- What was the purpose of the Great Society?
- How did the civil rights movement shape the scope of the plan?
- What effect did it have on education, consumer protection, and infrastructure of the nation?
- Students will gain an understanding of the purposes of the Great Society.
- Students will explore laws passed to improve cities, protect the countryside, and improve education.
- Students will consider the debate regarding the short and long term results of the plan.
- Civil Rights
- Affirmative Action
Read The Great Society Essay for an overview of the goals and debates of LBJ’s Great Society.
Read Handout A: Excerpts from “The Great Society” Speech by Lyndon Johnson (1964) and discuss the critical thinking questions as a class.
Have students use Handout B: Great Society Laws and Programs to select a Great Society program for further research. Have students research their selected law or program using reliable online resources.
Ask several students to share what they learned about the law they considered. For each law, ask the class:
- What aspect of the three different goals of the Great Society did this law address?
- Cite a constitutional reference that supports the law and discuss whether the law was constitutional.
Have students use the Handout B: Great Society Laws and Programs to research two more laws from the other two goals that were not addressed in the classwork selection.
Complete the Unit 6 Civics Connection: The Role of Government According to the Founders and the Progressives Lesson from Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Modern Debates on Rights
Commerce and the Progressive Era
The twentieth century saw the rise of a widespread but not very clearly defined group of reformers known as the progressives. The basic belief that united them was that the industrialized, urbanized United States of the nineteenth century had outgrown its eighteenth-century Constitution.
Debating Means Tested Poverty Programs | Adam Millsap, George Mason University | Lincoln-Douglas
Adam Millsap of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University joins the Bill of Rights Institute for our LFA Debate Preparation Webinar. Dr. Millsap first presents on resolution topic “Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reform one of more of its means tested poverty programs.” He then spends the second half of the webinar answering student questions.