The Sixties Political, Economic and Social Issues
Politics • 1960: Presidential campaign (Kennedy v Nixon) and last year of Eisenhower administration • 1961: JFK took office. He promised new legislative initiatives and a “New Frontier” • November 22, 1963: Kennedy assassinated; Lyndon Johnson assumed the presidency • 1964: Presidential campaign (Johnson v Goldwater); Johnson won in a landslide • 1965: Johnson took office in his own right
From “New Frontier” to “Great Society” • May 1964: LBJ proposed “Great Society” • End poverty • End racial injustice • Advance education • Guarantee prosperity to all • Johnson proposed a massive legislative agenda if he won the presidency.
Federal Legislative Initiatives • Civil Rights • “New Frontier” into “Great Society” • Use Keynesian Economics to manage economic growth
Expanding the Welfare State • Keynesian Tax Cuts to stimulate the economy • War on Poverty • Federal Aid to K12 and Higher Education and cultural institutions • Food Stamp Act (August 1964)
War on Poverty • Economic Opportunity Act (August 1964) Created the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) • Job Corps • Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), • Upward Bound • Head Start • Legal Services, • Neighborhood Youth Corps, • Community Action Program (CAP), • college Work-Study program, • Neighborhood Development Centers, • small business loan programs, • rural programs, • migrant worker programs, • remedial education projects, local health care centers
Civil Rights • Civil Rights Act of 1964 (July): Barred discrimination in: • Public accommodations • Employment • Empowered the federal government to desegregate educational institutions, public facilities
Civil Rights: Example • Civil Rights Act of 1964: • Title VII: DISCRIMINATION BECAUSE OF RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN SEC. 703. (a) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer-- (1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or
Civil Rights • Voting Rights Act of 1965 (August): • Banned discrimination in voting, poll taxes, literacy tests which prevented minority voting • Empowered the Justice Department to challenge voter restrictions • Required Southern states to “preclear” voter laws with the Justice Department
Civil Rights • Immigration Reform Amendments of 1965 (October) • Repealed the racist National Origins quotas dating from 1924 and expanded visas for immigrants • Restructured immigration system and facilitated immigration based upon family ties and skill level of the immigrant • For first time, required visas for immigrants from the Western Hemisphere, thus creating the new phenomenon of the “undocumented” or “illegal” immigrant for many migrants from the Americas
Education • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965: Federal aid to education K12 education • Higher Education Act of 1965, provided financial assistance to students in postsecondary and higher education.
Expanding the Welfare State • Advance Culture: National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities • Federally funded Health Care and Insurance: Medicare/Medicaid (July 1965): • Medicare: for over 65 and disabled population • Medicaid: for poverty population
Agenda continued… • Department of Housing and Urban Development – 1965 • Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) – 1970 • Environmental Protection Agency - 1970
But…. • At the same time….Vietnam War escalated • Civil Rights movement turned militant • Conservatives looked to Southern Democrats to shift to the Republican Party • LBJ declined a second term • 1968 Presidential Election: Hubert Humphrey/Richard Nixon