The Great Society was a set of domestic programs proposed or enacted on the initiative of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Two main goals of the Great Society were the “War on Poverty” and new civil rights legislation. New major spending programs that addressed education, medical care, urban problems, and transportation were launched during this period. The Great Society in scope and sweep resembled the New Deal domestic agenda of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but differed sharply in types of programs enacted. Some of the Great Society programs have been eliminated or scaled back since their introduction, but many of them have become staples of the modern liberal democracy, including Medicare, Medicaid, and federal education funding.
“I knew from the start that I was bound to be crucified either way I moved. If I left the woman I really loved—the Great Society—in order to get involved in that bitch of a war on the other side of the world, then I would lose everything at home. All my programs…. But if I left that war and let the Communists take over South Vietnam, then I would be seen as a coward and my nation would be seen as an appeaser and we would both find it impossible to accomplish anything for anybody anywhere on the entire globe” — President Lyndon Baines Johnson