“The Greatest Breakthrough of Anything” Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Push for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in Light of Neustadt and Skowronek

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The present study examines the crucial role played by Lyndon B. Johnson in his push for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). This essay will investigate the pertinence of two theoretical models: the Political Times Theory (PTT) and Neustadt’s theory on a persuasive president (PP). This study begins by presenting the current literature on PTT, and PP, and factors that can hinder a president’s persuasion. It subsequently dives into an analysis of Johnson’s actions between November 3rd, 1963, and August 6th, 1965, relying on his memoir, and other firsthand sources, to determine which theoretical framework offers a more comprehensive understanding of LBJ’s role in this crucial moment in American history. In the end, both theories prove fruitful in order to understand the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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Political Science