Date of Award

Spring 1970

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Political Science & International Relations

First Advisor

Rev. E. P. O'Niell

Second Advisor

Rev. Thomas O'Donnell

Third Advisor

John Semmens

Abstract

On August 20, X96U- the democratically-controlled Congress of the United States drafted a particularly dramatic piece of legislation, the Economic Opportunity Act, popularly known as the Anti-Poverty Act. This piece of legislation climaxed the War on Poverty which had been given Its main thrust by Presidents John P. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Why President Johnson received such a tremendous positive response In the beginning from the American people for his War on Poverty has been the subject of much discussion since 1961. One writer believes that two revolutions lie behind the War on Poverty—one ethical, the other economic. The ethical revolution involves Western society’s attitude toward the poor. There seems to be a greater concern on the part of many Americans for their fellow citizens who happen to be less fortunate. Also, those who oppose social reform can no longer find ammunition in statements like "The poor you always have with you.” (John 12:8) The economic revolution, on the other hand, has caused many Americans to look upon poverty as a disorder and not as an inevitable result of sane sort of economic condition or cycle. Today we are beginning to realize that the poor are consequences of bad policy and not a necessary evil that must be tolerated.

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