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The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-69

4. The Civil Rights Movement

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In this module, we think about Johnson’s record on civil rights, focusing in particular on: (i) Johnson’s natural affinity, as a southern Democrat, with anti-civil rights senators such as James Eastland and Russell B. Long; (ii) Johnson’s support for the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960; (iii) the importance of the Birmingham campaign in persuading John F. Kennedy to introduce a Civil Rights Bill; (iv) Johnson’s support for civil rights following Kennedy’s assassination, leading to the passing of the Civil Rights Act 1964 and Voting Rights Act 1965, and the political impact of this support; (v) the emergence of more confrontational ideologies such as Black Power and the eruption of violence in Los Angeles, Detroit and Newark, among other places; (vi) the importance of Johnson’s final piece of civil rights legislation, the Civil Rights Act 1968, which included the Fair Housing Act; and (vii) the extent to which Johnson’s work on civil rights can be considered a success.


In this course, Dr Thomas Tunstall Allcock (University of Manchester) explores the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69). The first module provides an introduction to Johnson himself, his personality and policies in comparison with the presidents that preceded and followed him – Kennedy and Nixon. In the second module, we think about four important contexts for Johnson’s presidency – three domestic, one international – before turning in the third module to consider the set of domestic reforms known as Johnson’s Great Society. In the fourth module, we consider Johnson’s record on civil rights, before turning in the fifth module to think about the importance of the Vietnam War in assessments of Johnson’s presidency. Finally, in the sixth module, we provide an overview of Johnson’s presidency, thinking about the overall arc of his administration – from early successes to later challenges – his major achievements, his failures, and his longer-term legacy.


Dr Tom Tunstall Allcock is a lecturer in American history at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War, with particular interests in U.S.-Latin American relations, presidential history and diplomacy, and the cultural history of the Cold War.

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APA style

Tunstall Allcock, T. (2020, January 14). The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-69 - The Civil Rights Movement [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Tunstall Allcock, T. "The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-69 – The Civil Rights Movement." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 14 Jan 2020,

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