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New Deal and the Great Society
The stock market crash of 1929 brought an economic crisis worldwide, and unemployment in the United States rose from 3% in 1929 to 25% in 1933 (New Deal pp). When Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated as the Democratic nominee, in July 1932, he promised "a new deal for the American people" and thus this phrase came to label his administration and its many domestic achievements (New Deal pp).
The Great Society was a phrase used by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, to announce his goal of social reforms to end poverty and racial injustice (Great pp). Johnson said, "We have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the Great Society ... The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all ... It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice" (Great1 pp). Much like Roosevelt's era when the country was suffering from the effects of the stock market crash and looking for compassion, the country in May 1964 was still in mourning from the assassination of President John Kennedy just six months before in November 1963 and were needing to hear optimism about the future (Legacy pp).
The New Deal drew heavily on the experiences of its leaders, reflecting the ideology of programs that Roosevelt and others had absorbed during their political careers (New pp). Their goal was to move from monopoly toward government regulation of the economy, and dispel the myth that poverty was a personal failure rather than a product of social and economic forces (New pp).
The Emergency Banking Act provided for Treasury Department inspection of all banks and assistance to failing large institutions, resulting in billions of dollars in hoarded currency and gold to flow back in, thus stabilizing the banking system (New pp). The Economy Act reduced salaries of government employees and pensions to veterans by fifteen percent, and the Agricultural Adjustment Act provided subsidies to farmers (New pp). To oversee the stock market, the Securities and Exchange Commission was established to set up a system of insurance for deposits (New pp). To aid unemployed workers, a series of relief measures and welfare agencies was established, such as the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Civil Works Administration, and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (New pp). In an effort to curb flooding and generate electricity in the impoverished region, the Tennessee Valley Authority was established (New pp). The National Industrial Recovery Act guaranteed workers the right of collective bargaining and helped spur major union organizing drives within the major industries (New pp). The NIRA also created the Public Works Administration, a program of public works spending designed to alleviate unemployment and pump funds into the economy (New pp).
The Great Society was also a series of domestic initiatives that focused on poverty and racial discrimination (Great pp). The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibited literacy requirements of voters and provided for federal registration of African-Americans voters in areas that had less than fifty percent of eligible voters registered (Great pp). The Department of Housing and Urban Development was established to develop and execute policy on housing and cities, and VISTA was a domestic version of the Peace Corps (Great pp). Job Corps provided at-risk youth jobs and training and the Upward Bound program provides academically successful children who are economically disadvantaged the tools need to apply, finance and succeed in college (Great pp). The Head Start program was established to focus on assisting low-income children up to five years of age to prepare them for school (Great pp). The Social Security Act of 1965 established Medicare, a health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, and Medicaid, a state and federally funded health insurance program for low-income individuals and families (Great pp).
The Great Society was never fully funded due to the Vietnam War that drained available resources (Great pp). Although its momentum came from the sentiments of Kennedy's death and efforts to heal the country, the new programs soon caused disillusionment when most failed to achieve the proposed outcomes (Legacy pp). The success of the New Deal varied, however, there were enough successes to establish it as the most important episode of the twentieth century, and although some historians have denounced its revolutionary nature, others have denounced it as a conservative, reactionary phenomenon (New pp). Roosevelt's New Deal was certainly more successful than Johnson's Great Society.
"Great1 Society." Encyclopedia of American Studies
Legacy of the New Deal in comparison with other Deals
The New Deal.
The Great Society.
Cold War Between Post-World War II and the End of the Vietnam War
Beginning in 1947, the Cold War began from the rivalry that developed after World War II between groups of nations with different ideologies and political system (Cold pp). The Soviet Union and its allies were on one side and were referred to as the Eastern bloc, and the United States and its allies were on the other side and referred to as the Western bloc (Cold pp). The reason why it is called the Cold War is because the struggles did not actually lead to direct military confrontation between the superpowers on a large scale (Cold pp). The United States and Soviet foreign policy was dominated by the Cold War from 1947 until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 (Cold pp).
Generally speaking, the Cold War was characterized by "extreme mutual distrust, suspicion, and misunderstandings by the United States, the Soviet Union, and the allies of each," creating conditions that often increased the likelihood of a third world war, which easily could have escalated to nuclear war (Cold pp). The United States accused the Soviet Union of trying to expand communism throughout the world, while the Soviet Union accused the U.S. Of practicing imperialism and trying to prevent revolutionary activity in other countries (Cold pp). There were occasions, such as the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, when tensions between the two ideologies took the form of armed conflict, however, "much of it was conducted by or against surrogates and through spied and traitors who were working undercover" (Cold pp). During these conflicts, the major powers operated for the most part by arming or funding surrogates, " which lessened direct impact on the populations of the United States and the Soviet Union (Cold pp). The two major powers never entered into direct armed conflict against each other, however, the 1962 Cuban missile crisis came close to escalating into a direct conflict (Cold pp).
During the 1970's, the Cold War gave way to "detente more complicated pattern of international relations in which the world was no longer clearly split into two clearly opposed blocs" (Cold pp). Detente refers to the tension reduction between the United States and the Soviet Union and a "thawing" of the Cold War that occurred from the late 1960's to the early 1980's (Cold pp). As less powerful countries began to assert their independence, the two superpowers came to recognized their common interest in trying to retard the spread and proliferation of nuclear weapons (Cold pp). From the late 1950's to early 60's, European alliance systems began to weaken, and in the Western bloc, France began to explore closer relations with Eastern Europe and the possibility of withdrawing its forces from NATO, and Romania, in the Soviet bloc, took the lead in departing from Soviet policy (Cold1 pp). The United States involvement in the Vietnam War in Southeast Asia resulted in additional conflict with some of its European allies and diverted its attention from the cold war in Europe (Cold1 pp). Together these factors contributed to loosening of the rigid pattern of international relationships (Cold1 pp).
One major source of conflict during the Cold War was Germany, especially the city of Berlin (Cold pp). The Berlin Wall isolated West Berlin, which was controlled by West Germany and the Allies, from the territory of East Germany, which completely surrounded it (Cold pp). The Berlin Wall has come to symbolize the Cold War (Cold pp). Another feature of the Cold War was the arms race between the Soviet Union and NATO, which resulted in huge leaps in the state of the art military technology, especially in the field of rocketry which ultimately led to the space race (Cold pp).
When the Communists gained power in Eastern Europe with the support of the Red Army, the Russian occupation zones in Germany and Austria were sealed off by army patrols, and threats were directed against Turkey and Greece (cold1 pp). Conflict often grew intense within the United Nations, "which was at times incapacitated by the ramifications of the cold war, at other effective in dealing with immediate issues" (Cold1 pp). Taking a stand against the expansion of Soviet influence, the Untied States rallied the West with the Truman Doctrine, which gave immediate aid to Turkey and Greece, and under the Marshall Plan, the…[continue]
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