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President Lyndon Johnson: Works Review Term Paper

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Updated: Nov 11th, 2021

Introduction

Lyndon Baines Johnson was born in on August 27th 1908. Johnson was a democrat and he became the president of the United States after John F Kennedy was assassinated. He completed Kennedy’s term and was elected as the president to run his own term. As a president he played a big part in the design of the great society legislation. The legislation had civil rights laws, laws for elderly people healthcare, and laws for poor people healthcare, education aid, and war on poverty. During his tenure he escalated the Vietnam War by increasing the number of American soldiers participating in the war. Johnson was also able to solve a lot of political, economic and social problems of the United States citizens.

His Presidency

On November 22nd 1963 Johnson was sworn in as president while onboard an air force one plane by Judge Sarah Hughes, this was after the sudden assassination of his predecessor John F Kennedy. Johnson promised to carry on Kennedy’s programs although he maintained some members of the cabinet who had been appointed by Kennedy including Kennedy’s Brother Robert F Kennedy who Johnson had a bad relationship with (Banta 27).

The civil rights

The civil rights movement began in the year 1954 after the supreme decided to ban public schools which promoted racism. Johnson played big part in the war against racism by passing the civil rights act of 1964 which indicated that racism was outlawed. This was one of the steps that Johnson had taken to carry on John Kennedy programs as it was John Kennedy who first proposed the act and gathered votes in the senate to support the act before his death. In July 2nd 1964 he signed the act into law. He further passed the voting civil rights bill which enabled millions of Black Americans to vote for the first time. Racism is seen as one of the social problems that greatly affected the Americans during the six tees but Johnson is seen as to have played a great role in fighting the vice. He heightened his war by announcing the arrest of four Ku Klux clan members who were implicated in the death of a civil rights worker, and angrily denounced the Klan saying it was an illegal movement. Johnson called the Churches to push for civil rights. He even went further to nominate civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall as the first Black American associate justice of the Supreme Court (Farrell15).

Great society

Great society program became Johnson agenda, it addressed issues such as “education aid, disease attack, Medicare, urban renewal, beautification, conservation, development of depressed regions, poverty eradication, crime, and control voting rights” (Dulker 105).

Education Funding

Johnson believed that education was the cure for ignorance and poverty and was the key to solving problems that bedeviled the minority and disadvantaged groups. After being elected as president in 1964 he gathered votes for the elementary and secondary education act which would see large amounts of government money going to supporting schools. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) main aim was to help children from poor families attend school by providing more funds to the public district schools whose large population was made up of the poor (Davidson 92).

ESEA also assisted private schools by offering them services such as library funding. Johnson further boosted the education sector by gathering votes for the higher education act that was presented in the senate; that was in the year 1965. The act’s intention was to fund low income students with grants, work-study money and government loans. Johnson then later on set up national endowment for the humanities and national endowment for the arts to assist students who wished to pursue careers in humanities and arts (Davidson 92).

War on poverty

Johnson’s war on poverty started in the year1964 as he requested the members of the senate to pass a tax reduction law and the economic opportunity act. In 1965 Johnson was at the center of advocating for the Medicare amendment for the Social Security Act; he signed the two bills at the Truman’s Library. The bill’s aim was to offer low income citizens with a government funded medical care. During his tenure Johnson called for hundreds of millions to be spent on housing on poor suburbs and cities. By the year 1967 Johnson’s administration had succeeded in increasing wages to unprecedented levels that no previous president had ever achieved. Unemployment had also been decreased and corporate and farm profits had grown to unimaginable levels (Mueller 23).

Vietnam War

Johnson is known to have played a great part in the fight against communist expansion by practicing the containment policy. After Kennedy’s death he increased the army participation in the Vietnam War from 16,000 to almost 500,000 soldiers (Mueller 27). Domestic issues played a big role in the war which saw his popularity plummet, and as the war grew less popular rifts in the Democratic Party started emerging. However Johnson’s participation in the Vietnam War was greatly supported by the Republicans and even though the Vietnam War played a big role in affecting his popularity, it strengthened the United State’s influence across the world.

Israel’s friendship with the United States was strengthened during Johnson’s tenure which he did by setting up a training ground for its army in Gibraltar to enable Israel defend itself during the six day war that took place June 1967. This act heightened the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union which supported its Arab allies. In May the same year, the Soviet Union had already deployed its naval forces to the East Mediterranean region to prepare themselves for any probable occurrence of war with the United States and Britain (Mueller 27).

Major Bills Johnson signed

During his tenure Johnson had been able to sign a number of bills. In the year 1964 he signed six major bills which included; the Civil Rights Act, Urban Mass Transportation Act, the Wilderness Act, Nurse Training Act, the Food Stamp Act and the Economic Opportunity Act. In the year 1965 he signed four major bills which included; the Higher Education Act, the Social Security Act, The Voting Rights Act and the Immigration and Nationality Services Act. In 1966 he signed only one major bill the Freedom of Information Act. In 1967 he signed two which were; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Public Broadcasting Act and lastly in the year 1968 he signed two, the Fair Housing Act and the Gun Control Act (Banta 27).

Legacy

Due to his great achievements Johnson is well remembered in the US for his contribution for the country, these contributions are remembered in a number of ways which include; the Houston Spacecraft Centre that is named Lyndon B. Johnson Center, Texas state also created an official holiday to celebrate Johnson’s birthday, the LBJ school of public affairs was named after Johnson to honor him, the interstate freeway in Dallas has renamed the LBJ freeway, Johnson was also awarded the presidential medal of freedom in the year 1980 among many others.

Conclusion

Johnson’s term ended in 1969 and during his term he was able to solve a lot of political, economic and social problems which faced the United States citizens. The problems included; poverty, education and racism. He was also able strengthen the United State’s involvement in worldwide issues and reaffirm the country’s number one position as a leading global power.

Works cited

Banta, Joseph: “President Lyndon B Johnson”. the Christiandelphian (1964). 26-32.

Davidson, C: “public papers of the Lyndon B Johnson”. Randall (1965). 92-100.

Dulker, J: “twentieth century world history”. Thompson (2005). 100-106.

John, Farrell. “Tip of the democratic century”. Brown (2001). 12-18.

John, Mueller: “war president and public opinion” Brown (1973). 20-35.

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