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John F. Kennedy - Research Paper Example

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John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States of America. He had a very eventful life before becoming the youngest elected President at the age of 43. He was born into a politically prominent family from Massachusetts and spent his early school years in the shadow of his older brother Joe…
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John F. Kennedy Research Paper
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John F. Kennedy

Download file to see previous pages... He served in the House of Representatives as well as the United States Senate before being elected as president in 1960. The Kennedy Presidency was marked by several very important domestic and international events. The foreign policy of the Kennedy administration was dominated by Cold War threats from The Soviet Union and the escalation of the conflict in Vietnam. Domestic issues that occupied the administration centered on the poverty that still existed in much of the United States, especially in rural areas. Early in his presidency, Kennedy met with Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of The Soviet Union. Khrushchev was a strong willed individual that liked to bully other visiting heads of state. Kennedy was no exception. He left the summit with the Soviets frustrated and upset. Soon after this, the Soviets announced that they would establish official relations with East Berlin. This enclave of Soviet control had been in limbo since the end of World War II. Many Germans fled from East to West Berlin. To stop this, the Soviets erected a wall through Berlin. The West portion of the city was cutoff and isolated. The Kennedy administration did not give in to the demands of the soviets that America abandon West Berlin. He stood his ground and his approval rating soared (Daum 2008, p. 19). The Cuban missile crisis was also a situation where President Kennedy took the nation to the brink of nuclear war and came out more popular than ever. The United Stated discovered that the Soviets were putting offensive missiles on the island of Cuba in the Caribbean. These missiles could be equipped with nuclear warheads that could reach as far north as Washington DC and possibly New York City. The missiles were arriving on Soviet ships, so the United States blockaded the island and started to search all Soviet ships headed towards Cuba. The Soviets were furious, but many nations in the Americas felt that President Kennedy was doing the right thing (Byrne 2006, p. 26). The standoff ended by the Soviets stating they would no longer deploy missiles in Cuba and the United States promised never to invade Cuba. Secretly, the United States removed some outdated missile batteries from Turkey to further appease the Soviets. Domestic issues of the Kennedy administration focused on civil rights and the elimination of poverty. The historical record is mixed for President Kennedy’s domestic agenda. Civil rights were becoming important to many Americans. In the south, Kennedy needed to keep white, southern lawmakers on his side so some of the poverty reduction legislation he was championing could pass (Rosenberg et al. 2004, p.133). At the same time, he was getting pressure to forge closer ties with civil rights leader Martin Luther Kin Jr. The problem with getting too close to Martin Luther King Jr. was the fact that he was known to have communists as friends, associates and advisors. This was not acceptable politically. As a result, Kennedy is not viewed as being very successful in the area of Civil Rights. He forced educational institutions in the south to desegregate. But this action cost him the votes he needed to pass legislation to help the Appalachian region develop a modern economy. Another domestic initiative that occupied the Kennedy presidency was increasing America’s presence in space. The successful launch of Sputnik by the Soviets convinced many Americans that they were falling behind when it came to technology. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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