Kennedy Era Essay

CHAPTER 39 ESSAY QUESTIONS 1. Explain why the civil rights movement of the 1960’s became more radical and violent as the decade progressed. What changes occurred in the motives, assumptions, and leadership of the movement? * The civil rights movement in the 1960’s became more radical for President Kennedy promised to help desegregate more public places and support the civil rights movement but his slowness in actually helping the movement made the groups take more action to draw more attention to them. Such as the Freedom ride and what happened in Anniston and Birmingham where people firebombed and beat up the freedom riders on the buses.

The riots caused attention to the movement and further action for it. Also then Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. had a fruitful relationship as they helped to support each other. Also an African American named James Meredith enrolled to Old Miss College but was prevented and beaten, but President Kennedy stepped in to help and sent troops to escort James Meredith to and from school. The changes in the Civil Rights Movement was that the members wanted more equality in public places as well, which led to tensions between them and the anti-civil rights people, causing more violence and chaos. . Assess America’s role in Vietnam in the 1960’s, considering: a. Diem’s assassination – Americas role in the Diem assassination was that President Kennedy at first sent American forces to South Vietnam to help protect Diem from the communists long enough to allow him to enact basic social reforms favored by the Americans, but Kennedy eventually despaired of the reactionary Diem and encouraged a coup against him. b. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution – Was a result of Northern Vietnamese fired in self-defense on American Naval ships, but Johnson called it unprovoked.

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With the Tonkin Resolution Congress virtually abdicated their war declaring powers and handed the president a blank check to use further force in Southeast Asia. c. The policy of gradual escalation – Was an idea of gradually increasing forces in Vietnam as to suffocate the enemy. The idea started with the creation of the Green Berets who were Special Forces and were an elite antiguerrilla outfit trained to survive and to kill with scientific finesse. As the war in Vietnam progressed so did the American force in Vietnam. It failed. d.

The bombing campaign – Was a result of Viet Cong guerrillas attack on American air base at Pleiku, South Vietnam. The president ordered “operation Rolling Thunder” which was a series of bomb raids on North Vietnam. 3. Evaluate President Johnson’s Great Society program. Do you think that its goals were realistic? Admirable? Why did it receive such heavy support in Congress? * President Johnson’s Great Society Program I believe was a bit ambitious but admirable. The program was a sweeping set of New Dealish economic and welfare measures aimed at transforming the American way of life.

It was a program or “war on poverty” which twenty percent in affluent America and forty percent of the black population suffered in poverty. This was an ambitious task and idea for Johnson had to come up with a way to help those suffering form poverty without increasing national debt too much. Congress though was in full support of the program because Johnson was able to ringmaster his two to one Democratic majorities and so Congress pored out a flood of legislation, comparable only to the output of the New Dealers in the Hundred Days Congress of 1933.

This led to the creation of the Office of Economic Opportunity, also two new cabinet members. The program gave aid to education, medical care for the elderly and indigent, immigration reform, and a new voting rights bill. 4. What was the impact of the 1960’s cultural rebellions on education, religion, and the family? * During the sixties a newly negative attitude toward all kinds of authority took hold. Disillusioned by the discovery that American society was not free of racism, sexism, imperialism, and oppression, many young people last their traditional moral rudders.

Neither families nor churches nor schools seemed to be able to define values and shape behavior with the certainty of shared purpose that many people believed had once existed. Even the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church were churned and upheaved. There were even marches and riots at schools about the war in Vietnam, some sons and daughters of the middle class became radical political rebels, or others turned to drugs. Also during this time there was a “sexual revolution” where more gays and lesbians were coming out and sought equality.