President Lyndon B. Johnson Essay

Pages: 3 (1021 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sociology

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
In that respect, Roosevelt's reforms, although similar in nature to those of Johnson, were more pragmatic and simplified. The New Deal largely lacked the lofty ideals of the Great Society regarding spiritual and the achievement of man's full potential, and merely focused on decreasing the level of destitution in the country. Yet virtually all of Johnson's reforms aimed at correcting needs of a financial nature -- his desire to create affordable housing, his need to eliminate poverty, the ability to remove penury as an obstacle to the learning experience -- descended directly from the New Deal. More significant than individual measures proposed by each president is the overall ideology that they shared which mandated it would require a new mentality and a cooperative effort between the American people and their government to overcome the respective obstacles they faced.

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For all of the lofty idealism that Johnson imparted upon his audience in Michigan on the occasion of his address, his Great Society largely failed in most of its measures. In fact, Johnson created a political climate that was notoriously hostile (as much as Kennedy's was revered) due to some of measures. His war on poverty, despite exacting a highly arduous toll on American taxpayers, yielded precious few tangible results. Even worse was his foreign policy, which intensified efforts in Vietnam and helped to prolong another costly war which yielded America little of value. His ideals for eliminating racism widely failed as well. There were a number of race riots that typified the rest of the 1960's following his presidency. The racial climate was more hostile than ever, a fact that is underscored by the assignations of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and, to a lesser extent, Robert Kennedy.

Essay on President Lyndon B. Johnson Describes Assignment

In hindsight, Johnson should be revered for the ideology he erected during the forming of what he would have a Great Society be. Unfortunately, many of the measures he actuated were contrary to his goal of producing an ideal society in which Americans and the country as a collective fulfills its full potential for good. Johnson developed a number of interventionist methods (much like Roosevelt did during the New Deal) that utilized copious quantities of government spending which produced no truly tangible results -- save for a federal deficit. Although he was never able to actuate the Great Society in the terms he propagated in front of his audience at Michigan, many of those ideals he discussed may have produced some positive change in the students he spoke to. In hindsight, one of the reasons he filled this particular address with so much idealism may be attributed to the fact that he was trying to captivate a young and idealist audience -- prior to sending them off to a failing war.

Works Cited

Ember, Steve. "American History: Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War." Voice of America. 2011. Web. http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/american-history-lyndon-b-johnson-and-the-vietnam-war-133122408/116230.html

Johnson, Lyndon. "Address at the University of Michigan." 1964. Print.

Siegel, Robert. "Lyndon Johnson's War of Poverty." NPR. 2004. Web. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1589660 [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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