Post War Economic Affluence essay

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Outline the Great Society of LBJ at the same time as the Vietnam War escalated

The ‘Great Society’ was a vision by the American president Lyndon B. Johnson when he became president in 1964. The president was able to pass several legislative programs that aimed at maintaining general security for the nation. He championed the struggle against the increased encroachment in Vietnam by the Communist.

The country underwent an important transformation under President Lyndon. After enacting the measures that President Kennedy had been pushing for before his death, i.e. the enactment of the civil rights bill and the tax cut bill, he embarked on a spirited campaign for a ‘great society, a society that reflected the hard labor of man in the returns it produced’.

At the time the country lacked basic things for the people that included quality education for every child, security locally and internationally, infrastructure to drive the economy. It had several needs and issues that needed to be addressed. The voting system had several obstacles that segregated some of the people from voting, there was a lot of bureaucracy in the country, poverty levels were on a high, and crime rates were so high and very frequent, among other things. The ‘great society’ was meant to eliminate and address these problems.

In 1965, Lyndon’s agenda in the Congress was the ‘great society’ in which he developed education programs to increase literacy levels and reduce attacks by diseases, the development of Medicare programs, renew urban centers, the beautification, development and conservation of depressed regions in the country, a large scale fight against poverty, the prevention and control of the crimes that were so rampant. In addition, the program removed a lot of obstacles to voting rights. Johnson’s recommendations were debated in the Congress and most of passed leading to a lot of elderly people finding relief in Social Security after the Medicare amendment program of 1965.

The country enjoyed a lot of success in various fields under the leadership of Johnson. One of these fields is the space explorations the country did. Several missions to space were successful due in part to the efforts the president had made in support to these programs. Despite all these successes, there were two crises that overshadowed them since 1965. One of these is the unrest and strikes that happened in the black ghettos. In spite of the strides the country had made in fighting poverty as well as the campaign against discrimination. The president made steady efforts using his influence in the fight against segregation in his efforts for upholding the rule for law and order.

The other crisis is that of the breakout of war in Vietnam. Fighting continued despite his efforts for peace. This greatly undermined his principles for a world of freed and security for every individual. Johnson made efforts to ensure that the Communist aggression was ended in Vietnam and that a settlement was reached for peace. His limiting of the bombings in North Vietnam so as to give room for negotiations heightened controversy, as well as his sudden withdrawal from the race for a re-election that should have given him more time to continue to push for his peace efforts. Though the peace talks initiated bore fruits, Johnson didn’t live long enough to see it.

Post war (WWII) economic affluence and the contrasting "other America" and the Civil Rights Movement

After the WWII in 1945, the United States underwent a phenomenal growth in the economy. The war restored prosperity and consolidated the country’s status as the richest country in the world. Its GDP grew by $100 thousand-million between 1940 and 1950 and by over $200 thousand-million a decade later. This growth was as a result of to several reasons:

The growth of the automobile industry greatly contributed to the economy’s development since the number of the automobiles produced during the period between 1946 and 1955 was four times the number produced in the previous years. There was increased need for housing leading to a boom in the housing sector which was in part due to the increasing people who worked in these industries and who needed housing and also the fact that the mortgages for the servicemen who where returning were affordable. In addition, the increased spending on defense due the escalating Cold War played a part.

A lot of corporations sprouted in 1945 and continually grew to form great contributors to the economy. A wave of mergers in 1890s followed by another one in the 1950s marked a major development in the economy. The many firms that had invested in a variety of the country’s industries led in this movement. Moreover, the large corporations in the country even developed beyond the country’s borders to own stakes abroad, with low labor costs being the main motivator.

There was a revolution in the way people viewed work. The peoples’ lives changed due to changes in the industry sector in America. The number of workers in the goods market declined as more and more people turned to offering services. A majority of the people preferred white-collar jobs such as managers in corporate, teachers, salespersons, and employees in offices. More firms granted long-term contracts to workers with a guaranteed wage and other benefits. This revolution undermined the labor available for military purposes and also caused the onset of the gradual disappearance of class distinctions.

In addition, the economy grew mainly because there was an increase in demand from consumers fueled by a rapid growth in the industries. Savings increases as more people could work and get paid. There was also a baby boom and the movement of most residents into suburbs which increased consumer demand. The availability and affordability of oil and gasoline as well as the development of the electronic industry producing such electronics as TV and computers changed the social and economic lives of the people prompting economic growth.

In contrast to the Civil Rights Movement and other America wars, unlike in the World War II, the wars mostly involved an issue surrounding racism or segregation. They involved races deemed by others as minors fighting for equal inclusion in the national cake distribution. Among the issues were equal education, employment, health services and the reduction of the probability of imprisonment.

These wars led to the inclusion of the blacks in job opportunities since they also could attend school and graduate in large numbers like their white counterparts. More blacks could earn making their lives improve. These increased the flow of capital in areas where the blacks lived thus benefiting the communities who lived with them.  

Failures that led to election of Ronald Reagan

The United States economy had been struggling under the previous government due to factors such as high rate of unemployment, inflation growing by an alarming rate and the government over spending on social and security of the citizens. The rather had almost tripled in the past, since 1950s to the 70s and hence there was a need for a new government with new and working policies that could help do away with this seemingly unending problem. The taxies and other levies were hitting pretty hard on the taxpayer and this led to citizens relinquishing in poverty.

The taking hostage of the Americans at its embassy in Iran created a scenario that portrayed the weakness of his predecessor, who had made a complete mess of the situation by his failure to take full control and also his indecisiveness led to the loss of American troops who perished in the poached attempt to rescue the hostages. This heighted the anxiety of the Americans and hence the need to elect a new leader who will bring to an end the venerability of the Americans and its interests in whichever part of the world, and more especially bring home the Americans held as hostages in Iran

The United States military power and capabilities was wanting. Their failure to rescue the hostages in her embassy in Iran is one example. For the United States to safeguard its interests well in the Middle East her military power and capabilities needed to be exceptional and of no much with the not so friendly Soviet Union which had the dominance in the Middle East. Although the nation was in a really bad shape, economically security not needed be compromised as well as the diplomatic relations. The current president did not do it thus change was inevitable. The NATO allies had no much respect for the United States of Americas military, France is one example that looked down upon her (Americas) military power.

Before the 1980 election, United States looked powerless in protecting her global interests, as well her   image abroad was going getting weaker and the nation felt that the urge to regain their image and superiority. This had to do with the foreign policies whereby the predecessor of Ronald Reagan was much moderate, weak and sometimes indecisive in approach anything to do with foreign policy and need for a stronger military

Discuss Black Power, the Women's Movement, the Environmental Movement

Black power was used as a political slogan or name which is closely related to various ideologies which are meant to achieve self determination for the black people. This slogan is used in various movements that empower black people all around the world; however, it is common among the Black Americans living in the USA who were its founders as well. This movement gained popularity in between 1960s and 1970s. It encourages the black people especially those who live in marginalized societies to be proud of whom they are. The movement has encouraged the development of various political as well as cultural institutions which help in nurturing and promoting the general interests and values of the Black people. The movement expresses various political goals ranging from self protection from mistreatment, to the setting up of black oriented institutions and an independent economy. The term was first used by R. Wright in 1954 in his book “Black Power”. The term did not gain any recognition until 1966 when a popular black politician in New York at the time ‘Adam Clayton” made use it while addressing a crowd at the Howard University.

The Women’s Movement can also be called Feminist Movement, Women’s Lib or Women’s Liberation. It refers to numerous campaigns for reforms on various women issues. The issues include reproductive rights, sexual violence, maternity leave, domestic violence, women’s suffrage, equal pay and sexual harassment, all these fall under a broad topic known as feminism. This movement has various priorities all over the world depending on the issues that affect women in that part, for example in some countries they prioritize fighting against female genital mutilation and in others they deal with glass ceiling. This movement originated in the western nations late 18000s and has undergone three main changes or waves. The first one involved suffering and political equality among middle and upper class women. The second one targeted at leveling socio-politico inequalities.  The last one was renewed campaigns for women to be more influential in politics.

The environmental movement is a term used in campaigns for a safe and better environment. This term includes green politics and conservation of the environment. This is an acknowledged social, political and scientific environment which addresses various environmental issues all over the globe. The environmentalists has advocated for proper and affordable management of the natural resources and conservation of the geographical environment through revolved government policies and good individual behaviors. This movement classifies the human race as a player and not an enemy in conserving the environment. Its main focus is on ecology, human rights and health. There are various institutions all over the globe that represent this world renowned body. The institutions are of all categories ranging from large to medium to small and all of them work towards the main target of keeping the environment safe for all mankind to live in. There are several followers to this movement and this has led to divergence in its major goals so that it can cater for all stakeholders. The movement also includes various individuals ranging from professionals to non professionals.

Discuss the multilateralism and unilateralism of the two Gulf wars.

Multilateralism means cooperation among many nations in matters of diplomacy while unilateralism means poor cooperation among nations, where a nation will take diplomatic moves without caring what other nations will mind. Multilateralism promotes international cooperation and diplomacy and should be encouraged at all times. The military intervention in the Gulf wars was described as a legal stance for self defense which was authorized by the United Nations. In specific, the legality of the war in Iraq has been strongly oppressed to date because it did not follow the law. The team led by the US intervened to safeguard Kuwait’s territorial integrity, however, as the time they said that it was to stop Iraq from using lethal weapons against Kuwait and other nations. Iraq posed an imminent threat in the Gulf war but did not pose imminent threat to trigger most recent war. The US surpassed the United Nations Security Council in one instance but did not in another instance. There are various multilateralism and unilateralist views on this.

The Gulf War originates inn the history of the Middle and Far East.  The boundaries for Iraq were fixed in 1922 by the then British High Commissioner; this is the time that Kuwait’s boundaries were drawn as well. There are arguments that the boundaries to the two nations were drawn in such a way that there possibility of collision was very high. Iraq was allocated a coastline of 30miles keeping in mind it was larger than Kuwait which was allocated 310 miles of coastline. Iraq always demanded a clear outlet to the Gulf over the years. Later on a major crisis came up when disputing whether Rumania oil field belonged to Iraq or Kuwait since the border was not clearly defined.

Later on in 1938 Iraq claimed that Kuwait was part of her since she has once been part of her before. In 1961 she attempted to take over Kuwait forcefully and the US and UK had to intervene. The crisis was solved and Iraq asked for the British forces to quit Kuwait if peace was to prevail. During the Iraq-Iran war Kuwait supported Iraq for fear that if Iran defeated Iraq they could claim two of her islands. In all instances the United States and major allies’ have been using a rather unilateral approach to the Gulf crisis in that they have been going to war without prior approval from other nations. They taken unilateral approach that has victimized Iraq rather than approaching the crisis form the root. This has resulted in conflicts with other members of the UN Security council namely Russia and China. The approach has caused serious diplomatic strains between the some Asian nations and the west. On the other end we can say that they have used a multilateral approach especially in the Gulf war of 1991. This war had a multilateral approach and there was major support since Iraq was invading the territory of Kuwait in an improper manner.

What were Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger's "Détente?"

Détente was a policy that was created by a Germany-American, Henry Kissinger in the 1970s while working under the then United States president Richard Nixon as the United States Security Adviser. Literary, Détente involves or means “relaxation of tensions”. This term which was originally French was very common in the 1970 used to explain a situation when relaxing tension among two or more countries that are in international conflict but have not yet gone to war. Done to try and de-escalate the verbal threats and also the military tensions too  This policy was to, and actually did spearhead the national foreign policy through creating avenues of communication and summits, a very crucial role that saw the biggest world superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, engage in constructive talks and signing of treats that for a length of time neutralized to some level the heightened tension and cold war that had existed among them since the world war two. The Détente changed the world politics and improved the diplomatic relations between the United States and the Soviet Union preventing a roaming world crisis that could have seen this world to Armageddon bearing in mind that this two superpowers were producing lethal nuclear arsenal

Before the relaxed tension, which was between the United States and the Soviet Union, the latter had attempted to coax the Western Europe into negotiations in hope that they could get into trade and in that way they (Soviet Union) could better their relations with Europe and hence separate the European Nations and the United States. All this was in the hope of achieving a decisive advantage and probably take the upper arm in the cold war that had torn the two superpowers. The Western Europe did not fall prey to this Soviet policy of “strong arm”. The English and the Soviets had a long history of mistrust among themselves the French on the other hand saw the Soviet Communist party try to get the communist international gain power by giving financial assistance to the French communist party.

The European did not go on the Soviet side after the Soviet-America new relationship and this proved venerable for the Soviets who had no otherwise than find soft spot with the united states. Some other factors that led to the Détente were due to economic reasons. The war in Vietnam had caused the United States much financial strain while the Soviets had struggles producing nuclear weapons in much quantity to try and outdo the United States. The then United Stated president Richard Nixon and the Soviet Premier of that time, Leonid Brezhnev agreed to the Détente leading to a number of summits. They include: Partial test Ban Treaty, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, SALT I Treaty (The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) etc

The Détente came to an end due to many conflicts that arose in the Middle East i.e. invasion of Afghanistan was a serious concern to the United States. The Iranian revolution and the embassy hostages scenario, and finally when came to end when Ronald Reagan was elected the president of the United States who become so strict to the Soviet Union and ran very hard policy against them.

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