LBJ/Reagan
11th Grade Johnson/Reagan Inquiry
How Should the President Foster Economic Opportunity?
Download Entire Inquiry Here

 
Staging the Compelling Question
 
  • The compelling question could be staged by having students view economic-themed commercials from the 1964 and 1980 presidential campaigns provided by the Museum of the Moving Image’s Living Room Candidate resources. Specifically, students should view Johnson’s “Poverty” commercial (http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1964) and Reagan’s “Podium” commercial (http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1980). Teachers could use these resources to facilitate a discussion about the state of the economy during these periods as well as what these commercials convey about the beliefs and plans of the candidates. Teachers might also choose to have students view economic-themed commercials from other presidential campaigns to obtain a broader sense of the economic issues and arguments that have persisted over the past half century.

Supporting Question 1-  What were Lyndon Johnson’s and Ronald Reagan’s visions for the American economy?
Supporting Question 2- What policies did Johnson and Reagan advance in order to foster economic oppurtunity?
  • Source A:  The Miller Center at the University of Virginia, description of President Lyndon Johnson’s economic policies and actions, “Lyndon B. Johnson: Domestic Affairs” (excerpts) American President: A Reference Resource, no date

    Germany, Kent. “Lyndon Johnson: Domestic Affairs.” on American President, Miller Center at the University of Virginia, http://millercenter.org/president/lbjohnson/essays/biography/4.

  • Source B: The Miller Center at the University of Virginia, description of President Ronald Reagan’s economic policies and actions, “Ronald Reagan: Domestic Affairs” (excerpts),  American President: A Reference Resource, no date Cannon, Lou. “Ronald Reagan: Domestic Affairs.” on American President, Miller Center at the University of Virginia, http://millercenter.org/president/reagan/essays/biography/4.
     
Supporting Question 3- Did Johnson's economic policies foster economic oppurtunity? Supporting Question 4- Did Reagan's economic policies foster economic oppurtunity?
  • Source A: Peter B. Sperry, Heritage Foundation report about the impact of President Reagan’s economic policies, The Real Reagan Economic Record: Responsible and Successful Fiscal Policy  (excerpts), March, 1, 2001 © The Heritage Foundation. Used with permission. Available at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2001/03/the-real-reagan-economic-record.
     
  • Source B: Thom Hartman, article about the impact of President Reagan’s economic policies, “Reaganomics Killed America’s Middle Class: This Country's Fate Was Sealed When Our Government Slashed Taxes on the Rich Back in 1980” (excerpt), Salon, April 19, 2014 NOTE: Teachers and students can read this source that presents a critical view of President Reagan’s economic policies by clicking on this link: http://www.salon.com/2014/04/19/reaganomics_killed_americas_middle_class_partner/.
     

Appendix A