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Decades of Change: America's Changeable Political and Economic Scene - Essay Example

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Author : allene79
Pages 6 (1506 words)


The essay "Decades of Change." explores the Great Society that was aimed, above all, at ending poverty. In order to accomplish that goal, the administration sought to provide opportunities for all Americans, regardless of their economic background, and to eliminate inequality…

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Decades of Change: America's Changeable Political and Economic Scene

The essay "Decades of Change: America's Changeable Political and Economic Scene" highlight that Johnson put forth Medicaid/Medicare; urban development/renewal; and increased funding for education and the arts. The introduction of programs such as food stamps and an emphasis on higher education helped reduce poverty, though many of the chronic problems the Great Society was designed to eradicate remain serious problems today.
Vietnam began the transformation of America’s concept of the Cold War and its belief in the value of direct and unilateral military intervention (Foner, 2008, 976-89). It would also have the effect of heightening domestic suspicion of government actions and motivations abroad. The government’s tendency to reduce mass slaughter (body counts) to the level of statistics and quasi-corporate projections, along with escalating American casualties, also stirred outrage over the government’s conduct of the war. The use of napalm and President Nixon’s decision to bomb Cambodia did much to stir up popular dissent, leading to the most widespread anti-war movement in the nation’s history. Vietnam served to radicalize American politics and drove many anti-war groups (such as the Weather Underground) to adopt desperate, even violent measures to force an end to the war. Persistent anti-war protests by the SDS, the 1967 march on the Pentagon and widespread resistance to the military draft eroded the nation’s will to continue waging war (Foner, 2008, 976-89).
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