Essay Sample on Significance of John F. Kennedy

Published: 2023-03-14
Essay Sample on Significance of John F. Kennedy
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States American history John F. Kennedy
Pages: 8
Wordcount: 1968 words
17 min read

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the youngest U.S. president and also the youngest president to die while in office. He was the best president to serve the United States of America since he made several accomplishments in the country. For instance, he established various organizations, supported civil rights, wanted to stop communism, and his death was as a result of assassination. JFK manned together Peace Corps, a group of individuals that had been sent in other nations to help the starving and the poor in general. Kennedy wanted the U.S. to assist and support all the developing nations undergoing major troubles because he believed that this help would make the troubled citizens avoid turning towards communism. Additionally, he headed the Alliance path for progress, which was established mainly to unite all the free countries and help to spread the benefits of having a democratic government. Kennedy also wished that U. S. would be the first country focused on revolutionizing civil rights and also established plans to help the poor individuals give those better lives.

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Historiography of the Topic

Elected at the age of 43 years as the 35th president of the United States of America in 1960, John F. Kennedy was one of the first Roman Catholics and the youngest president of the United States. He was born on 29th May 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts, and assassinated on 22nd November 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was the second born in a family of nine. Having been born into a wealthy family, he was able to parlay an elite education as well as a good reputation as a successful military hero and secured an unbeaten run in 1946 for Congress and in 1952 for the Senate. Although he was a president for a limited period, Kennedy inspired the patriotism of the Americans. The united the country behind a common aim for peace, and this made him an influential leader and a great man. His faith as a president got tested by various obstacles that he had to overcome, and regardless of all that, he made sure he led his nation with pride and dignity.

Thesis Statement

In this essay, a historical argument about John F. Kennedy has been discussed starting from his early life, beginning of politics, the road to the presidency, foreign policy challenges, his leadership at home, his events/accomplishments, to his assassination.

Historical Argument of John F. Kennedy

Early Life

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, also referred to as (JFK) was the second born to Rose Kennedy and Joseph Kennedy. His parents belonged to two of Boston's very prominent Irish Catholic and Political families. Joseph's father served in elective offices and as the legislature in Massachusetts while Rose's father was a senior legislator, a U.S. congressman and a mayor in Boston. As for Joseph, he was a chairman at the security and exchange commission's, a great Britain ambassador, and also worked as a chairman at United States Maritime Commission. Despite various health problems encountered by Kennedy during his childhood and teenage years like been diagnosed with Addison's disease, which is a rare endocrine disorder, he had a privileged youth and was lucky to attend private schools like Chaote and Cantebury and could spend his summers in Cape Cod and Hyannis port.Been an earlier supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt and a successful businessman, in 1934, John got selected as the chairman of security and exchange commission, and he was also named the United States ambassador in 1937 to great Britain. In 1940, Kennedy's senior thesis " Why England Slept" about the unpreparedness of the British in the war was published.

He was a student at Harvard University, and he was privileged to travel to Europe as a secretary to his father. In 1941, JFK joined the United States Navy, and after two years, he was sent to the southern part of the pacific and given command of the P.T. ( Patrol Torpedo) boat. In 1943 when the P.T. - 109 was struck by a Japanese destroyer at the Solomon Highland, JFK helped some of the crew members to get safely back into society, and this made him be awarded the Marine and Navy Corps Medal for his heroic act. Joe Jr. died in 1944 through an explosion in the navy airplane, and Kennedy Joe Sr. told Kennedy that he was to fulfill his brother's destiny of becoming the first Roman Catholic president in the U.S.

Beginnings in Politics

After JFK abandoned his plans of becoming a journalist, he left the U. S Navy in 1944, and in less than a year, he went back to Boston and started preparing to run for the 1946 Congress. Being a democrat who is moderately conservative and receiving backup from his father's fortune, Kennedy handily won his party nominations and carried the major working-class 11th District by almost three to one over one of his Republican opponents during the general elections. In January 1947, JFK entered the U.S. 80th Congress at the age of twenty-nine years, and he immediately started attracting some attention and some critics from some of Washington's establishment members for his relaxed and formal style as well as his youthful appearance. Kennedy proved to be an independent thinker who did not always follow the party line like the decision to oppose Taft-Hartley Act, which was an anti-union bill that overwhelmingly passed the Senate and House in 1947 to 1948 session. Being just a fresh member of the House's minority party and having no jurisdiction committee to associate himself with, JFK had little to do rather than just speaking against the presented bill, which he did.

After serving in the House of Representatives for three terms, in 1948 and 1950, JFK won the House of Representative's reelection and successfully ran for the Senate in 1952, where he defeated Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. who was a popular Republican incumbent.At the Senate, of Representatives, as always, JFK never voted with the Democratic majorities. He had significant impacts at the Senate as compared to the House of Representatives. For instance, in 1953, during the late spring, Kennedy gave three distinct speeches on the Senate floor, which outlined the New England economic plan and claimed that it would be helpful to both New England and the nation in general. On 12th September 1953, he got married to a beautiful journalist and socialite Lee Bouvier (Jackie), and after two weeks, Kennedy was forced to undergo a painful back operation.As he recovered from his surgery, he wrote another book, which was also bestselling known as the "Profiles in Courage," and in 1957, the book won the Pulitzer Prize for biography. This book was later acknowledged to be majorly JFK's longtime aide work, Theodore Sorenson.

Road to Presidency

After he almost got his party nomination as vice president in 1956 under Adlai Stevenson, JFK announced interest in the presidency candidacy on 2nd January 1960. He got nominated for the presidency seat against Nixon, who was the vice president to Dwight D. Eisenhower during that time. He won a primary challenge from Hubert Humphrey, who was very liberal, and he chose Lyndon Johnson, the majority Senate leader in Texas as his running mate.During his nomination speech, JFK presented his ideas on the New Frontier. As for his opponent Nixon, he made a mistake by meeting JFK at the first television debates for the U.S. presidency in history since at the discussions John came of as young and very vital. During the general election campaigns, all the candidates strained to get support from the suburban populations. JFK sought to pull together all the critical elements used by Roosevelt collation during the 1930s, organized labor, urban minorities, and the ethnic voting blocks. He used these elements to win back all the Catholic conservatives who had abandoned the Eisenhower 1952 and 1956 democrat vote to get his own in the South.

Nixon promised to ensure that the Federal Government did not interfere with the American Lives and dominate the free market economy and also emphasized Eisenhower' s record over the years. During that time, some of the sectors decided to express that any Roman Catholic president as JFK was going to be, will have to be beholden to the Roman Pope. JFK confronted this issue in his "Greater-Houston Ministerial Association" speech where he claimed that he had believed in a nation where the separation of the state and the church was absolute and where no prelates members should dictate how a Catholic president should behave and that no Protestant minister would dictate who his parishioners would vote for. Some of the populace sectors still had strong feelings on the anti-Catholic feeling issue; however, JFK won with a minor margin of the populace votes since the 118, 574 votes in 1888, and his electoral votes were 303.

Foreign Policy Challenges

In April 1961, there was a crisis at the foreign affairs arena when JFK had approved the plan of sending about 1, 400 trained CIA Cuban Exiles in the landing of the amphibious at the Cuban Bay of Pigs.With the intention of spurring a rebellion aimed at overthrowing Fidel Castro, who was a communist leader, the mission did not succeed, and almost all the captured exiles got killed. In June the same year, JFK met Nikita Khrushchev, a Russian leader in Vienna, to discuss the Berlin city, which got divided during World War II between the Soviet and Allied control. After about two months, the East German troops started constructing a wall with the main aim of dividing the city.JFK, therefore, send a convoyed army to try reassuring the West Berliners that they would get support from the U.S., and later on, in June, he delivered one of his most prominent speeches in West Berlin in 1963.

In October 1962, JFK had another crash with Khrushchev during the missile crisis in Cuba. JFK declared a Cuban naval block after he got reports that the Soviet Union was creating several long-range missile locations and nuclear bombs in Cuba that posed a significant threat to the continental U.S. The tensed standoff between the two lasted for about two weeks. Khrushchev decided to destroy the Soviet Union's missile location in Cuba in return for the promise made by America that it will not invade the Cuban island and that it would remove the U.S. missiles in turkey and any other side close to the Soviet borders. In the July of 1963, JFK won one of his major foreign affairs victories after Khrushchev decided to join him as well as the Harold Macmillan Britain's Prime Minister in the treaty for the nuclear test ban.In the Eastern part of Asia, however, JKF's interest in getting rid of the spreading communism made him escalate the United States' involvement in the Vietnam conflict, although he was privately expressing dismay over the issue.

Leadership at Home

During his first year in the office, JFK oversaw the launching of the Peace Corps that would send all the young volunteers to various underdeveloped countries in the entire world. However, he was not able to achieve most of his proposed legislations he had done during his time. For instance, the two of his major priorities were; the civil rights bill and the income tax cuts. He was slow in committing himself to the cause of the civil rights, but he got forced into the action and sent federal troops with the aim of supporting the desegregation of the Mississippi University riots, which resulted in the death of two, and various were left injured.The next summer, JFK announced that he had intentions of proposing comprehensive civil rights bills, and he, therefore, decided to endorse a significant march on Washington in August.

JFK was an anonymous popular leader at home and abroad in general, and this made his family draw various famous comparisons with the King Arthurs Camelot court. Bobby, his brother, acted as the attorney general with JFK's youngest son (Ted) Edward getting elected to the former Senate seat of Kennedy in 1962.

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