Week 14 Notes
Week 14 Notes HIST 225 0021
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Popular in History
This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kira Gavalakis on Thursday April 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 225 0021 at James Madison University taught by Richard Meixsel in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 44 views. For similar materials see U.S. History in History at James Madison University.
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Date Created: 04/28/16
The Sixties… ● Some points ○ Accelerated birth rates after war meant that there were lots of young people in the 1960s as a percentage of the population ■ “Baby boomers”-- people born from 1946-1964 (because everybody was getting married so they didn’t have to get drafted) ○ Tremendous prosperity (41% increase in per capita income; virtually no inflation; unemployment down to 3.5% by 1969) ○ Unfulfilled expectations of WWII starting to be felt ■ People thought WWII would lead to a different kind of America ■ Social activists in the 1960s had been young during the 1940s ○ Social movements (starting with Civil Rights campaign (begin to encourage each other) ○ The Vietnam War generated considerable activism and questioning of the status quo Liberalism in the 1960s (an overarching theme) ● Defined ○ A liberal is one who believes in an activist government using its power to promote greater social and economic equality ○ what progressives did in the early 1900s ● Why so pronounced in the 1960s? ( 3 liberal power centers= 3 branches of government) ○ Supreme Court ○ Congress ○ President ● The Warren Court ○ Court with a majority of Justices who were predictably sympathetic to liberal ideals ○ FDR’s Court-packing scheme- packing Supreme Court with progressive (liberal) justices to support him ○ Chief Justice- Earl Warren ○ Eisenhower- biggest mistake of his presidency by joining this and working with Warren ○ 1954- Brown vs. Board of Education ○ 1960s- Court is re-defining the Constitution/Constitutional Rights ● After the November 1964 election ○ The House of Representatives had 295 Democrats and 140 Republicans ○ The Senate has 68 Democrats and 32 Republicans ○ * it is not that Republicans didn’t support civil rights legislation or “great society” programs (many did support them), but theirs had clearly become the more conservative party, distrustful and wary of many of the changes taking place. Civil Rights Act of 1968-- 80% of Republicans supported this! (only 30% of Democrats did…) Liberal Supreme Court, Democratic dominated Congress, Liberal Presidents! ● John F. Kennedy (Election of 1960) ○ Father was in politics and making sure his son (JOSEPH) could eventually be the president but he was killed and the pressure goes to JFK ○ Elected to House and then Senate and preparing to run for presidency ○ Americans’ hesitation: he was CATHOLIC (country was originally run by Protestants) ● 46.6% for Nixon, 49.7% for JFK ● Wanted to lead America to a “New Frontier” but dies soon after JFK: Foreign Policy Issues ● “Missile Gap” & “Flexible Response” ○ Defense budget grew by 25% during JFK’s administration ● Bay of Pigs (1961) ● Berlin Wall (1961) ● Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) ● Southeast Asia ○ By 1962, over 11,000 American troops in Vietnam ○ Only a few hundred had been there when JFK became president in 1961 ● Specialty in foreign policy ○ COMMUNISM IS AN EXPANSIONIST IDEOLOGY OUT TO COLONIZE THE WAR AND OUT TO CONQUER THE WORLD (Democrats AND Republicans alike believed in the Containment Doctrine and that communism is bad) LBJ-- video ● Went to Mexican-American school and understood poverty and discrimination ● “Great society” ● “Landslide Lyndon” ● Grew up in an impoverished part of Texas ● Worked for the NYA in the 1930s ● Elected to Congress in 1937 ● Elected to Senate in 1948 (became democratic leader, 1953) ● LBJ President 1963-1969 ○ Vain, demeaning Election of 1964 ● Johnson won landslide victory against Goldwater (in your guts you know he’s nuts) ● LBJ wanted to continue the New Deal- vast expansion of the New Deal ○ “The great society” “The great society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time.” -- LBJ’s “great society” speech at UM in 1964 The Liberal Agenda ● The Great Society ○ Civil Rights ○ The War on Poverty ○ Aid to Education ○ Medicare and Medicaid ● Environmental Activism ○ Rachel Carson’s Silent Sprin(1962) ○ Clean Air Act, Highway Beautification Act, etc ● Immigration Reform ○ Hartt-Cellar Act (Immigration Reform Act), 1965 ■ Open opportunities for people to come from Europe ■ But this lead to significant increase in third-world immigrants coming to the US ■ Dramatic change in the racial composition in the US Michael Harrington, The Other America (1962) Thursday 4/28/16 Social Movements and Identity Politics (1960s) ● American Indian Movement ● Gay Pride ● Latino/Chicano Pride ● Women’s Rights ○ Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (outlawed sexual discrimination in employment) ○ Equal rights amendment (first proposed way back in 1923) Madison Convent (instead of Madison College)-- Facebook video! By 1968, these restrictions were gone! -- RAPID Change The 1960s become the 1920s? A Divided America by the end of the Decade ● LBJ’s “Great Society” excesses ○ Waste and abuse ○ Nothing worked, money wasted ● Too Much c ultural change ● Slow economic growth ● The war in Vietnam Richard Nixon (Republican) vs. Humphrey in 1968 election ● After LBJ’s defeat, he started gaining popularity ● Didn’t plan to run for president ● Anger over the Vietnam war made the audiences upset ● Emphasized law and order ● Nixon appealed to the Republican, white, middle class ● Won a narrow victory Nixon had to deal with the problem of Vietnam… ● He didn’t want to lose the war, he didn’t have a plan LBJ and Vietnam ● “The battle against communism must be joined in southeast Asia with strength and determination.” -- Vice president Johnson’s report to Kennedy ● Determined to continue the war in southeast Asia Troop Levels (end of year) Amerian-ize the war is the only way to win! (says LBJ) 1959-- 760 1962-- 11,300 1965-- 184,300 1971-- 156,800 1973-- 50 ● There were about 160,000 US troops in Iraq at the height of American involvement ● The population of the US today is about 50% larger than in the 1960s ● There was a draft then (though most soldiers were not draftees); there is not now The Tet Offensive (1968) ● Americans supported the war, but did not support using their materials if they were going to lose Richard M. Nixon ● “We would destroy ourselves if we pulled out [of Vietnam] in a way that really wasn’t honorable.” -- Nixon ● 40% of US troop losses occurred during Nixon’s presidency ● Paris Peace Accords, 1973 ○ Release American prisoners of war ● Wanted to be isolationist ● More interested in foreign policy than American policy Gets re-elected by a LANDSLIDE ● Government programs still work today ○ 1973- Wade- women’s right to get abortion ○ Environmental activism (EPA was created under Nixon Administration) ○ Title 9- nobody should be denied their education based on gender ○ Healthcare is similar to Obamacare: everybody gets health insurance ■ But he left office before it happened ● Watergate Scandal has him resign in 1974 (instead of him being convicted) History Today according to Professor Conlin ● A lot to learn from history ● Don’t have perspective to say what it all means ● Nobody knows what the future will hold ● America gets defeated by Vietnam ● Soviets are building up their nuclear power ● Berlin wall falls 1989 (collapse of the Berlin wall)
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