Chapter 34

Chapter 34: New Frontiers: Politics And Social Change In The 1960s

Chapter Outline

I. Kennedy's rise

  1. The election of 1960
    1. Backgrounds of the candidates
    2. The campaign
      1. Kennedy's Catholicism not a problem
      2. Televised debates favored Kennedy
      3. The civil rights issue
    3. Results
  2. Kennedy's administration
    1. Cabinet appointments emphasized youth
    2. The "Kennedy style" displayed at the inauguration

II. The Kennedy record

  1. Congress Democratic but conservative
  2. Legislative successes
    1. The Alliance for Progress and the Peace Corps
    2. Trade Expansion Act
    3. Domestic social legislation
  3. The Warren Court on civil liberties
  4. Civil rights under Kennedy
    1. Kennedy at first hesitant to act
    2. Greensboro sit-ins
      1. Based on King's "militant nonviolence" philosophy
      2. Creation of SNCC
    3. Freedom riders
    4. Integration of the University of Mississippi
    5. King's "Letter from Birmingham City Jail"
    6. Kennedy endorses civil rights
    7. Wallace's defiant gesture
    8. March on Washington
      1. High point of movement
      2. King's "I Have a Dream" speech
    9. Modest progress in cities like Atlanta

III. Foreign frontiers

  1. Bay of Pigs disaster
    1. 1,500 anti-Castro Cubans prepared by CIA
    2. Failure of invasion
  2. Berlin Wall
    1. Khrushchev threatened to limit access to Berlin
    2. Kennedy calls up Reserve and Guard units
    3. Soviets constructed Berlin Wall
  3. Cuban missile crisis
    1. Discovery of missiles in Cuba
    2. Kennedy imposes naval quarantine
    3. Khrushchev blinks
    4. Aftereffects
      1. Lowered tensions
      2. Sale of wheat
      3. Washington-Moscow "hot line"
      4. Removal of obsolete missiles
      5. Nuclear test ban treaty
  4. Vietnam
    1. Neutrality for Laos
    2. Premier Ngo Dinh Diem
      1. Lack of economic and social reform
      2. Opposition to Diem
      3. Overthrow of Diem and later military regimes

IV. The end of Kennedy's administration

  1. Assassination in Dallas
  2. Lee Harvey Oswald
  3. Jack Ruby
  4. Chief Justice Earl Warren

V. Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society

  1. Johnson's background and style
  2. Passing Kennedy's legislative program
    1. A major tax cut
    2. The Civil Rights Act of 1964
  3. Declaring war on poverty
    1. Michael Harrington's The Other America
    2. Economic Opportunity Bill
    3. The Great Society
  4. The election of 1964
    1. Republicans
      1. Sought "a choice, not an echo"
      2. Nominated Barry Goldwater
      3. Goldwater's weaknesses
    2. Johnson's appeal for consensus
    3. Landslide victory for Johnson
  5. Landmark legislation
    1. Medicare
    2. Federal aid to education
    3. Appalachian redevelopment
    4. Housing and urban development
    5. Immigration Act
  6. Assessing the Great Society

VI. From civil rights to Black Power

  1. Voting Rights Act of 1965
  2. Rise of the Black Power movement
    1. Riots in 1965 and 1966
    2. Condition of urban blacks
    3. Philosophy of the Black Power movement
    4. Malcolm X and other leaders
    5. Positive effects of the Black Power movement
      1. Helped African Americans take pride in their racial heritage
      2. Forced King and others to focus attention on plight of inner-city blacks

VII. The tragedy of Vietnam

  1. Efforts to avoid defeat
    1. Escalation
    2. The cost of the war
  2. The Tonkin Gulf Resolution
    1. Response to attack on American destroyers
    2. Johnson interpreted to be congressional approval for war
  3. Escalation in 1965
    1. Attack at Pleiku
    2. "Operation Rolling Thunder"
    3. Combat troops to Vietnam
  4. The context for policy
    1. Consistent with containment
    2. Goal of American involvement
    3. Erosion of support
  5. The turning point
    1. The Tet Offensive
    2. Further erosion of support
    3. Presidential primaries became referendums on Johnson's Vietnam policy
    4. Johnson announced that he would not seek another term

VIII. The sixties crescendo

  1. Tragedies of 1968
    1. Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
    2. Assassination of Robert Kennedy
  2. The election of 1968
    1. Democrats
      1. Nominated Hubert Humphrey
      2. The disastrous Chicago convention
    2. Republicans
      1. Nominated Richard Nixon
      2. Represented stability and order
    3. George Wallace
      1. Candidate of the American Independent party
      2. Appeal to social conservatives
    4. Narrow victory for Nixon
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