Nicole Curtis 4/15/10 APUS: LBJ DBQ Essay President Lyndon B. Johnson and his administration passed several legislations and supported many programs that attempted to repair the numerous political, economic, and social problems of the United States during the 1960s. His administration responded to most of the problems effectively, but with the issue of civil rights, for example, they didn’t always fix the problems to the best of their ability. But most importantly was his attack on the “war on poverty. Acts, like the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, assisted citizens of the US through attacking the “war on poverty” and creating opportunities for the children of the future. Minorities, like African Americans, had trouble gaining political power. Primarily, blacks were fighting for their protection to vote and an increase in their influence in politics. For instance, some African Americans got together and created “freedom organizations” known as the Black Panther Party in order to represent their strength and dignity of their culture (doc. C).
They didn’t have any legitimate successes in their fight for their political rights. Johnson and his administration, therefore, admitted the 24th amendment. This prohibited the poll tax which was a discriminatory tax that was required in order to exercise the ability to vote. Also, the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, which outlawed the discriminatory voting practices that were responsible for the disenfranchisement of African Americans in the US. These laws and his support for blacks’ rights were strongly influential and beneficial to the United States. LBJ’s (Lyndon B.
Johnson’s) most influential response to the problems of the United States was in his response to the “war on poverty. ” The programs that he passed helped the poverty problem through the economical and social aspect of it. Economically, his programs boosted money into the economy and improved the education for citizens so that they could make more money in their future. Socially, it improved the conditions of the urban cities as well as decreasing the gap between the rich and poor by heavily helping the poor. Specifically, he aided in with the health care concern for United States citizens (doc.
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A). Medicare and Medicaid were created which provided federal aid to the elderly and poor for medic al expenses. Also the Economic Opportunity Act improved and increased the number of educational programs, gave money to the youth through Job Corps, and gave volunteers to troubled communities to provide educational and social services (doc. B). The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and the Model Cities Program also were formed during Johnson’s presidency. The Model Cities Program redeveloped the urban city. This attempted to improve the conditions for the poor who lived in the city.
Prior to Johnson’s aid, many people felt “…sick of ‘poor’ people demonstrations…” (doc. G). So, Johnson’s main goal was to improve the poverty problem in the US which he did successfully. Between 1960 and 1970, the percentage of non-whites that fell below poverty level decreased from 53. 3% to 32. 0% (doc. H). Also the percentage of whites that fell below the poverty line decreased from 18. 1% to 9. 9% during the 60s. Clearly, his programs were effective. Socially, blacks had many problems regarding their human and civil rights. They continued to fight for them throughout the 60s.
Johnson supported this and passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This piece of legislation outlawed the application of unequal voter requirements and segregation in schools, work, and public places. He also facilitated the March on Washington. He, as well as Governor Wallace of Alabama, federalized the Alabama National Guard, and sent an additional 2200 troops from the U. S. Army to protect the marchers. His wide support for the civil rights movement was great, but still many blacks were being discriminated against due to the lack of enforcement of the Civil Rights Act in specific areas.
His administration had the ability to do great things, yet they only did good things in response to the civil rights issue. Lyndon B. Johnson and his administration, “[made] it possible for every child of every color to grow up in a nice house, to eat a solid breakfast, to attend a decent school, and to get a good and lasting job” (doc. F). Johnson did this through his many successful programs like the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. He repaired many of the political, economic, and social problems of the US in the 60s effectively.
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