented unjust segregation laws. Many expressed outrage that African Americans had fought valiantly for the cause of freedom overseas, only to be treated as second class citizens once they returned home. This movement featured African Americans fighting for their constitutional rights.
10.1 The Civil Rights Movement BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION In the early 1950s, the NAACP sued the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas because it would not let a black girl, Linda Brown attend an all white school near her home. In Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court reversed the Plessy decision and ruled that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The Court found that separate facilities were unequal because they did not present minority students with the same opportunities that were offered in white schools.
10.1 The Civil Rights Movement HEART OF ATLANTA MOTEL V. UNITED STATES In this decision, the Supreme court went even further in dealing with segregation. The Court ruled that Congress could use its authority to regulate interstate commerce to outlaw segregation in private businesses. Although many considered the court’s reasoning a stretch, it represented another step towards striking down state sanctioned segregation.
10.1 The Civil Rights Movement WHITE RESISTANCE Despite the Court’s decision in Brown, many Southern leaders were determined to maintain segregation as long as possible. In 1957 nine black students were prevented from entering school at Little Rock Central high. Eisenhower used the 101st Airborne to enforce the courts decision to allow them to enter. Resistance also occurred at the college level when the governor of Mississippi kept James Meredith from enrolling. He was finally allowed after JFK sent federal authorities to deal with the situation.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Nonviolent Protests THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT Segregation laws required African Americans to sit in the rear of public buses. Blacks also had to give up their seats to white passengers is the bus was crowded. On December 1, 1955, a bus driver ordered Rosa Parks to give up her seat to a white passenger and she refused, Rosa was taken to jail and her arrest quickly united the black community of Montgomery. A young Baptist minister named MLK lead them in a boycott of city buses. It lasted almost a year an cost the city of Montgomery a large amount of money. The Supreme Court ruled the buses must be integrated. This was a major victory.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Nonviolent Protests DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. Dr. King was an intelligent man and a gifted public speaker. He became recognized as the leader of the Civil rights movement. King was greatly influenced by his religious faith and the philosophy of Gandhi. Gandhi believed in non-violent protest and civil disobedience. King was killed by gunman in April 1968 as he stood on a balcony of a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Nonviolent Protests SIT-INS AND FREEDOM RIDERS On February 1, 1960, four black college students at North Carolina A&T University protested racial segregation in restaurants by sitting at a whites only lunch counter. When management ask them to leave, they peacefully refused. In April 1960, students met and formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). These students devoted themselves to the use of non-violent protests to demand civil rights. In 1960, the Supreme Court ruled segregation was illegal in bus stations open to interstate travel. In 1961, the Congress of Racially Equality organized Freedom Rides to test the courts decision.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Nonviolent Protests THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON Civil Rights protests continued in the South through 1962 and 1963. Wanting to keep pressure on JFK and the Congress, national civil rights leaders planned a march on the nations capital. On August 28, 1963, MLK stood before the Lincoln Memorial and spoke to a crowd of more than 200,00 civil rights supporters. In his most famous speech, King spoke of his dream that the U.S. would become a desegregated society. He challenged his listeners to envision with him one day when white and black people would live peacefully together.
Malcolm X and the Rise of Black Militant Movements Malcolm X was another famous leader. He opposed the non-violent approach. Malcolm X preached that blacks should use any means necessary to secure their rights. After going on a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia he witnessed black and white Muslims praying together. This caused him to have less militant views. The softening of his views meant that many black militants now considered Malcolm to be a traitor. On February 21, 1965, three African American men shot and killed Malcolm X while he spoke at a rally. The militant faction took over leadership and called for black power. In 1966, the Black Panthers emerged. This group advocated African Americans leading their own communities and demanded the federal government take action to rebuild the ghettos.
Legislative Changes Brought About by The Civil Rights Movement After the march on Washington, President Kennedy proposed new civil right laws. After the assassination of JFK, President Johnson strongly urged congress to pass these laws. Despite serious opposition from southern members of Congress, Johnson pushed through the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 1964 was the year that the states ratified the 24th amendment to the constitution. This served to protect blacks voting rights by making the poll tax illegal. Congress passed the Voting rights Act in 1965, it authorized the President to suspend literacy tests for voter registration.
Civil Rights and The Cold War The Cold War impacted the U.S. civil rights movement. The Soviets pointed out to the leaders of developing nations the hypocrisy in U.S. ideology. They argued that all the U.S. talk about freedom and democracy was just words. MLK and others used the Cold War to their advantage to put pressure on the federal government to support civil rights.
Civil Rights and the Media Civil rights leaders also understood the power of the media. Beginning in the 1950s and into the 1960s, more and more U.S. citizens owned televisions. Average people saw much of the civil rights movement unfold as they watched in their own living rooms. People were able to witness the beatings and arrest of peaceful demonstrators. Many whites found the violence appalling. The media helped expose the brutality of southern officials. As a result, many people flocked to support the civil rights movement.
10.2 Johnson, Nixon, and Vietnam In 1963, Lyndon Johnson became president following the death of John F. Kennedy. Johnson sought to transform U.S. society using executive power. He launched the most aggressive domestic program since Roosevelt’s New Deal.
Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society Johnson declared War on Poverty and pushed several social programs through Congress. Job Corps helped educate and train inner city youth for gainful employment. Other Great society programs included Medicare and Medicaid to ensure medical care for the elderly and poor. Head start was a way to help ensure better education for children of low income families. The Great society required large amounts of money and government spending increased. As a result political conservatism began to increase.
Concerns About Vietnam In the 1800s France established a colony in a small Southeast Asian country called Vietnam. Following WWI, fighting erupted as Vietnamese nationalist wanted independence from France. This concerned President Eisenhower because of the nationalists ties to communism. The Geneva Accords, drafted in 1954 called for Vietnam to be divided into two nations. The North established a communist backed government under the rule of Ho Chi Minh. The South , supported by the U.S. supported the government of Ngo Kinh Diem. It was not long before war broke out between the two sides.
U.S. Involvement Begins In the early 1960s, Eisenhower and Kennedy feared the spread of Communism. Both sent military advisors to aid South Vietnam against the North and against communism rebels in the South known as Viet Cong. Kennedy knew Communism couldn’t be defeated in Vietnam as long as Diem’s corrupt government controlled the South. Kennedy was assassinated but people often wonder how he would have dealt with Vietnam. Johnson vowed he would not lose Vietnam to the Communist.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution Johnson won the election of 1964 by portraying his opponent Barry Goldwater as a man ready to plunge the U.S. into a nuclear war over Vietnam. Johnson downplayed his intentions to escalate the war in Vietnam. Once elected Johnson was prepared to increase the U.S. military presence. In August 1964, just two months before his election, a key incident occurred in the Gulf of Tonkin. Johnson announced to the U.S. that the North Vietnamese had attacked U.S. ships. Some didn’t believe it but Johnson used the incident to get Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. This resolution gave the president the power to take all necessary actions to repel any armed attack against the forces of the U.S. It also gave Johnson the power to take military action against Vietnam without having to get approval from Congress.
The U.S. War Effort in Vietnam By 1965, the Viet Cong were continuing to expand as more and more of the poor in South Vietnam were drawn to their cause. The key to the Viet Cong’s efforts were the supplies that came from North Vietnam. These supplies made their way south by way of a route through Laos and Cambodia called the Ho Chi Minh Trail. To try and cut off this support and in response to an attack that killed 8 U.S. soldiers – Johnson ordered an intense bombing campaign against North Vietnam. This operation was code named Operation Rolling Thunder. The bombings destroyed bridges, supply lines, and villages, sadly these attacks killed many civilians
The Viet Cong and Guerilla Warfare The Viet Cong did not fight a traditional war, instead they used guerilla warfare. This is a strategy where a weaker army launches surprise attacks against a stronger enemy and then runs away. The Viet Cong used guerilla warfare effectively as they sought to wear down the U.S. will to fight.
TET Offensive On January 30, 1968, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong launched a major coordinated attack against the U.S. and South Vietnam forces. The Tet Offensive produced heavy fighting even in the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon. They were eventually turned back but it proved that the communist could launch a coordinated attack. It also led many people in the U.S. to question how the government was handling the war and whether U.S. troops should be there at all.
Attitudes About The War At Home Few events in U.S. History have divided people in the U.S. like the Vietnam War. On one hand many people believed it was important to fight communism at every turn. They believed Vietnam was a noble cause. On the other hand, a growing number of citizens and activists proclaimed that it was wrong for U.S. soldiers to even be in Vietnam. Some even viewed the U.S. actions as criminal. Such unrest led to a large anti-war movement, especially on college campuses. President Johnson found himself in the middle and his popularity plummeted as he was blamed for failures in Vietnam. So much so that Johnson decided not to run for re-election in 1968.
President Richard Nixon and Vietnam President Richard Nixon took office in January 1969. He vowed to get the U.S. out of Vietnam, He advocated a policy of Vietnamization. He wanted South Vietnamese soldiers to take to take the place of the U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. However that promise was made during his presidential campaign and he was also determined not to let Vietnam fall to communism. So he continued bombing raids against North Vietnam and the neighboring countries of Cambodia. In April 1970, Nixon went even further and authorized U.S. troops to invade Cambodia for the purpose of destroying Communist training camps.
The End of Involvement The U.S., South Vietnam, North Vietnam and leaders of the Viet Cong finally met together in Paris, France in January 1973, There they signed the Paris Peace Accords. The Paris agreement called for: The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam within 60 days. The release of prisoners of war (POWs). All parties involved would end military activities in Laos and Cambodia. The 17th parallel would continue to divide North and South Vietnam.
Fall of Saigon Following the U.S. withdrawal, however fighting quickly resumed. In the spring of 1975 (after Nixon had left office), North Vietnamese forces finally surrounded the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon. On April 29, the U.S. carried out a last minute evacuation of the city. Military helicopters airlifted more than 1000 U.S. personnel and 6000 south Vietnamese citizens to aircraft carriers offshore. The next day, April 30, Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese. 21 years after signing the Geneva Accords, Vietnam was firmly in the hands of the Communist.
War Protest Continue KENT STATE By invading Cambodia, Nixon set off a firestorm of protest at home. At Kent State University, the protest turned violent. When angry students attacked businesses and burned the army ROTC building on campus, the governor of Ohio sent in National Guard Troops. When students started throwing rocks and other objects, the guardsmen retreated to higher ground and opened fire on protesters. When the shooting ended guardsmen had killed four people and left nine seriously injured.
War Protest Continue THE PENTAGON PAPERS Another factor that caused support for the war to dwindle occurred in 1971. The New York Times began publishing portions of the Pentagon Papers. The papers were a study that documented the history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. They revealed the executive branch had lied to Congress concerning the war. Many in the public were shocked and appalled, and support for the war quickly dwindled.
The Media and Vietnam Much like the civil rights movement, the visual images of Vietnam greatly impacted people’s attitudes about the war. Prior to Vietnam, citizens learned about foreign conflicts through newspapers and news reels. Vietnam was the first conflict in which citizens could witness the death and destruction of war in their own living rooms. Such exposure to the war along with the inability to win, led many to doubt or oppose it.