HIST 409 American Military University Role of the Black Power Movement Discussion

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1. Racial Polarization (1966-1970): In our assigned reading this week, we learned that America’s Civil Rights movement fragmented after 1965 and in 1966-70 there arose a militant “black power” movement across America. A) Research (citing our textbook and at least one supplemental academic source) to define the concept of “black power.” B) How did the black power movement represent a break from Rev. King’s nonviolent and accommodation (blacks working side-by-side with Whites and other American citizens) strategy? C) Who were the Black Panthers; and why did they rise to prominence? D) Finally, explain why the Great Society legislation failed to address at least two “sources” underlying massive “race riots” that hit America’s big cities (including: Watts/LA; Chicago; Cleveland; San Francisco; Detroit; and New York City) between 1965 and 1968

2. JFK’s “New Frontier” at Home: Many laud JFK as one of America’s “greatest presidents” (certainly he was one of the most admired for his good looks and style; and much counterfactual legend was published after his tragic assassination). However, as historians, we must recognize that, in terms of domestic achievements his record was dismal. A) Research JFK’s domestic agenda, and start by focusing on one positive accomplishment (in terms of legislation/change in federal programs). B-D) Next, explain Patterson’s three reasons that he offers to explain JFK’s failure to promote a domestic “New Frontier” agenda. E) Based on your reading (supported by supplemental research), which factor(s) should we ascribe as most significant in terms of understanding JFK’s domestic shortfalls.

3. JFK and the Cold War: As noted by Patterson (p. 465), JFK often argued that foreign affairs are “the only important issue” for a president to manage. In terms of the Cold War, however, according to our text: JFK “escalate[d] tensions with the Soviet Union” (487). A-E) Research (citing at least one supplemental source) to explain at least three “outside forces” and two “personal” reasons why Cold-War tensions were exacerbated (to the highest levels of the Cold War) during JFK’s presidency. F-G) In JFK’s defense, list at least two decisions/actions by Premier Nikita Khrushchev that also contributed to record Cold-War tensions during these years (20 Jan 1961- 22 Nov 1963).

4. American Liberalism in the 1960s: Patterson argues that “liberalism” (as a political ideology) peaked in America during the JFK and LBJ administrations (Jan 1961-Jan 1969). A-C) Examine the following three legislative initiatives as “case studies” helping us define liberalism in the 1960s: first, the tax-cut bill (“Revenue Act”: sponsored by JFK, signed by LBJ on 26 Jan 1964); next, the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 (signed 2 July); and, third, LBJ’s “war on poverty” bill (“Economic Opportunity Act”: signed 20 Aug 1964). D) Based on our text (and supplemented by at least one academic source), define the major tenets of American “liberalism” under JFK and LBJ. E-F) As part of your investigation, explore at least two ways that liberal ideals promoted by these three legislative initiatives went beyond conservative ideals; but fell short of activists’ objectives.

5. Pres. Johnson’s “Great Society”: In our assigned reading this week, Patterson documents the skillful legislative achievements of the Johnson administration, especially in 1964 and 1965—highlighted by the passage of what Pres. Johnson called his “Big Four” initiatives. Research (citing our textbook and at least one supplemental academic source) to A) outline the major provisions of all four of these legislative initiatives [one at a time]. Also, as part of your discussion about each legislation: B) document at least one positive result/outcome attributed to each of these legislative actions; and C) document at least one negative result or unintended consequence of each legislation. In a final short paragraph: D) characterize what Patterson and/or other scholars describe as the “legacy” of President Johnson’s Great-Society Legislation (in general). E) Add your own characterizations.