The Hindrance Of The Great Society Due To Foreign Policy

3967 words - 16 pages

Most presidents within the 21st century have had programs with short names; Theodore Roosevelt had his Square Deal, Woodrow Wilson had his New Freedom, Franklin Roosevelt had his New Deal, and in the midst of several hundred graduates at the University of Michigan, Lyndon Johnson proposed the idea of the Great Society. After Kennedy's death, a loosely drafted plan in domestic affairs was dropped in Lyndon's lap. This loose sketch became a plan to bring a country out of low morale, lift the brethren, end poverty, and stop to racial injustices. Lyndon's plan was to build up the country and let it be like the city on the hill. Johnson said at the beginning of his presidency, "Let this session of Congress be known as the session which did more for civil rights that the last hundred sessions combined." He continued saying that he wanted "the most far-reaching war on human poverty and unemployment." He also stated that he wanted "a major health program, and a reform of transportation policies, and the most effective, efficient foreign aid program ever, and the construction of more homes, schools, libraries, and hospitals than any single session of Congress in the history of our Republic" (Miller 356). Partnered with Congress, Lyndon carried the original ideas of Kennedy, intertwined with the domestic ideas of his own and carried The Great Society further than any one expected. This blueprint for a unified, prosperous America not only excited the public due to its intrepid sweep, but because most ideas of The Great Society became law. However, whenever the '60s are mentioned, unsettling ideas of racial injustice, nuclear proliferation, Russia, and the "red scare" all come to mind. As Doris Kearns states on page 332 of her book Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, "The Heroes of the sixties were losers who survived or martyrs. Malcolm X, and Che Guevara become symbols of the age." Although a lot of proposals of The Great Society became law, what would America be like if the above stated ideas did not happen? For example what kind of peace would America been to be able to enjoy if American troops were never sent to Vietnam? If Lyndon Johnson did not have to worry about 59,000 deaths in Vietnam, would he have spent more time on The Great Society? With the absence of Vietnam in Lyndon's priority list, he would have been forced to work on the Great Society. In essence it can be revealed that foreign policy friction with Panama, The Middle East, Europe, The Soviet Union and Vietnam caused Lyndon Baines Johnson to forget about domestic affairs. In January 1964, while Lyndon Johnson still getting situated in Washington DC trouble arose in Panama. In 1903 Panama -then a republic was a roughly drafted state architected by the imperial Theodore Roosevelt. While Roosevelt used American forces to support the revolt against Colombia, he imperturbably sought the authority over the link between Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. While Panama was in a semi-state...

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