Evaluation #1 |
Culminating Seminar: Ursuline Studies 401 UCAP |
Chana Weinstein |
Although President Kennedy had proposed much legislation during his presidency, little of it was actually passed. He had simply laid the groundwork for reform. It was President Lyndon Byrd Johnson, however, who lit the match that would fuel the fire to make the early sixties the era of reform it would become. In fact, during his presidency, President Johnson signed more bills than any president who preceded him; in early 1965 alone, he submitted 87 bills to Congress, eventually signing 84 of them into law. This time period of 1964-1965 is sometimes referred to as the pinnacle of liberalism, as the American people felt an increased sense of liberty and equality during this time. There was still a divide, however, between the liberals and conservatives of the time. The laws enacted during this era altered the traditional relationship between the government and its citizens by vastly increasing federal power and the role of government, something that was not advocated by the conservatives. Still, despite this divide, President Johnson managed to push many reforms through the system - from extending regulation of the economy to ratifying numerous civil rights acts, from overhauling the health care system to introducing a range of new educational policies.
When President Johnson came into presidency, he was mindful of the economic struggles that many Americans were enduring, and he sought to improve their plight through a host of new government programs. In January 1964, the President declared his “unconditional war on poverty” with the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. This law created Community Action Programs, which aimed to help those who found themselves below the poverty line. Moreover, the administration established the Job Corps to train recent male high-school graduates for skilled employment. Recognizing hunger as a...