Study Guide for Lyndon B. Johnson and American LiberalismChapter 1: Describe LBJ’s early years. How did LBJ participate in New Deal activities?Chapter 2: What were three new areas of focus for liberals in the late 1940s and 1950s? How did LBJ function as Senate majority leader? What changes did he make in the office? How did the Democratic Senate work with the Republican president? How did Johnson deal with racial issues in the 1950s?Chapter 3: What were LBJ’s views on racial policy and Vietnam as vice-president? How did he respond to poverty programs introduced to him when he became president? How did he persuade Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964? What was the political response of the South?Chapter 4: What was the philosophical basis of the Great Society? How did LBJ pursue his programs with Congress? Describe some of the Great Society programs. What sorts of problems did some Great Society programs encounter? Why didn’t the middle-class think the Great Society benefited them when it actually did?Chapter 5: What was the impetus for the Voting Rights Act of 1965? Why did universalism appear not to work with civil rights problems? How did the EEOC change in the late 1960s?Chapter 6: What principles and ideas shaped LBJ’s attitude toward Vietnam? Briefly explain the activities of the presidents before LBJ in Vietnam. Why did LBJ get the United States more involved in Vietnam? What problems did soldiers face in Vietnam? What was the credibility gap?Chapter 7: What were the economic consequences of funding both the Vietnam War and social programs? Why did people leave the “liberal coalition?”Overall Question: What were LBJ’s greatest successes? Greatest failures? Looking at his entire career, was it a success? Why or why not?
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