8.9 - Domestic Politics and Reform

From EngageNY

The civil rights movement and the Great Society were attempts by people and the government to address major social, legal, economic, and environmental problems. Subsequent economic recession called for a new economic program.

The civil rights movement began in the postwar era in response to long-standing inequalities in American society, and eventually brought about equality under the law, but slower progress on economic improvements.
  • Students will compare and contrast the strategies used by civil rights activists, such as Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X.
  • Students will explain the significance of key civil rights victories, including President Truman’s desegregation of the military, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
  • Students will examine the extent to which the economic situation of African Americans improved as a result of the civil rights movement.
8.9b The civil rights movement prompted renewed efforts for equality by women and other groups.
  • Students will examine struggles for equality and factors that enabled or limited success on behalf of women, farm workers, Native Americans, the disabled, and the LGBT community.
  • Students will examine judicial actions taken to protect individual rights, such as Miranda v. Arizona (1966) and Tinker v. Des Moines School District (1969).
8.9c The Great Society programs of President Lyndon Johnson strengthened efforts aimed at reducing poverty and providing health care for the elderly, but the Vietnam War drained resources and divided society.
  • Students will explain the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Students will examine the connection between the Vietnam War, especially the draft, and the growth of a counterculture and peace movement.
8.9d Economic recession during the 1970s and concerns about the growth and size of the federal government encouraged fiscal conservatives to push for changes in regulation and policy.
  • Students will examine President Ronald Reagan’s and President George H. W. Bush’s cuts to social programs and taxes in an attempt to stimulate the economy.
8.9e Constitutional issues involving the violation of civil liberties and the role of the federal government are a source of debate in American society.
  • Students will examine state and federal responses to gun violence, cyber-bullying, and electronic surveillance.

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