Camelot by yurtgc548

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									The Liberal Consensus,
      c1945-1963
   The “Liberal Consensus”:
Containment at home and abroad
(1) “Containment” ruled: the US should in
    principle seek better relations with the USSR
    while keeping its guard up
(2) The economy should be strong, leadership
    should be strong, America should be strong
(3) Social Security was assured
(4) The use of fiscal and monetary measures to
    maintain full employment was accepted
(5) The federal government should enforce
    compliance with the law, but with caution
    The Liberal Consensus
“Most of America’s problems are technical
problems, are administrative problems.
They involve sophisticated judgements
which do not lend themselves to the great
sort of ‘passionate movements’ which have
stirred this country so often in the past.”
          John F. Kennedy
Henry Wallace and the
Progressive Party, 1948
The “Fair Deal”
Social Security Act
  (1950)
National health
  insurance?
Raising the minimum
  wage?
Public housing? (1949
  Act)
…but also Taft-
  Hartley Act
  “Modern Republicanism”
“Should any political
party attempt to
abolish social security
and eliminate labor
laws and farm
programs, you would
not hear of that party
again in our political
history…” Dwight D.
Eisenhower, 1952
            Eisenhower and
           Consensus Politics
• Raised minimum
  wage
• Increased pensions
• Oversaw creation of
  new Dept of Health,
  Education and
  Welfare
• Highway Act (1956)
 Harry Truman on Civil Rights
  “Our immediate task is to remove the last
  remnants of the barriers which stand between
  millions of our citizens and their birthright.
  There is no justifiable reason for discrimination
  because of ancestry or religion or race or color.”
• desegregation of the military and federal
  government by Executive Order (1948)
• Justice Department filed amicus briefs in Civil
  Rights cases… including Brown
 Harry Truman on Civil Rights
• Fair Employment Practices Commission
  expired in 1946 – Congress refused to
  renew it
• Congress rejected Truman’s proposal to
  make lynching a federal crime
Henry Wallace, 1948
          The Dixiecrat Revolt
“Dixiecrat” Party:
Strom Thurmond
  Judicial Activism
“Red Monday”: June 17, 1957
   Brown decision (1954)
Eisenhower and Civil Rights
“I don’t believe you can change the hearts
of men with laws or decisions”

“I personally believe if you try to go too far
in this delicate field, that involves the
emotions of many millions of Americans,
you’re making a mistake.”
Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955)




 Rosa Parks        Rev Ralph David
                  Abernethy and Rev
                  Martin Luther King
                  Frustrations
• “Prayer Pilgramage” at
  the Lincoln Memorial,
  May 17, 1957, led by Roy
  Wilkins of the NAACP
  and A. Phillip Randolph
• Lack of progress in school
  de-segregation: who now
  remembers Clennon King
  or Clyde Kennard?
Desegregation of Central High School,
     Little Rock, Arkansas, 1957
    Massive
   Resistance
•Southern
Manifesto (1956)
•White Citizens
Councils
•Rise of KKK
•Violence
•Became central
issue in Southern
politics
President, first lady and children, 1962
Bobby Kennedy
and Civil Rights
        JFK and Civil Rights
• Abstract for equal rights but no passion
• Fears that violence would harm US image
  abroad
• Let Hoover run FBI, failed to provide
  protection for civil rights workers
• Relied on deal-making with southern
  politicians, reluctant intervention at
  University of Mississippi in 1962
“The heart of the question is whether all
Americans are to be afforded equal rights and
equal opportunities… If an American, because
his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant
open to the public, if he cannot send his children
to the best public school available, if he cannot
vote for the public officials who represent him, if,
in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life
which all of us want, then who among us would
be content to have the color of his skin changed
and stand in his place?”
Kennedy TV address, June 1963
November 22, 1963
        What Might Have Been?
    Aroused liberal expectations but failed to
    deliver… And yet, in the last six months of
    his life…
•   Recognition of importance of Civil Rights
•   Called for a new rapprochement with
    USSR & proposed outlawing nuclear tests
•   A nationwide tour to highlight poverty
•   Limiting involvement in Vietnam?
“It was a magic moment in American history,
when gallant men danced with beautiful women,
when great deeds were done, when artists,
writers and poets met in the White House and
the barbarians beyond the walls were held back…
It will never be that way again.”
           Jackie Kennedy, December, 1963
Making Sense of the Sixties
              The Sixties:
       a revolutionary decade?
• Sexual, cultural, & social revolutions
• Violence, unrest
• Identity politics
              The Sixties:
       a revolutionary decade?
• Continuity in mainstream culture
• “Boomers” grew up in affluence
• Prosperity re-shaped American landscape

								
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