7.01: The Great Society: The Big Ideas
What did LBJ think made a “Great Society”? He thought a Society without poverty was a good society
Who were the “poor” in the 1950s and 1960s? What were their lives like? Well, many people were poor, but the
African Americans suffered the most! They suffered mostly from disease and malnutrition because they couldn’t
Briefly describe the War on Poverty. It was the Economic Opportunity Act, and LBJ said it. He basically said that
there was a was a war going on, and that war was poverty, which is why he made the Great Society.
What were the differences between conservatives and liberals in the 60s? Conservatives thought the Great Society
would put limits on people freedoms, while the liberals thought the government was responsible for securing and
improving American lives.
What were the Great Society programs? Well, there was a few! There was the Elementary and Secondary Education
Act, which provided textbooks, library books, materials, and special needs education resources to school. The
Voting Rights Act which ended the use of literacy tests as a qualification to vote. Omnibus Housing Act which gave
assistance to low income families, and helped rent payment. Which the Fair Housing Act helped with this act by
making it so renters couldn’t ONLY rent houses to white families. And then there was tons of other ones!
Immigration Act, 1965 Higher Education Act, 1965 National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, 1966 Model
Cities Act, 1966 Motor Vehicle Safety Act, 1966 Truth in Packaging Act
How did the Great Society programs impact Americans? It definitely helped! I mean, before the Great Society acts,
there was over 40 million people in poverty, and after there was 24 million. Which is still a lot, but it’s also still less!
More people were able to see doctors, more people had indoor plumbing, more people had jobs, I mean it
definitely helped people!
What happened to the Great Society? Well, with the great society, like everything, some people disagreed with it!
And there was the fact that federal, state, and local agencies didn’t really like working together! And there was still
issues with Vietnam, where the president would have to take money away from the Anti-Poverty to help the