Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1964 State of the Union speech
For this assignment you must first read Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1964 State of the Union speech (sometimes referred to as the “War on Poverty speech”) and then write your
paper on the following topic:
“Does Lyndon B. Johnson’s famous ‘War on Poverty speech’ conform to, or deviate from, the fundamental principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the US
You can find LBJ’s speech at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=26787 (there is a link on Blackboard). Your paper should be roughly 1,000 words (about three typed,
double-spaced pages), and it should be clearly written, coherent, well reasoned, and supported with evidence from the readings. Specifically, I will take into account
the following factors in determining your grade:
1. Content: This is a matter of how well you understand the material from class (readings and lectures) and the LBJ speech. The best papers will demonstrate a clear
understanding of the fundamental ideas embodied in the US political system, both at the founding of the country and as they have evolved over time, as well as the
fundamental ideas about politics and government expressed by LBJ.
2. Reasoning: This is a matter of how well you develop your analysis and argument/thesis. The best papers will respond to the question with an informed argument/thesis
that is built on a well-reasoned, coherent analysis comparing and contrasting the fundamental ideas of the US political system and the LBJ speech and supported with
evidence from the readings. (Note: I don’t care which position you take on the question; I am only interested in how well you develop your analysis and argument.)
3. Presentation: This is a matter of the mechanics of writing. The best papers will be free of mistakes in grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. – all of which
undermine the strength of your ideas, analysis, and argument.