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America in the Sixties (1960-1968) Essay

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Updated: Apr 8th, 2022

President Lyndon Baines Johnson supported an extensive reform agenda that shaped the lives of many Americans in 1960s. It was the first constructive strategy to be instituted after the demise of Roosevelt.

LBJ instituted the changes in administration mainly to win public confidence that would further help him to capture the presidency seat. Through his mobilization and support, the law making organs approved two major laws.

The first law was the Civil Rights Act, which criminalized discrimination based on race and gender, especially in the employment quarters. The act also ended segregation of blacks in society.

The president also ensured that a law touching on eradication of poverty was passed. It was referred to as the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.

The law came up with various strategies, among them the formation of the office of Economic Opportunity. The president established another strategy through creation of a preschool program, which aimed at helping the poor students acquire quality education.

Between 1961 and 1963, President F Kennedy committed American troops to Vietnam to aid the north, which was under attack from Minh’s forces. Historians observe that Politically, Americans lost the war.

It further changed political and cultural values of many Americans. Politically, Americans were able to extend their ideological principles by influencing the north to adopt capitalism.

Without American intervention, communism could have spread at a high rate than expected. Furthermore, the USSR could have spread its communist ideas to the south and other parts of the American.

However, the Vietnam War renovated American politics and culture in many ways. Firstly, American policy makers came to the realization that national interests are important in formulating foreign policies.

Americans fought the Vietnam War unsuccessfully because nothing was achieved. The American populace detested the operation because taxes were spent on the war that could not benefit society in any way.

After the war, political leaders adopted realist approach as regards to the formation of external policies. Leaders believed that the international system had changed greatly and it existed according to the Hobbestian state of nature where life was nasty, anarchic and short lived.

In the international system, there was no Leviathan to bring peace and understanding. Therefore, it was prudent for leaders to withdraw troops from Vietnam since national interests were at risk. Since the Vietnam War, American foreign policies considered the national interests. Since then, the US can only attack another state with natural resources.

Due to harsh economic and social situations, many organizations and civil groups organized demonstrations across the world. The US was not exceptional since youths emerged to challenge the government over some issues.

For instance, the Tet offensive in Vietnam was one source of conflict that affected the government. The American people were dissatisfied with the way the state handled the war.

The war was costly but Americans achieved nothing from it. Americans believed that it was a waste of resources because the cost of living went up and the economy deteriorated.

Furthermore, political assassinations and extra-judicial killings sparked various demonstrations in the state. Unknown assassins controversially assassinated the head of state, F Kennedy, but there were no serious investigation.

The leader of blacks, Martin Luther King Jr., was also killed by racists because of his radical ideas that aimed at uplifting the lives of blacks.

The activities of civil groups brought some changes to the constitution because various amendments were made, which incorporate various groups into society.

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IvyPanda. "America in the Sixties (1960-1968)." April 8, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-sixties-1960-1968/.


IvyPanda. 2022. "America in the Sixties (1960-1968)." April 8, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-sixties-1960-1968/.


IvyPanda. (2022) 'America in the Sixties (1960-1968)'. 8 April.

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