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Chapter 24, Section 1. Kennedy and the Cold War. Kennedy and the Cold War. Americans were growing concerned with the growing rivalry between the U.S. and Soviet Union. Civil rights were also an issue that needed to be addressed.

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kennedy and the cold war
Kennedy and the Cold War
  • Americans were growing concerned with the growing rivalry between the U.S. and Soviet Union. Civil rights were also an issue that needed to be addressed.
  • Though the two candidates, Nixon and Kennedy had similar backgrounds, they also had major differences.
  • Kennedy was from a wealthy family, whereas Nixon had to work as a teenager.
    • Many people also respected Nixon for his role as Eisenhower’s vice-president.
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Kennedy and the Cold War
  • Ultimately, it was television that made the difference between the two candidates.
    • In televised debates, Nixon appeared disheveled and had recently been released from the hospital.
    • Kennedy, however, looked relaxed, freshly tanned and younger.
  • Those that watched the debate on TV believed that Kennedy had won, whereas those who had listened on the radio thought Nixon had won.
    • The election was won by Kennedy by ~120,000 votes.
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Kennedy and the Cold War
  • During Eisenhower’s presidency, Cuba had fallen to the communist leader Fidel Castro.
  • Many also believed that there was now as ‘missile gap’ between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
    • This meant that the Soviets were out producing the U.S. in nuclear weaponry.
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Kennedy and the Cold War
  • Kennedy encouraged and inspired hope in the American people.
    • “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
  • Around the world, Kennedy used ‘missions of peace’ to improve relations.
    • Under his presidency, the Peace Corps began in 1961 and provided technical, educational and health services to ‘Third World’ countries.
    • The Alliance for Progress provided economic aid, specifically to Latin America.
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Kennedy and the Cold War
  • Although the U.S. originally attempted to have peace with Cuba, it soon became clear that would not happen.
  • Wealthy and middle-class Cubans had fled to Miami to escape Castro’s regime.
    • Under Eisenhower, some of these exiles had been trained for an invasion of Cuba.
    • In a failed attempt known as the Bay of Pigs invasion, these exiles and few CIA members were outnumbered and unprepared.
      • This turned many Cubans against Kennedy.
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Kennedy and the Cold War
  • Tensions heightened between the two when the CIA discovered the Soviets building missile sites in Cuba.
  • Kennedy enacted a naval blockade of Cuba (publicly) while working behind the scenes with Krushchev to negotiate a tradeoff.
    • After 6 days, the standoff between the two ended.
  • After the Cuban Missile Crisis, public opinion of Kennedy grew, and a “hot line” was installed between the Soviet Union and the U.S.
    • The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty banning above ground nuclear weapons testing was also signed.
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Kennedy and the Cold War
  • When Krushchev and Kennedy attended a conference in 1961 aimed at alleviating tensions, the opposite happened.
  • Krushchev wanted to merge West Berlin with East Germany. However, Kennedy would not give up the zone to occupation.
    • The Berlin Wall became a visible sign of the tensions, separating East and West Berlin.
kennedy s new frontier
Kennedy’s New Frontier
  • Compared to other politicians, Kennedy appeared youthful, energetic and charismatic.
  • His presidency was sometimes referred to as ‘Camelot’ because he was the youth that commanded the kingdom.
    • Kennedy’s advisors came from very prominent jobs and were known as the ‘best and the brightest’.
kennedy s new frontier1
Kennedy’s New Frontier
  • Although Kennedy is well-remembered for his foreign policy, he did a lot to improve the U.S. as well.
    • Kennedy implemented Keynes’ idea of deficit spending to spur the economy.
    • Kennedy introduced a civil rights bill in 1963, encouraged by the efforts of MLK.
    • He also increased funding to the space program and committed the U.S to landing a man on the moon by 1970.
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Kennedy’s New Frontier
  • In November of 1963, Kennedy traveled to Dallas, Texas to begin his bid for re-election in 1964.
  • He was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, although many believed he had an accomplice.
    • The Warren Commission conducted the investigation into his death and declared that Oswald was the ‘lone killer.’
johnson s great society
Johnson’s Great Society
  • Johnson continued Kennedy’s domestic plan of eliminating poverty, in tribute to the fallen president.
    • He used his persuasive attitude to get the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed;
    • He pushed a tax bill through adding $1 billion to combat the ‘War on Poverty’;
    • He passed the Economic Opportunity Act in 1964 which started the Job Corps to provide training to young Americans.
johnson s great society1
Johnson’s Great Society
  • Johnson’s domestic plan became known as the Great Society. Changes included:
    • The passage of Medicare and Medicaid, providing medical services to the elderly and the poor;
    • Increased aid to schools in poorer communities;
    • Environmental and consumer protection;
    • New immigration policies benefitting Eastern Europeans.
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Johnson’s Great Society
  • Under chief justice Earl Warren, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on several important cases that expanded American rights.
    • Baker v. Carr (1962) apportionment based on ‘one man, one vote’
    • Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) court-appointed attorney if one cannot be afforded.
    • Miranda v. Arizona (1966) accused criminal has the right to be informed of their 5th and 6th amendment rights before questioning.
    • Engle v. Vitale (1962) prayer in school is not allowed; violates separation of church and state.