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Liberalism and the 1960 s Chapter 29
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l War in Vietnam l War on Poverty l War on Conformity
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l As the American middle class grew during the 1950 s, American writers observed concern about the same-ness of that class Neighborhoods, corporate workplaces, churches, political parties all seemed to value a homogenized “American look. ”
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l Examples of writers who commented on this phenomenon: David Reisman, The Lonely Crowd William Whyte, The Organization Man Sloan Wilson, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l The “Beats” railed against this lifestyle in their poetry. – – l Allen Ginsburg – “Howl” Jack Kerouac – On the Road By 1960, mainstream writers were doing so as well: – – John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society John Updike, Rabbit, Run
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l Artists also “rebelled” and painted in unorthodox styles Edward Hopper, paintings of lonely and isolated individuals in a big city surrounding Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko painted increasingly angry and abstract images
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l Eisenhower had served two terms and could not run for a third term in 1960. Republican Party nominated his vice president, Richard M. Nixon had made a name for himself in the anticommunist crusades of the 1950 s. Democrats nominated young Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l By today’s standards, both candidates seem remarkably conservative. Platforms were not markedly different But Kennedy did propose modest social changes – – – raise in minimum wage renewal of city neighborhood Government-funded medical care for the elderly
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l Election returns were close; outcome not decided until afternoon of the day after the election. Kennedy mandate slim: popular vote was 51%-49% Nixon ran for Governor of California in 1962 and lost Humiliated by this defeat, told reporters in a surly tone as he conceded: “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around any more. ” l Nixon retired from public life.
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l Democrats had a majority in Congress But their agenda was stalled because Southern Democrats were “Dixiecrats. ” Working with GOP on many issues, they prevented the social agenda of JFK from passage.
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s The young president seemed idealistic to many l Reminiscent of King Arthur character in popular 1960 s musical “Camelot” l Press began to refer to JFK administration as “Camelot. ” l
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l May 1961: Civil Rights struggle Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) sponsored first “freedom rides” Busloads of black and white college students rode buses to Southern states to encourage black residents to register to vote Much resistance from local Southern governments
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l Controversial JFK appointment: Made his brother, Robert F. Kennedy (RFK), Attorney General. RFK announced his intention to use Department of Justice as an active force in desegregation of schools, colleges, transportation, and to watch over voter registration and elections.
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l JFK proposed a Civil Rights Bill to Congress in 1963. Would have banned segregation and other racial discrimination in housing, hotels, public transport of all types, schools, etc. Would have withheld federal funding from all segregated states.
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l Dixiecrats and GOP in Congress once again stalled this bill. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a “March on Washington” of some 200, 000 black and white people demanding the legislation be passed. Site of “I have a Dream” speech.
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l CIA plan in works under Ike, to “liberate” Cuba CIA infiltrators hoped to recruit anti-Castro Cubans to assist Planned landing at the “Bay of Pigs” JFK inherited plan and OK’d April 1961: disaster at the Bay of Pigs CIA agents captured
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l Khrushchev ordered construction of Berlin Wall August 1961 after unsuccessful summit in Berlin JFK announcement of increased defense spending Huge influx of refugees to the “western” sector JFK’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, hugely popular with Germans
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l USSR began testing nuclear weapons in the Fall of 1961 JFK ordered Pentagon to resume underground testing in USA Very tense time in Cold War politics JFK ordered missiles at US Air Force Bases in Turkey to be pointed “at the ready” towards USSR
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l October 1962: U-2 reconnaissance planes discovered missile sites in Cuba, pointed at USA
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l JFK announced blockade of Cuba Ultimatum to USSR: dismantle bases immediately and remove all nuclear missiles from Cuba, or face active retaliation Very tense time – Bob Dylan: “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l USSR backed down, Khrushchev ordered missiles removed. JFK ordered missiles in Turkey removed also. Began “hot line” communications between the two nations, Quiet easing of nuclear tensions after the “Cuban Missile Crisis” But in exchange, JFK promised that the US would not invade Cuba
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l Russian ship transporting missiles away from Cuba
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l Following summer (July 1963) Nuclear Test Ban Treaty signed by all major UN powers except France and China (neither of which had full nuclear weapons at this point) JFK announced peaceful programs (Alliance for Progress, Peace Corps) to promote international understanding
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l JFK was assassinated November 22, 1963
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l Assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was captured almost immediately by Dallas Police Department after killing a Dallas police officer
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l While Oswald was being moved by the Dallas PD two days later, he was murdered by Jack Ruby later died in prison of cancer, without ever revealing his motives for killing Oswald
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) succeeded to the presidency He was sworn in on Air Force One later on the day of Kennedy’s assassination
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l Earl Warren (former California governor, now Chief Justice of the Supreme Court) was named by LBJ to investigate circumstances of JFK’s murder Warren Commission concluded that Oswald had acted alone
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l “Oswald acted alone” This conclusion was unsatisfactory to most Americans, who believed a wider conspiracy Many still do l LBJ continued the programs of JFK l l
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l In 1964, there were many sit-ins, marches, demonstrations, etc. in support of civil rights Most public facilities (restaurants, hotels, even water fountains) were segregated In many cases, racial segregation had the force of law
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed that summer No more employment discrimination, no more segregated public facilities, etc. Created Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was created to investigate violations related to employment
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l The last remaining voting restrictions against black persons were removed – – Poll tax (24 th Amendment, January 1964) Grandfather clause, etc.
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l Medicare Act, 1965: reduced cost medical care to all on Social Security Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 1965 (ESEA) increased federal aid to children in poor schools Head Start, 1965: quality pre-school experience for poor children, help them “catch up” to middle class peers
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l Immigration Act of 1965 ended ethnic quotas Immigration now based entry visas on skills of the person applying, or on refugee status from a communist country Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) established in January, 1965 Set up public housing, tore down slums.
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l JFK had started NASA in 1962 Announced goal of “Man on the Moon” before end of decade. LBJ continued space exploration programs Gemini and Apollo programs
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l As more civil rights walls tumbled, American black people (esp. young) became more and more impatient for strides to be made more quickly Uncovered many problems simmering in inner city neighborhoods Manifested as increased militancy among black urban poor males
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l Dr. Martin L. King Jr. announced voter registration drive in Alabama to utilize the new voting rights provisions of the 1965 Civil Rights Act. March 1965, march from Montgomery AL to Selma; marchers taunted by AL police Televised violence that met the marchers led to demands for further reform
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l Voting Rights Act of 1965 provided federal assistance and protection for anyone working to register minority voters
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l Urban rioting first broke out in poor Watts section of Los Angeles, 1965 Later “long, hot summers” saw pattern repeated in poorest urban US areas – l Newark, Detroit, Memphis, Chicago. LBJ appointed Kerner Commission to investigate causes of urban riots
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l Commission concluded that basic causes were: Urban male youths being excluded from Great Society programs White police seen as outsiders in urban areas Lack of black officers on police force Free rein given to violent police officers
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l Leadership of black “Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee” (SNCC) morphed gradually into more militant Black Panther Party (Stokeley Carmichael. ) Popular and feared Black Panther slogan: “Burn, baby, burn. ” MLK murder in Memphis April 1968 sparked more rioting across country
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l Cesar Chavez worked to organize United Farm Workers (Mexican-American pickers) Urged Americans to boycott all produce picked by non-union workers American Indian Movement (AIM) mobilized to secure civil rights for Native Americans
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l Young people brought a new edge to liberalism on American college campuses, “The New Left” Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) instrumental in student demonstrations against the Viet Nam war, and for Civil Rights – l Radical/violent “Weatherman” faction SDS “Port Huron” statement quoted American communists and Mao Zedong
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l SDS active in the “campus free speech” movement; picketed any US government on campuses (e. g. , military recruiters, job recruitment fairs by contractors in military industries, companies that practiced discrimination, etc. ) Began to use “sit in” as a means of disrupting campus business
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l SDS strong through end of 1960 s Sub groups became increasingly radical, experimental in music, dress, and lifestyle. Drug culture often mixed with political radicalism Led to a new “counterculture, ” protesting all typical American middle-class life.
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l Women’s movement origins: Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (1963) National Organization for Women (NOW) founded 1966 by Friedan, Gloria Steinem, other men and women seeking equal rights for female Americans
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l US had a historically small advisory force in Viet Nam (placed first by Ike in 1956) In 1964, an American ship in Gulf of Tonkin was allegedly fired upon by North Vietnamese LBJ asked Congress for authorization to use whatever military force was needed to respond “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution” passed by Congress
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l Escalated into major shooting war, though never a formal declaration beyond the Tonkin Gulf Resolution It was later proved that the ship had not been fired on, only perceived a threat of NV fire LBJ consistently requested more troops over next 4 years Over ½ million American troops in Vietnam by 1968
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s YEAR Troop Strength 1959 760 1960 900 1961 3, 025 1962 11, 300 1963 16, 300 1964 23, 300 1965 184, 300 1966 385, 300 1967 485, 600 1968 536, 100 1969 475, 200 1970 334, 600 1971 156, 800 1972 24, 200 1973 50
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l Burden of service fell heavily on lower class young men; middle and upper class families put their sons in college to obtain student deferments. American society divided into “Hawks” (prowar, largely WW II veterans) and “Doves” (antiwar, largely young people)
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l January 1968 Viet Cong offensive over the Vietnamese New Year (Tet holiday) – l l VC = irregular forces allied with the regular army of communist North Vietnam Eventual loss for VC but US suffered heavy casualties. Number of deaths and injuries sparked many anti-war demonstrations in US
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l LBJ bowed out of 1968 election campaign after the Tet debacle; lost heavily in Wisconsin primary. In face of loss and of many riots on college campuses, LBJ declined to seek re-election rather than risk tearing country apart. Made himself an instant “lame duck” president; anti war protests grew
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l After LBJ bowed out, Democrat front-runners were “Dove” Senator Eugene Mc. Carthy of MN; pro-Civil Rights Senator Robert Kennedy (JFK’s brother) of MA; and incumbent Vice President Hubert Humphrey of MN RFK was assassinated in summer 1968 Mc. Carthy unable to gain large following Dems nominated Humphrey at rowdy Chicago convention
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l Chicago riots in and around the convention all televised; left “bad taste” regarding liberalism in the mouths of Many mainstream conservative Americans GOP capitalized on the many Dem failures Nominated Richard Nixon and Spiro T. Agnew on a “peace with honor” and “law and order” ticket. Nixon with 1% margin
Liberalism and the Wars of the 60 s l l l Alabama Governor George Wallace led a third party challenge appealing to fears of government-engineered integration. Nixon’s margin likely would have been larger if Wallace had not entered (Wallace won 14% of vote) Evidenced US’ disenchantment with liberalism