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Johnson: An Overview Kennedy chose Johnson as his Vice President in 1960 Made this decision despite objections made by his brother Robert Kennedy Many others saw this as a brilliant move because it gained the support of Southern Democrats Johnson: An Overview Excelled in political maneuvering

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johnson an overview

Johnson: An Overview

Kennedy chose Johnson as his Vice President in 1960

Made this decision despite objections made by his brother Robert Kennedy

Many others saw this as a brilliant move because it gained the support of Southern Democrats

johnson an overview2
Johnson: An Overview
  • Excelled in political maneuvering
  • He had the ability to “decipher the existing balance of political forces and to develop issues that could propel him into leadership roles”
  • Was first a teacher, then an aide to a congressmen, then regional director in Texas of a major New Deal program, then he became a member of Congress
johnson overview continued
Johnson Overview Continued
  • 1948 – elected to the U.S. Senate
  • 1953 – Senate minority leader
  • 1955 – Democrats won control of Senate; became Senate majority leader
  • He had presidential ambitions but was not well known outside Texas and the Senate
  • This became the reasoning behind accepting Kennedy’s invite as V.P. in 1960
the johnson administration
The Johnson Administration
  • Achieved legislative successes that were matched only by Franklin Roosevelt
  • Extended federal programs into areas that had fallen outside the province of federal policy
  • The uncompleted policies of Kennedy provided Johnson “with an instant agenda, which facilitated his legislative tasks”
johnson s character in office
Johnson’s Character in Office
  • Wished to be a “reform-minded” president
  • Had an ability to appeal to both conservative and liberal audiences because of his support for both budget-cutting and social reform
  • He introduced his legislation each year in a planned sequence, beginning with the easiest and ending with the most difficult
johnson and civil rights
Johnson and Civil Rights
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a historic measure; “it marked for the first time since Reconstruction that the federal government assumed a major role in protecting the voting rights of African Americans in the South.”
  • Public accommodations and public transportation were desegregated by 1965
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was flawed in certain aspects, which were corrected by the Civil Rights Act of 1965
  • The policies were very successful in terminating “the last vestiges of overt discrimination” in voter registration
the supreme court under earl warren between 1953 1969
The Supreme Court under Earl Warren between 1953-1969
  • 1954 – Brown v Board of Education - Reverend Oliver Brown brought suit against city’s board of ed. because his child had to take a bus to the other side of town when a bus reserved for white children was much closer
  • Thurgood Marshall of the NAACP argued that “segregation had such harmful effects on people of color that the mere fact of segregation meant inferior education”
  • Kenneth Clark – performed test to Af. Am. children to identify dolls – In the North, children asked to identify a doll of color would cry and run out of the room. In the South, the children would point to the dark doll and reply “That’s a nigger. I’m a nigger.” This confirmed their subordinate status according to Clark
supreme court under warren continued
Supreme Court under Warren Continued
  • Warren ruled that in the field of public education, the doctrine of "separate but equal" set forth by Plessy v. Feruson in 1896 has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. African Americans were being deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.
  • Other controversial rulings followed; i.e. voting rights of minorities, rights of criminals, rights of persons with radical beliefs, protection to those on death row, power of the press, interracial sexual relations, etc. The effects of these and other rulings was enormous
  • Supreme Court under Warren was an important part of the social reforms of the 1960s, its decisions had profound effects on “the policies of institutions that, in turn, affected the lives of color and people in poverty.”
medicare and medicaid
Medicare and Medicaid
  • Wilbur Mills, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, facilitated the passage of Medicare and Medicaid programs in 1965
  • Prior to Medicare, some medical care was donated to impoverished elderly persons by doctors and hospitals; with the passage of Medicare, such donations were reduced. Medicare increased the utilization of physicians and hospitals by poor people who had often refrained from seeking medical care except in emergencies
  • Medicaid was a means tested program enacted in 1965 to address the medical needs of welfare recipients, as well as medically indigent persons, who, though not destitute, could not pay their medical bills. Medicaid was a matching grant program in which federal authorities paid a substantial share of the medical services but ceded major administrative and policy roles to the states.
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 – provided federal assistance to public schools with relatively high concentrations of low-income children, and it allowed private schools to share books and other materials that had been purchased by public schools
  • Johnson also developed a range of educational subsidies for low-income persons who sought junior college and college education
  • Educational gains were made by African Americans in the 1960s at both secondary and college levels
war on poverty welfare reforms and food stamps
War on Poverty, Welfare Reforms, and Food Stamps
  • The War on Poverty was enacted after Kennedy’s death and consisted of “a collection of job-training, youth employment, and medical services that various government departments had failed to enact during the Kennedy Administration”
  • To coordinate these programs, the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) was set up with Sargeant Shriver as its director
  • Johnson and Shriver wanted OEO programs enacted as rapidly as possible because they felt that “demonstrable results were needed if the programs were to appeal to a wide spectrum of legislators”
w on p wel ref and f s continued
W. On P., Wel. Ref. and F.S continued
  • The speedy implementation of these programs led to widespread charges of corruption, patronage, and inefficiency
  • OEO, was not a complete disaster though. Many of its programs were highly innovative and, though transferred from OEO to other agencies, continue to exist
  • One such program that still exists is the Head Start Program; “some studies suggest that it has had long term beneficial effects on the educational performance of its enrollees”
  • The welfare Amendments of 1967 were a “confusing mixture of incompatible policies which satisfied no one”
w on p wel ref and f s continued13
W. On P., Wel. Ref. and F.S continued
  • The Food Stamp Program was enacted in 1964
  • Policy makers realized that the distribution of surplus food to the poor was a hassle which required them to travel to centralized storage sites
  • Grocery stores across the nation began to accept Food Stamps as a form of payment
  • Families on welfare were automatically eligible and poor families not on welfare could be certified by local welfare departments
  • The Department of Agriculture paid the entire cost
w on p wel ref and f s continued14
W. On P., Wel. Ref. and F.S continued
  • Amendments in 1968, 1971, 1973, and 1978 expanded fuding for the program, established national eligibility standards, made the program mandatory in all states, and developed methods to allow recipients to receive coupons without having to make any cash payments
  • The Food Stamp program was a “landmark achievement” because it gave millions of impoverished families the resources to purchase food in quantities not possible wit welfare checks
johnson losing support 1967 1968
Johnson Losing Support 1967-1968
  • Managed to keep most of his political balance through 1966
  • By early 1967, he was running out of options and began losing support across the political spectrum
  • After Af. Am.’s obtained civil rights legislation that decreased discrimination in the South, they sought reforms to address poverty, housing discrimination, education, and other problems in the North; Northern whites were enraged that they were now the target of protest.
johnson losing support 1967 196816
Johnson Losing Support 1967-1968
  • Martin Luther King Jr. – found it increasingly difficult to persuade a new breed of African American leaders that “nonviolence represented an inviolable principle rather than a tactic”
  • Stokely Carmichael – coined the term Black Power. Encouraged the trend among Af. Am’s toward separatism, the development of Af. Am. Economic institutions, and violent protest.
  • Much rioting occurred mainly in the North between 1965 and 1968 in which 239 civil disturbances erupted, 8133 people were killed and 49,604 people were arrested
johnson losing support 1967 196817
Johnson Losing Support 1967-1968
  • Johnson’s popularity among liberals and social reformers began to diminish as well mainly due to the conflict in Vietnam
  • Johnson has escalated the conflict in Vietnam from a few military advisors and spies in 1964 to more than 540,000 troops in 1968
  • The war resulted in a large cost in lives and resources
  • At the conclusion of U.S. involvement in 1973, more than 55,000 Americans had been killed and another 304,000 had been injured
johnson losing support 1967 196818
Johnson Losing Support 1967-1968
  • Americans spent more than $135 billion on the war
  • Johnson felt that a Communist victory in South Vietnam would lead to a domino effect throughout Southeast Asia
  • He underestimated the resolve of the North Vietnamese, who were deeply committed to a long-term conflict that they had already waged for decades
the war and social policy
The War and Social Policy
  • The war created an atmosphere that “was not conducive to the continuation of social reform”
  • The war “splintered” the coalition that had supported civil rights and other reforms since many African Americans, liberals, young people, intellectuals, and clergy opposed it
  • The war also led to reductions in levels of funding for social programs
  • Most importantly, the war eroded Johnson’s credibility because many Americans remembered that he had run in 1964 as a peace candidate against Barry Goldwater
the end of johnson s run in office
The end of Johnson’s run in Office
  • Many Americans began to distrust Johnson due to his lies over the real cost of the war and of overstating American military gains
  • He lost political momentum when he committed the nation to war
  • By spring of 1968, his ratings were so low in public opinion polls that many people began to wonder if he could win reelection
  • After being humiliated by Eugene McCarthy, an unknown senator running on an antiwar platform, in New Hampshire, Johnson withdrew from the presidential race.
the end of johnson s run in office21
The end of Johnson’s run in Office
  • In November, Richard Nixon would defeat Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic candidate, the Great Society came to an official close.
  • Johnson left the presidency a tormented man
  • His international policies led to uncertain outcomes and a lose of popularity
  • Almost all of Johnson’s Great Society reforms were enacted in 1964 and 1965, “a period that seemed light years removed from the final years of his presidency”
out groups consisted of
Out-groups consisted of:
  • Women
  • Gay men and lesbians
  • Latinos
  • Native Americans
  • Asian Americans
  • African Americans segregated to urban ghettos
  • When WWII ended, 3.25 million women were forced/persuaded to leave their jobs
  • Many women liked working, and having their own money so more went back out on the workforce
  • By 1952, more were employed than in the height of the war
  • Women were not made to feel good about working – the mass media and theorists implied the working woman risked harming her children and/or destroying her femininity
women cont
Women cont.
  • The Equal Rights Amendment became the central focus among female activists
  • Some female leaders actually opposed the amendment! They felt that women needed special protections
  • The Senate passed it, but the 1/3 majority needed did not
  • Women were then limited to segregated jobs -> clerical, sales, unskilled manufacturing, teaching, nursing, etc.
women cont26
Women cont.
  • Women were perceived as fragile
  • They were excluded from the workforce usually until their children were out of high school
  • Kennedy at first was unresponsive, but then appointed Esther Peterson as director of the Women’s Bureau in the Department of Labor
  • Peterson campaigned for equal pay legislation
  • 1963 - Congress passed the Equal Pay Act but left out domestic and farm working women
women cont kennedy issued the 1961 commission on the status of women

>Recommended AGAINST the equal rights amendment b/c women could sue on grounds of existing constitutional provisions of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment

>Recommended broadening women’s access in education


>Didn’t offer encouragement for women’s entry to male-dominated fields

>Didn’t attack gender role structure of society

>Didn’t attack notion that women are primarily responsible for their children

>Didn’t ask/seek changes in Social Security

Women cont.Kennedy issued the1961 Commission on the Status of Women:
women cont28
Women cont.
  • 1963, Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique
  • Mystique that women achieve happiness by being a housewife and mother and if not happy by this, you should feel guilty and as if you failed
  • Book ends with a plea for a “new life plan for women”…women should see through the feminine mystique and choose careers that challenge them
women cont29
Women cont.
  • 1964, Women finally included in major civil rights legislation through the passing on the ban of gender-based discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • 1965, Griswold vs. Connecticut decided the use of contraceptives considered a crime is illegal
  • Ruling was an advancement but it left the ban on abortion and didn’t mention there were no family planning clinics in many areas
women cont30
Women cont.
  • 1966, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was to seek federal action on women’s employment issues
  • 1967, Women were included with programs that insured equal opportunity for all races…”sex” was added anywhere that it said “race, creed, color, or national origin”
  • Critics of feminist movement note that reforms didn’t include poor women or African Americans
  • Feminists made women who chose to be a housewife feel bad just as working women, some years back, felt bad for not emphasizing child rearing
gay men and lesbians
Gay Men and Lesbians
  • Factors of discrimination:
          • Religion
          • Psychiatric and medical thought
          • Criminology
gay men and lesbians cont
Gay Men and Lesbians cont.
  • Senator Kenneth Wherry stated that “homosexuals are a moral and security issue”
  • Because of this belief in the early 1950’s, many homosexuals thought of themselves as diseased
  • During WW2, the army screened gays from the service
  • Witch-hunts against Communists often included homosexuals
  • Job seekers were denied employment if thought to be gay
  • Many were arrested when police raided gay bars, public restrooms, and even personal residences
gay men and lesbians cont33
Gay Men and Lesbians cont.
  • Gay men and lesbians tried to form organizations but many were too afraid to go public with their sexuality because of what may happen to them
  • The Civil Service Commission in NYC relaxed restrictions on hiring gays
  • Courts in a few states legitimized the right of gays to assemble in bars and some even declared that sexual preference is not immoral
  • The National Institution of Mental Health in 1967 urged tolerance of gays but did not mention that their sexual orientation is normal
  • Stonewall Inn
  • 1973 – The American Psychiatric Association decided and declared that homosexuals would no longer be regarded as mentally ill
  • 1950’s, There was a huge influx of Puerto Ricans to east coast cities (NYC)
  • Beginning of 60’s, still lived in rural areas
  • They came to the U.S. for economic reasons and had every intention to return home once it improved
  • Most stayed along with the Cubans who arrived around the same time Fidel Castro took power
  • Cesar Chavez developed United Farm Workers Organizing Committee to empower Mexican agricultural laborers
  • 1966, Chavez organized a march on Sacramento then boycotted crops like grapes and lettuce
latinos cont
Latinos cont.
  • Latinos were active in:
          • Voter registration
          • Pressure on EEOC to investigate job discrimination
          • Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • They didn’t have one specific cause to fight for because overall things were bad for them and very difficult to get out of poverty
native americans
Native Americans
  • 19th century – placed on reservations and evicted from ancestral lands
  • The reservations were too small to hunt and survive on so they needed gov’t assistance
  • The gov’t wanted to “socialize” them to American ways
  • In 1934, The Indian Reorganization Act promoted the establishment of tribal organization
  • In the 40’s and 50’s, termination acts ended federal responsibility
  • In the 60’s and 70’s, The War on Poverty emphasized support for the culture of tribal functions
native americans cont
Native Americans cont.
  • Some Great society programs channeled funds to reservations for housing, education, and economic development
  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs stopped forcing American culture on them and became an advocate for Native Americans (go figure!)
  • Johnson and Nixon opposed the termination policy and favored continuation of technical and economic asst. to tribes
  • Many Natives demanded compensation for lands that were taken away illegally
  • Many ended up moving to urban areas that were deteriorated and in poverty
  • By 1970, the population went from being about 17 million (in the 17th century) to about 827,000
asian americans
Asian Americans
  • Made significant gains in Hawaii and California regarding their civil rights post WWII and in the 50’s
  • 1948, The Supreme Court ruled that laws which prohibited people of different races from having sexual contact was unconstitutional
  • 1956, Japanese Americans placed an initiative to overturn alien land laws and they won!
  • Immigration Act of 1965 abolished the quota system and allowed 170,000 immigrants from Eastern hemisphere and 120,000 from the Western hemisphere
african americans in urban ghettos
African Americans in Urban Ghettos
  • By the end of the 60’s, African Americans were more segregated in urban areas
  • Immigrants such as the Irish, Italian, and Jewish had upward mobility because of industrialization in the U.S. at that time
  • African Americans were less prepared to use education as a tool for mobility than were the immigrants
  • Inner-city schools lacked sufficient staff who could relate and the rooms were overcrowded
  • Those who couldn’t get out of the urban areas lacked role models and a strong community to guide them
social work in the 1960 s
Social Work in the 1960’s
  • Emerged from the Great Depression with a determination to upgrade the profession by making a mandatory bachelor’s degree for admission to graduate programs
  • The graduate program was made to last 2 yrs.
  • Goal: To give standards and tests to be sure that qualified and trained people are in the field
  • Some wondered is it was too elitist but advocates said it’s necessary to improve standards and competence levels
social work cont
Social Work cont.
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW), est. 1955, required new members to have 2 yrs. of completed graduate study
  • 1969 – NASW gave regular membership to people with a bachelor’s degree from undergraduate study
  • Very controversial within the profession:
          • Some said it would help NASW politically by enlarging membership
          • Others said it lowers standards and decreases prestige of the profession
the evolution of the reluctant welfare state
The Evolution of the Reluctant Welfare State
  • Johnson was sympathetic for those in need but didn’t want to expand income maintenance, public works, unemployment, or Soc. Sec.
  • The Great Society Era was not known for increased social spending
  • Economic circumstances of the poor and African Americans Improved but mainly because the economy improved, not the aid
  • Civil Rights and women’s rights movement, people with disabilities, homosexuals, and other activists kept pressure on legislation to maintain the pace of reform
  • Riots were a constant reminder that there were large numbers of people not helped by the civil rights legislation
  • The Great Society occurred at a time and in a nation that was reluctant to embrace an emerging welfare state
  • Will the programs last?