Policies of Lyndon Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson was propelled to the presidency as a result of the assassination incident of JFK. Johnson, generally regarded as one of his generation’s most knowledgeable and talented leaders, would quit office five years later as one of America’s least influential presidents. The man who had risen from poverty in Texas’ Hill Country to become the Senate’s acknowledged chief and occupant of the White House will return to Texas demoralized and discredited. He died four years later, just a few hundred meters from his birthplace.
Popularly known as LBJ, built his domestic policy on the concept of a “Great Society” during his presidency, focusing on the advancement and implementation of services that improved the lives of Americans in a multitude of ways. Read more about Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency and policies in this article.
Johnson announced a “War on Poverty” shortly after taking office. He worked hard to get bills passed in Congress to combat illiteracy, unemployment, and racial segregation.
Following his victory over Republican challenger Barry Goldwater by more than 15 million votes in the 1964 presidential election, Johnson proposed a series of new policies that he said would create a “Great Society” for all Americans.
His progressive policy plan resulted in establishing Medicare and Medicaid services, which offer government health benefits to the aged and the disabled. It also contained policies to strengthen schooling, fight violence, and lower emission levels in the air and water.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965
The 89th United States Congress passed this bill on April 11, 1965, and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed it into law. The act, which was part of Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” was one of the most far-reaching pieces of federal education law ever enacted by Congress, and was later emphasized and reinvented by the new, updated No Child Left Behind Act.
Following his landslide victory in the 1964 United States presidential election, Johnson proposed a massive overhaul of federal education policies, which led to the enactment of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The act authorizes government grants for career development, teaching materials, services to improve school activities, and parental engagement promotion in primary and secondary education. The law emphasizes fair access to education, with the goal of closing performance gaps between students and providing federal funds to schools that serve children from low-income families.
Higher Education Act of 1965
Representative Edith Green of Oregon adopted H.R. 3220 in January 1965, with the aim of “strengthening the educational services of our colleges and universities and providing financial aid for students in postsecondary education.” The Senate version of the measure, S. 600, was sponsored by Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon. The bills included forming a teacher training advisory board and establishing a National Teacher Corps, which would hire teachers to work in low-income communities and educate them through internships. Financial grants, incentives, work research, and library improvements were among the bills’ other provisions.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
This act which abolished segregation of public spaces and prohibited job discrimination based on race, color, faith, sex, or national origin, is regarded as one of the civil rights movement’s crowning political victories. President John F. Kennedy proposed it, and it overcame stiff resistance from southern members of Congress before being signed into law by Kennedy’s replacement, Lyndon B. Johnson. Congress amended the statute in later years, passing new civil rights laws such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Johnson approved the Voting Rights Act into law, with Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights advocates in attendance on August 6, 1965.
The law prohibited literacy tests, established federal control of voter registration in areas with less than 50% non-white residents, and allowed the U.S. attorney general to investigate the use of poll taxes in state and local elections.
The law aimed to remove legal restrictions at the state and local levels that prohibited African Americans from exercising their right to suffrage, as provided by the 15th Amendment of the United States Constitution. This act is widely regarded as one of the most significant pieces of civil rights law in American history.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson on October 3, 1965. Representative Emanuel Celler introduced the measure, and Senator Philip Hart, who co-sponsored it, became known as the Hart–Celler Act. The act ended the racial origins quota scheme that had been in place in the United States since the 1920s. It kept the per-country restrictions in place. It did, however, establish priority visa groups based on immigrants’ expertise and family ties to American citizens.
The Hart–Celler Act signaled a shift in American policy that had previously discriminated against non-northern Europeans. It broke down ethnic and national walls, prompting more immigrants from Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East to come to the United States. In the end, it changed the population makeup of the United States. Despite the act’s numerous critics, it is widely regarded as a significant accomplishment of the Johnson administration.
The Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a confrontation between North and South Vietnam that began in 1955 and lasted until 1975. The Soviet Union and other communist allies backed the North Vietnamese army, while the United States and other anti-communist allies supported the South Vietnamese army. As a result, it was a part of the Cold War. Lyndon B Johnson inherited the Vietnam War, and it influenced his foreign policy. By the time he died, Kennedy had raised the number of U.S. military forces in Vietnam from less than 700 in 1961 to more than 16,000 by the time he had died.
Despite his dissatisfaction with the United States’ participation in Vietnam, Johnson felt it was imperative to halt Communist expansion at all costs. Johnson steadily raised the number of U.S. troops in Vietnam, bringing the total to 500,000 by 1968. He also changed his operations from defensive to offensive. By 1968, the conflict had claimed the lives of 30,000 Americans. Lyndon B. Johnson was widely chastised, and there was a robust anti-Vietnam War campaign in the United States opposing American intervention in the conflict. Johnson could not fly somewhere without encountering demonstrations by the close of his administration.
President John F. Kennedy introduced a significant tax cut bill in 1963, but he failed to get it approved in the House of Representatives due to heavy conservative opposition. Following Kennedy’s murder, Johnson made it a top priority to support a tax-cut package. He collaborated closely with Virginia Senator Harry F. Byrd to get the budget down to under $100 billion in return for Byrd withdrawing his opposition. The bill was passed, and Johnson signed the Revenue Act of 1964 into law on February 26, 1964. The act decreased personal income tax rates by around 20%, lowered corporate tax rates, and established a minimum standard deduction.