Chapter 27: The New Frontier and the Great Society
CHAPTER 27: THE NEW FRONTIER AND THE GREAT SOCIETY The Big Picture : John F. Kennedy said Americas New Frontier lay in finding solution for unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered pockets of ignorance and prejudice In Lyndon Johnsons Great Society, every citizen had the right to health care, education, housing, and equal opportunities. Main Idea: President Kennedy continued the Cold War policy of resisting the spread of communism by offering help to other nations and threatening to use force if necessary.
CHAPTER 27 SECTION 1: KENNEDY AND THE COLD WAR Kennedy Becomes President During his election Kennedy emphasized the New Frontier, he meant frontiers of the mind, the will, and the spirit of man. Kennedy was also Catholic, first president to be Catholic. When Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in Georgia during a protest, Kennedy called his wife and also helped get Luther released from jail. Earned him the African American vote.
Kennedy was the youngest President, until Obama, to be elected. Wanted to focus on change for America. Gathered a young cabinet to advise him. The Bay of Pigs Invasion President Eisenhower had authorized the CIA to train 1,500 Cuban exiles in Central America to invade Cuba in a hope to overthrow the dictator Fidel Castro. Castro was anti-American and signed a trade agreement with the Soviet Union. Eisenhower cut off economic and diplomatic ties in response. The CIA hoped that an invasion of Cuba would inspire the people
to revolt against Castro. Kennedy authorized the invasion despite warnings from his advisors against it. The Bay of Pigs invasion was a disaster. The plan leaked a week before the invasion, air raids were connected to the Americans and the US connection to the revolt was exposed. Castro was prepared for the land invasion on April 17. Kennedy did not send any back up into Cuba to help overthrow Castro. Bay of Pigs invasion strengthened Castros ties to the Soviet Union. The Berlin Crisis Kennedy did not send in backup in Cuba because he did not want Soviet Union retaliation in Europe.
Khrushchev saw the failure in Cuba as weakness and decided to push against him in Berlin. Kennedy asked Khrushchev to meet with him in Vienna in an effort to ease tensions between the two countries, Khrushchev used the meeting as an opportunity to demand recognition of the Communist Eastern European countries. Western Berlin was controlled by Democratic nations (United States and Great Britain) while Eastern Berlin was controlled by Communist Government (Soviet Union). Kennedy worried that the Soviet Union would use force to gain control of Western Berlin, began making preparations to respond. The Berlin Crisis August 13, 1961 Communist forces closed the crossing
points between Western and Eastern Berlin, Soviet soldiers were stationed along the border between the two halves. Soon after a concrete wall was erected that became known as the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall divided families, neighborhoods, streets, and even cemeteries. Eventually built a second wall parallel to the first one that would allow for the Soviets to patrol the wall. Cuban Missile Crisis Policies during the Bay of Pigs and the Berlin crisis pushed Khrushchev to be more aggressive.
Khrushchev was concerned about a second invasion of Cuba and also American nuclear missiles in Turkey. Soviets responded by putting missiles near the Southern border of the United States. Americans criticized Kennedy for being soft on communism as Khrushchev began pumping more aid and missiles into Cuba. Soviets claimed that the installation of these weapons was defensive not offensive. Kennedy reported the Soviet activity to the US public reporting that if the claims were untrue the gravest issues would arise. Moscow replied that a US attack on Cuba would mean war. Cuban Missile Crisis Kennedy assembled a group of advisers called the Ex Comm to
help him decide on a response to the Soviets. Decided upon a blockade of Cuba in an effort to force the Soviet Union to remove the missiles themselves. Kennedy went on television to tell Americans about the Soviet threat, putting Americans on full alert. Kennedy prepped the country for war and to show Khrushchev the seriousness of the situation. A Soviet ship was en route to Cuba with missile supplies on board Khrushchev warned that trying to stop them would mean war. Before they got to the blockade they turned back. Two days later Kennedy got a letter from Khrushchev stating that the Soviet Union would remove the missiles if the United States pledged to never invade Cuba.
Kennedy accepted the offer and the Soviet Union removed their missiles. Kennedys Foreign Policy Kennedy believed that peace should not be enforced by weapons but by people and their link to humanity. Enacted programs that reflected his belief. The Peace Corps trained volunteers for service in third world countries. Alliance for Progress offered billions of dollars in aid to build schools, hospitals, roads, low cost housing, and power plants to governments in Latin America. Main Idea: John F. Kennedy brought energy, initiative, and important new ideas to the Presidency.
CHAPTER 27 SECTION 2: KENNEDYS THOUSAND DAYS Kennedys New Frontier John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie Kennedy were portrayed in photographs and by the media as young and energetic which boosted his public image and popularity with the American people. Kennedys plan to reform America became known as the New Frontier, much of America was not reform minded in the 1960s. While he was popular with the American public he was not as
popular with Congress and was unable to get many of his initiatives passed. His popularity did help him solve problems outside of Congress. Kennedy was able to get a few initiatives passed that would help the poor such as the Area Redevelopment Act and raising the minimum wage. Space Program The program that came to symbolize Kennedys New Frontier was the space program. The Soviet Union was ahead of Americans in the space race. They had launched a satellite and also a human into space. Kennedy was determined to send a man to the moon
to advance the Americans above the Soviets in the space race. The space race was just as much a part of the Cold War as the arms race and containment of Communism. Warren Court Earl Warren was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court during Kennedys presidency, the Supreme Court would be responsible for some major rulings during his presidency. Earl Warren did not have a strong civil rights record, promoted Japanese internment during WWII. He did persuade the Supreme Court to ban racial segregation in the nations schools in 1954 Brown v. Board of Education. In the mid 1900s State Legislatures had not redrawn
the boundaries of their districts to reflect their population, the Supreme Court would rule in Baker v. Carr that this situation would deny urban voters equal protection of the law. Required that the districts be redrawn so that everyone has equal vote. Warren Court Warren court also extended the Bill of Rights to the actions of State Governments. Mapp v. Ohio established that search warrants required by the 4th amendment apply to state and local police too, not just federal agents. Gideon v. Wainwright established that the state must provide lawyers to poor persons being tried for crimes. Miranda v. Arizona established that when making an arrest
the police must make them aware of their fifth and sixth amendment rights. The Warren court also ruled on religious freedom in America during the Engel v. Vitale case that outlawed prayer in schools. The Kennedy Assassination In order to win re-election Kennedy travelled to Texas to campaign, he rode in an open car on November 22 where he was shot and killed. President Johnson was sworn in aboard Air Force One. Kennedys death shocked the world and rocked the nation.
Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for shooting President Kennedy. President Johnson formed a commission, headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, called the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy. They reported that Oswald had acted alone. Main Idea: President Johnson used his political skills to push Kennedys proposals through Congress and expanded them with his own vision of the Great Society CHAPTER 27 SECTION 3: THE GREAT SOCIETY
Johnson becomes President Johnson and Kennedy were opposites appearance wise, Kennedy had appealed to the American public with his good looks and charm, Johnson was crude and a large and sometimes intimidating man. Johnson taught public school in Texas and gave up his career for politics during the Great Depression. His experience as a school teacher allowed him to see poverty first hand and influenced many of his policies. Promoted an extended role of government that would help make peoples lives better.
Enacting Kennedys Agenda Johnson reassured the nation in Kennedys passing that he would carry on Kennedys legacy including his programs including the New Frontier. Kennedys interest in anti-poverty programs had been influenced by Michael Harringtons The Other America that countered the idea that every American had benefitted from the postwar prosperity. In his first State of the Union address Johnson declared a War on Poverty. He asked Congress to pass the Economic Opportunity Act which they passed in August 1964. Creating the Great Society After he was elected President he pushed even harder for his own programs and his own vision saying that
There is work to be done. We are on our way to the Great Society. For his special interest in Education Johnson passed the first large scale program of government aid to public schools. The Economic Opportunity Act supplied for a program for preschool children of low-income parents called Headstart that would give those children a head start before starting kindergarten. The Omnibus Housing Act provided housing for low income Americans that created the Department of Housing and Urban Development that was headed by Robert Weaver. Creating the Great Society
In July 1965 Congress authorized funds for states to set up Medicaid that would provide free medical care for poor people. It also established Medicare a health care program for people over 65. Many of the Great Society programs were designed to help every American regardless of their socio-economic status. Part of that was improving air quality and the environment through the Highway Beautification Act and the Air Quality Act. The peak years of the Great Society were 1965 and 1966 in which Congress passed 181 of the 200 programs proposed, many Americans were concerned about the pace of reform and voted in new Congressional members who would slow down the passing of Great Society programs. Some programs such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was passed, established PBS and NPR.
Johnsons Foreign Policy Another factor in the decline of the Great Society was the increasing involvement in the Vietnam War. 385,000 US troops were stationed in Vietnam and the US government was spending $2.5 billion each month on the war. Pressure was on as government was attempting to pay for expensive domestic programs and an expensive war. Johnson chose to fund the war over the domestic programs, stopping the spread of Communism was his most important priority. Declared that intervention was justified to prevent the spread of Communism in Latin America, became known as the Johnson Doctrine. Sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union and work
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