The Great Society Speech Analysis

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Lyndon Baines Johnson the 36th President of the United States gave his inaugural address in Washington D.C., on Wednesday, January 20, 1965, to one of the largest crowds in history, approximately 1.2 million Americans. In the shadow of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, LBJ took up the mantle of leadership, while the country was still in a period of mourning the tragic loss and earned the trust and respect of the country to be re-elected in 1965. A speech that lasted just under 22 minutes, reflected his passion and the forward thinking spirit of his desire to transform the country through justice, liberty and union, wage a war against poverty that was facing most of the American population and return the nation to their roots as a model…show more content…
During his speech, LBJ addressed the issue of American poverty by declaring that American’s could flourish if they abided by the covenant made with the land “conceived in justice, written in liberty and bound in union”, which would inspire the hopes of all mankind (Paragraph 3). Both Johnson and Kennedy felt the government needed to take a more active role in helping those that were unable to help themselves and Johnson did not believe enough had been done by government in providing socioeconomic opportunities for the poor in America (Nash 845). Declaring a war on poverty, Johnson set out to pass legislation to remedy this failure by continuing to build on a domestic program President Kennedy prior to his assassination in an effort to ease the struggles of the poor. Johnson’s inaugural address speaks about his vision to stop poverty in America when he says, “By working shoulder to shoulder, together we can increase the bounty of all” claiming that it is through unity with one another the battle can be won (Paragraph 21). Johnson believed those that came to this country should share in the “fruits of the land” and outlined his Great Society plan earlier in his speech when he said, “In a land of great wealth, families must not live in hopeless poverty. In land rich in harvest, children must not go hungry…In a great land of learning and scholars, young people must be taught to read and write.” (Paragraph 8). Believing America could return to the greatness Johnson believed it once was inspired him to pass legislation helping underprivileged Americans, addressing inequality in education and regulating natural resources just to name a few. Another major domestic issue when Johnson took office and gave his inaugural address were race relations and Civil Rights. In the South,
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