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American History: The New Frontier

Kennedy’s New Frontier and Johnson’s Great Society were two different programs that solved numerous problems ranging from poverty and unemployment, to discrimination and space. The New Frontier was the term used by President Kennedy in his 1960 acceptance speech. The New Frontier’s most significant accomplishment was Kennedy’s goal of putting a man on the moon in the 1960s. Although he did not live to see it, he made the space program a national priority and set the policy in place that his successors carried out (ushistory . org, 2010).

Some of the economic accomplishments included the reduction of trade with foreign countries and the legislation designed programs to create more affordable housing and reduce unemployment. Other accomplishments of the New Frontier were the passing of amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1961 and the Elementary and Secondary School Act. Although Kennedy proposed legislation that would have dealt with the need for affordable medical care and other legislation that would grant equal rights to minorities, these pieces of legislation were never passed by Congress during his administration.

Johnson’s Great Society however, was successful in convincing Congress to pass these important issues (Davidson, 2005). The Great Society accomplished many of the things that the New Frontier had tried to do. The Great Society has successfully passed many important pieces of legislation that created new social programs and agencies to administer them. These include many that are familiar to Americans today like Medicare, and Medicaid which provide medical services to the elderly and low income families.

The Great Society also saw the passing of environmental regulations, reformed immigration with the National Origins Act and the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act in 1965 these acts ensured minorities had the same rights as everyone else in America’s society (ushistory . org, 2010). The Great Society failed its goal of eliminating poverty, although it did create many of the programs and services that Americans take for granted today such as the health care and education programs. Kennedy would have accomplished most of his goals had he of not been assassinated, therefore Johnson delivered what Kennedy had promised (Davidson, 2005).

Even though these two programs were different they both wanted to achieve basically the same goals. Johnson continued to carry out what Kennedy had set out to do and could have accomplished had he of not died first. References Davidson, Gienapp, Heyrman, Lytle, & Stoff. (2005). Nation of Nations: A Concise Narrative of The American Republic, Fourth Edition. The McGraw-Hill Companies. U. S. History. Org. (2010). Kennedy’s New Frontier. U. S. History Online Textbook. Retrieved July 29, 2010 from www. ushistory. org

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