DBQ: 1968 Presidential Race
What were the most important factors that led to the defeat of the Democrats in 1968?
After the Tet Offensive shower the United States sinking deeper into a stalemate in Vietnam, the antiwar movement rook center stage during the race for the White House. What were the most important factors that led to the defeat of the Democrats in 1968?
Use your knowledge of the Era and the documents to answer the questions and then the essential question below.
“The feud that helped define the public lives of LBJ and RFK also helped shape the two greatest national undertakings of their times-the war on poverty and the war in Vietnam. Consumed by contempt for Kennedy, Johnson transformed a potential ally into an archenemy… As Johnson and Kennedy became even more bitter enemies, they divided constituencies they once shared, weakening their party by forcing its members to choose between them. They exposed and exacerbated the growing divide within the Democratic Party and American politics in general.”
- - Jeff Shesol, Mutual Contempt
“It it ttue that a house divided against itself by the spirit of faction, of party, of region, of religion, of race, is a house that cannot stand. There is division in the American house now… I shold not oermit the POresidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that are developing in this political year. With America’s sons in the field far away, with the America;’s future under challenge righthere at home, with our hopes and the world’s hopes for prace in the balance everyfay , I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan cause or to any diutues other than the awesome dutiues of this office- the Presidency of you country. Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not acceopt the nomination of my paryt for another term as your President.”
- President Lyndon B. Johnson, March 31st 1968