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GREAT SOCIETY AND THE WAR ON POVERTY: President Johnson’s Plan to End Poverty in the United States
Declaring an “unconditional war on poverty” in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson proposed several pieces of legislation aimed at giving assistance to the poor and providing them with education and job training to help them find employment. Supporters of this legislation, which Johnson called the “Great Society” program, argued that it would enable poorer families to raise their incomes and overcome generations of hardship. It would also boost national productivity. Opponents of the legislation, however, argued that the government was ill-equipped to end poverty and that the program would be wasteful and expensive. It would also not address the main cause of poverty: lack of jobs.
Let your students get the facts and decide for themselves: Did the Great Society fight poverty and improve people’s lives? Or did it fail to uplift the poor and increase prosperity? Be sure to check out Issues & Controversies in American History’s clear and unbiased examination of the Great Society this month.
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