As Kennedy's VP, Johnson was sworn into office after JFK's assasination in 1963. He won the election in 1964 with over 61% of the public vote, running against Republican Barry Goldwater.
The Great Society
- Pres. Johnson called his Democratic reforms the "Great Society"
- Promoted a New Deal type of economy, with welfare measures
- Gained popularity in fighting against poverty in Michael Harrington’s book, The Other America
- Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) were passed
- Created National Endowments to support the Humanities and the Arts
- 4 Big Legislative Achievements: immigration reform, education aid, new voting rights bill, and medical care for the indigent and elderly
The 24th Amendment was passed during Johnson's administration. It prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax.
Tonkin Gulf Resolution and Vietnam War
Vietnamese Cong guerillas attacked U.S. air base, in which Johnson responded by ordering bombing raids on North Vietnam
Operation Rolling Thunder - bombings on Vietnam
Gave the Vietnamese Cong more resilience and will to fight, however they were fighting in a lost war
Public opinion was against Johnson, as many draftees would flee to Canada, burn draft cards, or refuse to go and protest
Tet offensive - during the new year, Vietnamese Cong forces attacked 27 South Vietnamese cities but lost. It proved that Johnson’s policy of raising the stakes gradually would not work.
- Tonkin Gulf Resolution gave Johnson complete power over the war in Vietnam and sought to reprimand the North Vietnamese for their “attack” on U.S. naval ships.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act (Johnson’s Civil Rights)
Started by Kennedy, it made discrimination in most private facilities open to the public unconstitutional and illegal
Strengthened the federal governments power to end segregation in schools.
Created the Equal Employment Opportunity Coalition
Title VII passed along with the act to enforce gender equality as well
Voting Rights Act gave blacks more power in the south
- Led to a migration of black into the South
1968 – A “watershed” year!
Civil rights came into the forefront of political and social upheaval at the time. With the end of discrimination and racial practice, blacks started to become integrated into society
Public sentiment towards Vietnam left a more liberal and anti-federal government view in the minds of people.
Tet offensive was disastrous for the U.S.
Senator Richard Kennedy was assassinated by an Arab immigrant because of Kennedy’s Pro-Israel stance
Nixon won 1968 election
“Children’s Crusade” swept the nation in retaliation of the Vietnam War
- North Vietnam agreed to talk peace after Johnson ordered the bombings in Operation Rolling Thunder to stop.