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In the United States’ history, the term “Great Society” refers to the Lyndon Johnson’s domestic policies. The purposes and strategies of Johnson’s Great Society Programs were aimed at supporting the New Deal reforms through the use of political skills in order to enact the remainder of Kennedy’s programs. Through the Great Society Programs, Johnson aimed at using his influence, so as to push through new laws meant to help the minorities and the poor to establish a country in which diseases, poverty and racial injustice would be abolished through government reforms. The Great Society was also known for the significant contributions towards the expansion of social programs and the protection of civil rights (Forner, 2008, p.30)
How the Vietnam War Transformed American Culture and Politics
The Vietnam War, which was known to be a military attempt carried out by the United States of America in the South East Asia with an aim of halting Communist aggression, had a great impact on the United States. The American history’s course was greatly changed through the Vietnam War. The country’s policies on domestic politics, foreign affairs, social and cultural history were greatly changed due to this event. As a result of Johnson’s domestic initiatives which were victimizing to the rising crisis in Vietnam, valuable resources were drained from domestic concerns making his public support become eroded. The Vietnam War changed American politics in that it led to controversies over the draft age which saw the voting age being lowered to 18 years in 1971 through the 26th Amendment and which saw soldiers fight and die without any voice in American politics. The music in the 1960’s also greatly influenced the American culture like, for instance, the Fish and Country Joe’s “…well it’s 1, 2, 3, what are we fighting for, don’t ask me …next stop is Vietnam”. The Vietnam War also led to divisions among Americans who favored the war and those who opposed it.
The Sources and Significance of the Rights Revolution of the Late 1960s
The Rights Revolution of the late 1960’s gained momentum during the United States government’s military intervention in Vietnam. The American society developed widespread tension which tended to flow according to generational lines concerning the war in Vietnam, sexual mores, different interpretation by various people about the American Dream, traditional modes of authority, women rights e.t.c. As a result, it led to the emergence of new cultural forms like the British Ban and pop music in addition to the hippie culture. The Rights movement involved using of applied non-violence, in order to have an assurance that equal rights guaranteed under the United States constitution would apply to all American citizens. Several non-violent movements led to the successful address of rights which were initially denied to the African Americans.
Major Policies of Nixon Administration on Economic and Social Issues
Major polices of Nixon administration could be best described through his creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. His major policies were, therefore, based on law and order. This was through the application of diplomatic influence and American power in order to influence global and regional problems. The adoption of the “Vietnamization” policy was aimed at reducing the casualties on the American side, while the “madman” approach was used to ensure that international relations were adopted. The principle of “linkage” was also applied by Kissinger and Nixon to deal with the Soviet Union. Nixon, just like most of the Eastern Republicans was in support of the New Deal policies. Nixon shared revenues with States through direct grants, and established the “New Economic Policy” which ensured that national interests were put first before anything else.
The Roots of the Rise of Conservatism in the 1970s
In politics, the term “conservatism” refers to a set of propositions regarding the activity of governing which is defined against the radical ideologies having roots in the eighteenth century like for instance socialism and liberalism which had a profound effect on the history of the world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As such, conservatism advocates for the use of limited ambitions in politics by arguing that the government’s aspirations should emphasize modesty and the State’s value of continuity.
The roots of the rise of conservatism in the 1970’s can be best understood as being a decade of cynicism, disillusion, anger and bitterness through the examination of this context in the aftermath of the Cold War, Watergate and the Vietnam War. The American people became disillusioned with their democratic institutions and the government in their 1970’s. The American society of the 1970 became politically disillusioned because of declining standards of living and economic decline. The 1970’s, for many Americans, became a decade of transition which was marked by frustration, confusion and a feeling that America had lost its direction. The Americans in 1970’s were faced with problems and unresolved conflicts which challenged the heart of post-war liberal consensus, and thus, were faced with increased poverty, economic recession and stagnation, bitter divisions on the American fundamental cultural values and the fear that indeed, the American dream was becoming harder to achieve.
How the Reagan Presidency Affected Americans both at Home and Abroad
Ronald Reagan’s accession was known to have ushered in a period that was short lived of popular acceptance of economy, both at home and abroad. The failed assassination attempt on March 1981 lengthened the political honeymoon normally given to a new President. With the support of conservative Western and Southern Democrats, Reagan introduced a domestic policy which was a large programme of increased defense expenditure and phased tax cuts. A programme of tightened control and business deregulation, as well as education and welfare budgets, were partially accepted by the Congress over the supply of the government information. Such policies greatly affected Americans back at home in various ways.
On the one hand, the Reagan’s presidency affected the Americans abroad through his seeming determination of his administration to impose the American priorities and leadership everywhere in the world. Due to this, both enemies and allies in the foreign policy were surprised by the frank triumphalism exhibited in the American rhetoric. Due to such policies, NATO partners were, thus, pushed into increasing military readiness and defense expenditure. Moreover, Margaret Thatcher, who was a strong supporter at the time, was affronted by the President’s (Reagan) willingness of selling grain to Russia through pleasing the agribusiness sector, while at the same time attempting to use the US subsidiary companies in Europe coupled with technology to hinder the Western Europe from importing the Russian natural gas which was very much needed.
In conclusion, Reagan’s domestic policies are known to have greatly recessed the Economy of the United States and led to the beginning of the longest peacetime economic boom that ever happened in the 20th century as a result of his pre-election recovery. Through Reagan’s “Peace abroad and prosperity at home”, his legacy was known to be a long economic boom which recaptured the self-confidence of the nation, but also marked by a decay of community spirit due to the increased inequalities. In American history, Reagan will best be remembered as being the man responsible for having tripled the United States’ national debt. Reagan is also known to have presided over one of the largest military buildup during the peacetime in the history of the United States.
The Major International Initiatives of the Clinton Administration in the Aftermath of the Cold War
Bill Clinton’s major interest on principal foreign policy when he ascended the Whitehouse was to stay out of trouble. Being a democrat, Clinton began this process through the policy interests which were domestically powerful. The reputed peace dividend at the end of the Cold War, according to the views of many Democrats, should have gave room for policies aimed at dealing with the nation’s most pressing domestic problems. The elections held in 1994 were known to have dramatically changed domestic policy options for Clinton and further increased his persistence and attentiveness towards the foreign policy. Clinton appeared to be unprepared and indecisive in handling the foreign policy because of an absence of an international consensus aimed at dealing with difficult choices which abounded at the time, like for instance, issues to do with Haiti, Bosnia, Somalia and even Korea. Bill Clinton’s style of making decisions regarding the foreign policy was at most times accommodated towards the bureaucracy in which much action was known to happen.
The post Cold War reassessment of foreign aid was known to have brought sharp cuts in budgets which made the USAID to loose 24 foreign missions and 1/3 of its staff in the 1990’s. As a result, the Clinton administration in 1993 formed the Task Force aimed at Reforming the International Budget and AID which presented various broad based initiatives which reflected on the new perspective of transnational foreign aid like, for instance, prevention of spread of diseases, drug trafficking, environmental destruction and addressing concerns like for example migration, child survival, promotion of democracy and population growth. In order to make foreign assistance to be more amenable towards the emerging international realities, the Wharton Report task force became the part of the Clinton administrations’ prosperity, peace and Democracy Act proposal. The Congress in 1994 enacted the Support for Democracies in the East Europe and the Freedom Support Act aimed at helping the former Socialist States. Accordingly, the USAID established an Office of Transition Initiatives and a Center for Democracy and Governance. Such initiatives, as a result, made the United States provide aid to more than 130 nations than it did previously. The 1990’s was also a decade that was marked by close examination and assessment of international or foreign aids in the giving arena. Even though the major role of foreign aid was to forestall crises, it also looked dubious, since the United States aid was meant for failed States which had fallen apart because of corruption, mismanagement, oppressive leadership and civil war. Such countries included among others Sudan, Zaire, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Rwanda and Liberia.
The recognition of the fact that foreign aid looked dubious, and its contribution towards corrupt practices in such countries, made the United States cut off its bilateral aid to fifty nations. Washington only replaced such foreign aid through the assistance meant for humanitarian purposes. The United States economic assistance during the 21st century came from various channels. For instance, the Development Assistance Program (DAP) became a mammoth account which included programs like for instance the Development Fund For Africa, Support for East European Democracy, Economic Support Funds, the Department of State’s Narcotic Control Program, the Peace Corps and the InterAmerican Foundation. Apart from that, other United States cabinet agencies, like for example the Departments of Commerce and Transportation, gave their own technical assistance and aid in nations, such as Russia, Ukraine, South Africa, Egypt and Kazakhstan.
Cultural Conflicts that Emerged in the United States in 1990s
A lot of cultural conflicts emerged in the United States during the 1990’s which played a great role in fueling and escalating conformations among different people in the nation. There were several complains by African Americans clients that Korean merchants mistreated them through refusing to communicate with them and disrespect. Among the cultural conflicts that emerged in the United States in the 1990’s, there is the Los Angeles Riots which did not only involve white people alone, but also included the Koreans, Asians and Latinos among other groups. Some people labeled the Los Angeles Riots as being “bread riots” which implied that it was an up-rising among the lower class in the society. The burning and looting which became an articulation of protest and genuine grievances against economic and social conditions were due to the discrimination and oppression against the minor and poor minorities. Several factors are known to have contributed towards the worsening and frustration of residents in the South Central Los Angeles and among them included the rise of neo-conservatism, deindustrialization, the arrival of new Asian and Latino immigrants and dissatisfaction with the justice and law enforcement systems.