Great Society Essay

670 WordsDec 18, 20143 Pages
President Kennedy had several proposals in the works with regard to the war on poverty and discrimination when he was killed. When Lyndon Johnson took over, he picked up these Kennedy plans and added his own recommendations and was able to get the largest social improvement agenda in history passed. The main goal was the elimination of poverty and racial injustice and major spending programs were put in place to try to reduce the troubles of the poor in America. Johnson challenged Congress to help him build a “Great Society” by the passage of over 100 reform programs in the areas of poverty, discrimination, transportation, the arts, consumer safety and many others. Federal funds were provided for special education in slum areas, including help in paying for books and transport, while financial aid was also provided for slum clearances and rebuilding city areas. The Higher Education Acts provided various outlines in which young people from poor homes could receive job training and higher education and Head Start was established to give underprivileged toddlers free preschool. Public broadcasting and educational television was provided for and a government consumer safety and protection department was formed to protect the public from dangerous products. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbade job discrimination and the segregation of public accommodations and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 assured minority registration and voting. It suspended use of literacy or other qualification tests that had served to keep African-Americans from voting and provided for federal court lawsuits to stop poll taxes. Food stamps, free meal programs, welfare and Medicaid and Medicare increases were all intended to relieve poverty. And they did, for a time. However the initial intention was to prepare able-bodied, economically disadvantaged people to go to work. Johnson
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