Lyndon Baines Johnson established himself in the office of the president. He encouraged Americans to build a society that eliminated the troubles of the underprivileged. The great society was crucial for growth and for directly helping to move people out of poverty. Great society had formidable contributions in welfare elements like Medicare, head start, social security expansion and education funding.
The main goals and philosophies of the Great Society were to eradicate poverty, lessen inequality and broaden opportunities for the Americans. Furthermore, the Great Society, the government was given the responsibility to promote the general welfare, fulfill, and expand the New Deal agenda. Finally, the society aimed at lessening of inequality.
Key measures were introduced to achieve these goals. To fight poverty, Johnson came up with several programs that were meant to eliminate paucity by improving living standards and enabling citizens to remove themselves out of the jaws of poverty. There was increased emphasis on fostering skills and work habit. Those living in impoverished conditions were also incorporated into local programs that saw them getting aid from the local organizations. Another anti-poverty measure was the introduction of food stamps, a program that fed hungry Americans
Concerning education, a Head Start program designed to help disadvantaged four and five-year –old children to gain access basic education. Schools in impoverished American regions would receive voluntary teaching attention. Government funds were set to help struggling communities to attack joblessness and illiteracy. On Medicare, all Americans over the age of sixty-five were provided with subsidized medical care. On the other hand, Medicaid was applicable to qualified poor residents (Foner, 2007).
There is no other American history affected nearly every aspect of American life as the Vietnam War. This war had immense impact on American culture, politics and life. Both war horrors became the inspiration for a great deal of the literature, enjoyment, music and film production
The war also influenced the composition of music at that time. People started looking for brighter and uplifting sounds. This saw the birth of rock n roll genre of music. This was a time of depression and this just the kind of music needed to uplift peoples’ spirit. Besides rock n roll hype, folk music also impressed the American culture. The hippie culture personified not only personified music but also the concept of drugs and sex. This disposition helped to alleviate the pressures inflicted by the war embraced on America’s home front. The singers in that decade include Elvis Presley the Folk King Bob Dylan among others. Rock n roll led to the birth of hard rock, better known as metallic rock. This has greatly influenced the current generation as they are increasingly continuing to glorify sex and drugs.
In addition, the war saw the rise of protest songs. These songs offered people an opportunity for expressing their disfavor for conducting of war. The rhythm and melody of the songs did not matter much, as did the message. The messages brought out such emotions of political commotions, anger and dissatisfaction. Protest music was connected with a protest movement that spread among students in the United State colleges.
By the mid1960s, television was among the most important source of news for the Americans. At the time of the warfare, newspapers and magazines and broadcast dominated news coverage. More Americans began to get their news from television than from any other source of news. As a result, the mainstream of Americans started to prefer watching television news to reading newspapers. Hollywood television and the music industry made Vietnam a staple of famous culture.
War stories and narrations became part of common cultural life. After the war, a large number of literary works linked with wars begun to flood the market. These works managed to transfer the cruelty of the marital warfare atmosphere to the readers. Today, majority of Americans continue to rely on television broadcast to get news on the global happenings.
While in the battle field, black soldiers most of the college leavers began to regret their decision to take part in the conflict. They begun to recognize themselves with the Vietnams and started to see them as victims of while colonial aggression. This led to many instances of dissertations of refusal to obey orders given by officers. Generally, total discipline broke down. In light of military, hundreds of people expressed their anti war standpoints by refusing to pay income tax, which supported the defense budget. Anti-war demonstrators also used music, television, symbols, picket signs and movies to gain public support. In addition, College students’ organizations united against the war (Foner, 2007).
The sources of rights revolution included political activists and the educated people who were aware. These revolutions were also sparked by the mistreatment of the minorities in the American society. These revolutions were significant as they served as the starting point for the liberation of the oppressed people in the society (Foner, 2007).
Nixon administration saw the onset of a period of high inflation rates and high unemployment among the Americans. The inflation was as a result of Lyndon Johnson’s policy to finance the warfare and social programs through deficit expenditure.
His administration was looking for positive and unique programs that could inexpensively solve social problems.
Negative income tax strategy was adopted to solve welfare problems. The thought behind the plan is so as to give the recipient a cash benefit while working, but the benefit is reduced as income increases. The administration proposed a family assistance plan and a workforce provision. Under this plan, each family unit of four without other income would get a federal imbursement of $1600 per year. Jobless people were expected to take job training and later take up reasonable jobs offered to them. In 1970, he passed a bill to grant additional funding for Housing and urban development (Foner, 2007).
The 1970s was a decade characterized with protests and demands for radical change. The Cold War and the Vietnam War damaged America faith in their government and leaders. Most Americans felt that its involvement in the Vietnam War was unwarranted. They were totally against the war. In addition, the country was under the siege of a declining economy and worsening living conditions for its citizens.
Americans were unresolved conflicts and problems that challenged the post-war liberal consensus. They were faced with economic stagnation, recession, and increasing poverty. Income for America workers fell on average two percent a year each year from 1973 to 1981. The American dream was becoming harder to achieve by the day and there were bitter divisions over America’s fundamental cultural values (Foner, 2007).
Reagan has been nominated to stand alongside Franklin Roosevelt as the best American presidents of the twentieth century. During his second term as president, significant progress had been made toward accomplishing a genuine détente between United States and Russia and ending the war. He also was behind the accord with the Soviet Union over their pulling out from Afghan War. The war was resolved amicably, a rare case at the time.
He also included women in the Supreme Court. Fulfilling his promise, in July 1981, Reagan announced the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor for a seat in the Supreme Court. He was also committed to fighting drug abuse in the States. The Anti-drug abuse Act was meant to increase the severity of punishments for drug related problems. He played a significant role in Americas’ effort to become a drug free country.
Reagan domestic policies had a major impact on the American people and will have for year to come. He was behind the Social Security reform bill, which was designed to ensure the long-term solvency of the security system. He also oversaw passing of immigration reform bill, as well as the extension of the Medicare program to shield the elderly and disabled against escalating health costs (Foner, 2007).
The most notable international initiatives of the Clinton administration include, but not limited to, debt cancellation to third world countries. This debt relief was aimed at boosting the struggling economies of the third world countries. Most of these countries are in Africa, which has been grappled with underdevelopment over the decades.
Another achievement is its efforts to restore peace in Somalia. Somalia has been characterized by civil war since 1980s. The country does not have a stable government and it has been under the rule of the Islamic groups. The Clinton administration was at the forefront in providing aid relief to Somali refugees. The administration also provided military aid to help the weak government overcome the aggressive Islamists.
Finally, Bill Clinton embraced health care reform; Health Security Act was one of the initial major initiatives of his administration. It was an impressive and ambitious proposal that provided a detailed blueprint for a national health plan (Foner, 2007).
Innovation played a pivotal role in the unprecedented economic prosperity in the United States during the 1990s. Greater efficiencies in production and the widespread integration of information technology in new business models added to the productivity growth after 1990. High productivity, accompanied with good monetary policy enabled full employment without inflation (Foner, 2007).
The major cultural conflict in the 1990s is racial discrimination. Blacks together with the rest on the non-white were considered as inferior and did not enjoy the same rights as the rest of Americans. They did not get the same opportunities in the job market and in all public sectors (Foner, 2007).