Name Subject Instructor Date John F. Kennedy's Speech Regarding History: How Well does American Live Up? John F. Kennedy's speech was about the importance of history. He essentially says that we have to know where we have been in order to know where we are going…
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Of note, Kennedy stated that there are traditions that are currently frowned upon because our nation forgets that these certain traditions are the ones upon which our early nation was formed. For instance, he states that when the nation was young, it depended upon foreign aid, which was investment from abroad, and also relied upon public investment from the state, local and national government - “we may forget that, in the first years of our economic development, our national growth was stimulated to a considerable degree by foreign aid” (Kennedy). At the same time, Kennedy stated that the nation has often faced problems, such as “wildcat paper money, by the repudiation of bonds, by disorder, fraud, and violence” (Kennedy). What he was stating was that, essentially, we need to understand that our nation was once in the same position that new nations are – the countries which are developing. Those countries have the same kinds of problems that our nation did, and those countries are reliant upon foreign investment, as our nation once was. At the same time, history provides us with examples of courage from men past that would inform us in our present, and give us examples on how to fight for certain rights. Such as fighting for social justice, in which we can look to FDR and Andrew Jackson for examples, and fighting for individual liberty, using Thomas Jefferson and James Madison as role models. History provides continuity to our struggles, essentially. The American tradition exemplifies the words of John F. Kennedy, in that there are always individuals who fight for rights, using the examples of great men of the past, and America also believes in helping our neighbors. An aspect of the American historical tradition that Kennedy referenced is the need to take care of other nations who might be struggling. Just like America was once a young country that needed foreign aid, so do other countries that either are developing or war-torn - “American leaders favored the quick reconstruction of nations, including Germany and Japan, within a world economy based on free trade.” (p. 737). The textbook makes an example of this when the Truman Doctrine is referenced (p. 737). This doctrine referred to the United States giving foreign aid to Germany and Japan after the Second World War. The reason for this is because these nations were decimated by war and weakened, and the fear was that they would, in their weakened state, be vulnerable to the influence of the Soviet Union. Truman also wanted to strengthen these nations, so that they could become good trade partners. Another reason for giving these nations aid was that these nations provided places to build military bases, so that future aggressor could be contained. The Truman Doctrine expanded into helping other countries who might be weak, because, essentially, Truman wanted to ensure that the countries who were surrounding the Soviet State would be strong enough to fight to Soviet influence. This included foreign aid to Greece and Turkey. Truman's Fourth Point (p. 742) was another example of helping others through foreign aid – the Fourth Point essentially was that our country would help developing countries with scientific aid and industrial help. Therefore, the Truman Doctrine and the Fourth Point were perfect exemplifications of Kennedy's admonition that nations sometimes need foreign aid to be strong - like Kennedy stated, people might forget that countries might be weak, and would need help, but Truman knew these words to
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9 Pages(2250 words)Book Report/Review
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