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6. To what extent was 1968 a turning point in American history?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the extent 1968 was a turning point in American history, focusing in particular on: (i) the extent to which the Democratic Party found itself increasingly in crisis over the Vietnam War; (ii) Johnson's decision not to seek re-election as President; (iii) the figure of Robert F. Kennedy, his great promise as a liberal reformer, and his assassination in June 1968; (iv) the fractious Democratic National Convention, and the selection of the safe but uninspiring figure of Hubert Humphrey; (v) the appeal of the Republican candidate, Richard Nixon, the concept of the Silent Majority and his Southern Strategy; (vi) the figure of George Wallace; and (vii) the relative disunity of the Democratic Party in the 1970s and beyond.
In this course, Dr Malcolm McLaughlin (University of East Anglia) explores the theme of protest and reaction in the United States during the presidencies of John F. Kennedy (1961-63) and Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69). In the first module, we provide an introduction to US politics in the 1960s and its three major presidents: Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. In the five modules that follow, we try to answer the following five questions: (1) How successful was Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society?; (2) How did the idea of "civil rights" change after the Civil Rights Act of 1964?; (3) How did liberals respond to the demands of the Black Power movement?; (4) Which did more to change America: the political activism of the New Left or the freethinking Counterculture?; and (5) To what extent was 1968 a turning point in American history?
Malcolm McLaughlin is Associate Professor in American Studies and History at the University of East Anglia. His area of expertise is in twentieth-century US history. More particularly, his work is concerned with culture and American democracy, and his work has focused on race, class, and liberalism. His first book was a study of white identity and violence in the Progressive Era, focusing on events surrounding the notorious East St. Louis race riot or massacre of 1917. (Power, Community, and Racial Killing, 2005). His second book was about liberal politics and the urban riots or rebellions of the of the 1960s, and took a critical look at the response of Lyndon B. Johnson’s White House to those events. (The Long, Hot Summer of 1967. 2014).
Cite this Lecture
McLaughlin, M. (2021, March 03). Protest and Reaction in the United States, 1961-68 - To what extent was 1968 a turning point in American history? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/protest-and-reaction-in-the-united-states-1961-68/to-what-extent-was-1968-a-turning-point-in-american-history
McLaughlin, M. "Protest and Reaction in the United States, 1961-68 – To what extent was 1968 a turning point in American history?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 03 Mar 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/protest-and-reaction-in-the-united-states-1961-68/to-what-extent-was-1968-a-turning-point-in-american-history