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America During Its Longest War, 1963-1974


Chapter 29 America During Its Longest War, 1963-1974 Web Lyndon B. Johnson in the White House Built on politics of consensus Determined to continue Kennedy s ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: America During Its Longest War, 1963-1974

Chapter 29
  • America During Its Longest War, 1963-1974

Lyndon B. Johnson in the White House
  • Built on politics of consensus
  • Determined to continue Kennedys initiatives
  • Tax cut proposal
  • War on Poverty
  • Economic Opportunity Act
  • Office of Economic Opportunity
  • Job Corps
  • Civil Rights
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Prohibited racial discrimination in public
    accommodations associated with interstate
  • Mississippi Freedom Summer
  • Freedom Democratic Party

Election of 1964
  • Republicans nominated Barry Goldwater
  • Unabashedly conservative campaign
  • Described as on the radical right
  • Even many republicans considered him extreme
  • Johnson reelected handily
  • Trouble beneath the surface
  • Appeal of segregationist George Wallace
  • Reinvigorated conservatives
  • Propelled new Republicans into prominence
  • Ronald Reagan
  • William Rehnquist

Great Society
  • Fulfillment of dreams of Johnsons Democratic
  • Medical care for the elderly and low-income
    citizens (Medicare and Medicaid)
  • Created Department of Housing and Urban
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • Heartened Johnsons supporters and appalled his
  • Goal was to help people fight their own way out
    of economic distress

Evaluating the Great society
  • Rekindled debates about proper role of national
  • Raised expectations that could not be met
  • Conservatives have been unrelentingly critical
  • Leftists lamented failure to challenge the
    prevailing distribution of political power and
    wealth in order to reduce poverty
  • Agreement that Great Society left its mark
  • First significant outlay of federal dollars for
    social programs since New Deal
  • Significantly expanded reach of welfare state

Escalation in Vietnam, 1964
  • Tonkin Gulf Resolution
  • Stemmed from confusing events in August, 1964
  • Became justification for concerted U.S.
  • Resolution in Congress
  • All necessary measures to repel armed attack
  • Johnson used as tantamount to congressional
    declaration of war
  • Debate over extent of American involvement within

Escalation in Vietnam, 1964 (cont.)
  • Some voices calling for stepped up U.S. presence
  • Others warned than Americanization would bring
    only defeat
  • Johnson feared political consequences of pulling
  • Feared fallout on Great Society
  • Believed in domino effect
  • Operation Rolling Thunder
  • Deployment of U.S. ground forces

Escalation in Vietnam 1965
  • Use of napalm to defoliate jungle cover
  • Further ground troop deployment
  • Each escalation seemed to make further escalation
  • U.S. and North Vietnam became locked in game of
    escalation and counter-escalation
  • Search and destroy missions
  • Saturation bombing (Operation Ranch-hand)
  • Johnson refused to be candid with public about
    extent of war escalation
  • I.S. escalation generated help to North Vietnam
    from China and the Soviet Union
  • South Vietnamese government in precarious state
  • Countryside being devastated
  • Flood of U.S. aid dollars destabilizing economy

Vietnam War
The Media and the War
  • Lack of actual Declaration of War prevented
    strict controls on reporting
  • Television coverage made Vietnam a living room
  • Johnson fanatical about monitoring war coverage
  • Antiwar activists criticized perceived prop-war
    media coverage
  • Some reporters were overt in their criticism
  • Public became polarized into hawks and doves

The New Left
  • Students for a democratic Society (SDS)
  • Endorsed civil rights and the fight against
    racial discrimination
  • Port Huron Statement
  • Called for participatory democracy that would be
    responsive to the wishes of local communities
  • General opposition to the establishment
  • Unrest on college and university campuses
  • War came to dominate agenda of student protesters
    by 1966
  • Debate over student deferments
  • Draft card burning
  • Unstructured demonstrations came to dominate
    campus life

American Attitudes toward Vietnam War
The Counterculture
  • Rejected traditional attitudes on clothing, hair
    styles, and sexuality
  • Embraced an experimental approach to daily life
    and an environmental ethic
  • Media highlighted association with drugs,
    communal living arrangements, and new forms of
    folk-rock music
  • Participated in 1967 march on the Pentagon

From Civil Rights to Black Power
  • Watts riots, 1965
  • Malcolm X and Black Power
  • Initially affiliated with Nation of Islam
  • Integration was unworkable
  • Self-defense By any means necessary
  • Renewed pride in African-American heritage
  • Vigorous efforts at community reconstruction
  • Organized Organization of Afro-American Unity
    after breaking with Nation of Islam
  • Murdered in 1965 by enemies of Nation of Islam
  • Black Panthers
  • Criticized slow pace of civil rights litigation
  • Preached confrontation and self-defense
  • Civil Rights Act of 1968
  • Fair housing provision watered down to protect
    landlords and real estate agents
  • Federal offense to cross state lines in order to
    incite a riot
  • Directly aimed at Black Panthers

1968Violence Overseas
  • Tet Offensive, January
  • Serious psychological defeat for United States
  • Called into question claims of imminent victory
  • Contributed to policy that would later be called
  • Johnson announced he would not run for
    reelection, March
  • Halted bombing of North
  • Initiated peace talks

1968 Violence at Home
  • Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in April
  • Spurred violence and riots across the country
  • Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in June
  • Violence at political conventions
  • Republicans plagued by racial violence in Miami
  • Democrats hurt by brutal suppression of
    anti-protesters in Chicago

Election of 1968
  • Vice-President Hubert Humphrey was Democratic
  • Republicans ran Richard Nixon
  • George Wallace ran on American Independent Party
  • Spoke of using nuclear weapons to end war in
  • Nixon won narrow victory

Nixons Economic Program
  • Two decades of economic growth came to an end
    during Nixon presidency
  • Inherited high levels of domestic spending, and
    expensive war in Vietnam, and the deteriorating,
    but still favorable balance of trade
  • Soaring unemployment and price inflation
  • What economists came to call stagflation
  • Nation ran its first trade deficit of the
    twentieth century in 1971
  • New Economy policy
  • 90 day freeze on wages and prices
  • Subsequent government monitoring to detect
    excessive increases in either

Nixons Economic Program (cont.)
  • Abandoned gold-to-dollar ratio in 1971
  • Dollar would thereafter float against both Gold
    and all other currencies
  • Devalued dollar in 1973
  • Cheapened price of American goods in foreign
  • Little improvement of U.S. trade balance resulted

Nixons Social Policy
  • Family Assistance Plan
  • Abolish other welfare programs, including AFDC
  • Institute a guaranteed annual income for all
  • End Post-New Deal system of aid to those in
    particular circumstances
  • Provide aid to everyone
  • Not implemented
  • New federalism plan to return federal tax money
    to the states in the form of black grants with
    virtually no restrictions
  • Supplementary Social Security Insurance for the
    elderly, blind, and disabled
  • Gradual expansion of Medicare and Medicaid
  • Social Security payments indexed to inflation in

The Supreme Court during the Nixon Administration
  • Dominated by activist majority devoted to
    recognizing a broad range of constitutionally
    protected rights
  • Miranda v. Arizona guaranteed rights to persons
    accused of violent crime
  • Conservatives saw as coddling of criminals
  • Three conservative justices appointed by Nixon
  • Harry Blackmun, William Rehnquist, and Lewis
  • Dandridge v. Williams declared that welfare was
    not a national right
  • Roe v. Wade ruled that a state law making
    abortion a crime violated a womans right of

Foreign Policy Under Nixon
  • Key Advisor was Henry Kissinger, national
    security advisor
  • Détente as major foreign policy goal
  • Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with Soviet Union
  • Opening toward China
  • Vietamization
  • Withdrawal of U.S. troops
  • Stepping up of air war and intensifying
    diplomatic efforts to reach settlement
  • Nixon Doctrine
  • U.s. Military assistance to anticommunist
    government in Asia
  • Nations left to provide their own military forces

Foreign Policy Under Nixon (cont.)
  • Withdraw U.S. troops but not accept compromise or
  • Adhered to bombing halt over North
  • New operations in South
  • Incursion into neutral Cambodia
  • Spurred opposition at home
  • Kent State and Jackson State
  • Contributed top rise of Khmer Rouge

End of U.S. involvement in Vietnam
  • Secret war protected in Laos and Cambodia after
  • Peace talks in Paris proceeded as war was
    actually expanding
  • Communists within 30 miles of Saigon in the
    Spring of 1972
  • Nixon responded with resumption of bombing and
    mining of harbors in North
  • Cease-fire announced weeks before 1972 election
  • After election, U.S. firepower increased
  • Christmas bombing
  • Paris Peace Accords, 1973
  • Withdrawal of U.S. troops
  • South Vietnamese discontinued to fight
  • Collapsed in April 1973

Aftermath of the Vietnam War
  • 3.5 million Americans served, 58,000 died,
    150,000 wounded, 2,000 remain missing
  • Blame game played by all sides after the war
  • was after
  • All Americans could be no more Vietnams

  • Caused collapse of Nixons presidency stemmed
    from Nixons deep mistrust for nearly everyone
    in Washington
  • Established plumbers unit to protect
    administration from enemies
  • Funded by illegal campaign contributions
  • Broke into Democratic Partys headquarters during
    1972 re-election campaign
  • Irony is that Nixon won election handily and
    didnt need to resort to dirty tricks to win
  • Administration was involved but denied it and
    instituted cover up instead
  • The press, Congress, and the federal judiciary,
    all began searching for the truth
  • Eventually bits of the truth began trickling out,
    and Nixon was implicated in both the original
    break in and in the cover up

Watergate (cont.)
  • Nixon continued to deny involvement, even after
    discovery of a secret White House taping system
    that could implicate him if the tapes were
    surrendered to the courts
  • Supreme Court ruled unanimously in U.S.v. Nixon
    that he had to give them up
  • House Judiciary Committee voted three articles of
  • Obstruction of Justice, violation of
    constitutional liberties, refusal to produce
    evidenced requested during the impeachment
  • In the end, Nixon chose to resign rather than
    face trial by the senate
  • Left office in disgrace on August 9, 1974,
    succeeded by Gerald Ford
  • Received an unconditional pardon by Ford
  • Public knowledge and understanding of Watergate
    not high today

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