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Essay/Term paper: Presidential biography of jfk

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Biography

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Blaize Hite

Mr. Nelson

Modern American Studies, Period 1

5 Novermber 1996


Theodore C. Sorensen.

Kennedy.

New York: Harper & Row, 1965. 783 pp.


John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in the Boston suburb of
Brookline. Kennedy was the son of Joseph P. Kennedy a formerambassador to Great
Britain. Kennedy was much like his father, possesing a delightful sense of humor, a strong
family loyalty, a concern for the state of the nation, endless vitality and a constant air of
confidence no matter how dire the situation (Kennedy, Sorensen, Harper & Row, New
York 1965, Page 18).
Growing up in a priviliged household and graduating with honors from Harvard. He
served as an assistant to his father (1938), naval officer (1941-1945), journalist (1941 and
1945) and Congressman (1947-1953), he had traveled to every major continent and talked
with the presidents and prime ministers, of some thirty-seven countries. In 1952 he was
elected to the United States Senate and in 1953 he married Jaqueline Bouvier. However
one year later a spinal operation brought him to the edge of death"s door, causing him to
deeply reflect on his character (Sorensen 28). After his dangerous operation he
researched and wrote a book, about democracy. The next year narrowly missing the Vice
Presidential nomination of his party, Kennedy emerged as a national figure in large
demand.

"John Kennedy was not one of the Senate"s great leaders" (Sorensen 43). Very
few laws of great importance bear his name. Even after his initial "traditionally" inactive
freshman year in the Senate, his chances for major contributions to the Senate excluding
his stances on fair labor reform and against rackets, were constantly diminished of his
Presidential campaign. His voting record reflects his open minded views, and strengthed
beliefs. He was well liked and respected by many Senators. Kennedy was regarded for
his eagerness and cool logic in debate situations His only real "enemy" was Senator
Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin (Sorensen 45).McCarthy"s rough and wide-ranging hunts
for Red, "pinks" and headlines had stomped on the freedoms of people who had not
committed a crime, and Kennedy was too rational and reasonable a man to remain
indiferent to the extremism known as Mcarthyism. Kennedy often was a thorn in
McCarthy"s side obstructing many of McCarthy"s personal choices for various offices and
by serving on certain committies of which McCarthy was chairman, such as the
Government Operations Committee (Sorensen 46).

Kennedy"s political philosophy revoloved around the idea that one could not allow
the pressures of party responisbility to cloud ones personal responsibility. Meaning after
all was said and done that the decision falls upon yourself to make the choice regardless of
what your party platform was. Of course the platfrom had significant merit, nevertheless
it still came down to the individual. "Democrats, he said, generally had more heart, more
foresight and
more energy. They were not satisfied with things as they were and believed they could
make them better" (Sorensen 71).

"John F. Kennedy wanted someday to be President of the United States"
(Sorensen 95). Not becuase he was dissatisfied with his life as a Senator nor because he
possessed some grand scheme for the future of America. He merely felt that it was the
center of action of the American System. "at least you have an opportunity to do
something about all the probelms which. . . I would be concerned about [anyway] as a
father or as a citizen. . . and if what you do is useful and succesful, then . . . that is a great
satisfaction" (Sorensen 95). Before the election of 1960 Kennedy used the result of his
newfound celebrity status to do a bit of travelling across the country. Convering more
than thirty thousand miles in twenty-four states, he made over 150 speeches and
appearances in the course of six weeks. He spoke to various conventions, varying from
civic to labor, farmer to youth. However his senatorial duties enabled him to accept less
than 4 percent of the hundreds of invitations that poured into his office, mainly consisting
of important Democratic canidates or fund-raising dinner chairmen. As the years
progressed the fact materialized that his hard work had finally begun to pay off. His
audiences had became larger and even more
enthusiastic. Therefore at 12:30 P.M., on Saturday, January 2, Senator John Fitzgerald
Kennedy walked into a crowded press conference and read a one-page declaration of his
candidacy for the Presidency (Sorensen 122).
"I am announcing today my candidacy for the Presidency of the United States. . . .
In the past forty months, I have toured every state in the Union and I have talked to
Democrats in all walks of life. My candidacy is therefore based on the conviction that I
can win both the nomination and the election" (Sorensen 122).
Kennedy"s campaign opened on a low note, polls showed that Nixon was far better
known than Kennedy on the basis of his national office and four nationwide campaigns;
that Nixon was looked upon as more experienced; and that Kennedy was known primarily
as a wealthy, inexperienced, youthful Catholic. The Democrats were in a state of division,
while Nixon had successfully rallied the Republicans. Kennedy took the this time to
organized himself and manifest support for his campaign run, through a steady onlslaught
of speeches, and meetings Kennedy seemed almost to thrive (Sorensen 178). Focusingnot
on singular issues but instead Kennedy expressed his discontent with America"s current
situation, he insisted that we could do better.

Kennedy indeed won the election by a very narrow margin, so narrow that the
victory could almost be attributed to any list of decisive factors. However there are seven
that prominantly stick out. The Television Debates. At this point in American history this
was the most televised campaign ever and Kennedy"s vitality and knowledge appealed to
millions of voters who probably would have simply acknowledged him as too
inexperienced and young. One survey showed that four million voters made up their
minds simply by the debates, giving Kennedy a three-to-one margin (Sorensen 213).
Campaign Tactics. Kennedy"s vigorous, intensified campaign style was aggressive from
the start instilling a feeling of unreached potential. His tactics enabled him to swing many
undecided voters and probably even more if time had permitted (Sorensen 214). Party
Identification. Kennedy appealed frequently and aggressively to party unity, loyalty, and
history. His party was the majority party in terms of Senators, Congressmen, governors,
and mayors, this allowed for heavy organization and heavy registration of voters. Nearly
seven million more people that the amount that voted four years earlier. Black Relations.
Kennedy"s concerned call to the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was hailed throughout
the black community, which thenproceeded to vote overwhelmingly for Kennedy.

Do to length constraints the paper will jump ahead to focus on one example of the
President"s response to a domestic issue and the President"s view on foreign policy.

"The Fight For Equal Rights" (Sorensen 470). In 1953 John Kennedy was
adamantly in favor of civil rights legislation as a political neccessity and simply recognized
that this legislation was morally correct. However in 1963 Kennedy was deeply
committed to human rights. His convictions on this subject were not converted, but
instead reached by his characteristic gradualness, logic, and cool mentality. He
immediately began to implement programs that would incorporate a stronger black
prescence in the legislative and judical branches of government. However an element that
was seriously lacking were civil rights measures. No amount of Presidential pressure
could put through the Eighty-seventh Congress a meaningful legislative package on civil
rights (Sorensen 476). Kennedy responded to his situation at a press conference by
saying, "when I feel that there is a necessity for Congressional action, with a chance of
getting that Congressional action, then I will recommend it" (Sorensen 476). Nevertheless
Kennedy pushed and pushed first through legislation aimed at massive registration to
massive desegregation. Executive orders barred segregation or descrimination in the
armed forces Reserves, in the training of civil defense workers, in the off-base treatment of
military personnel, in Federally aided libraries and in the summer college training institutes
of the National Science Foundation and National Defense Education Act.








"The Olive Branch" (Sorensen 509). John Kennedy"s approach to foreign affairs was very
different from his approach to domestic problems, this was because foreign affairs had
always appealed to him far more than domestic. They took up a great deal more of his
time and energy as President. They severely tested his abilities of execution and
judgement, and his ability to react to consistent unforeseeable events. The following two
quotes are one of many that sum up his opinion on foreign policy, "Let us never negotiate
out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate" and "We must face up to the chance of war,
if we are to maintain the peace. . . . Diplomacy and defense are not substitutes for one
another. . . . A willingness to resist force, unaccompained by a willing to
talk, could prevoke belligerence--while a willingness to talk, unaccompanied by a
willingness to resist force, could invite disaster. . . . While we shall negotiate freely, we
shall not negotiate freedom. . . . In short, we are neither "warmongers" nor "appeasers,"
neither "hard" nor "soft." We are Americans" (Sorensen 511)

The President faced many crisises whether domestic or foreign. He was forced to
deal with the escalating Cold War, the Cuban Missle Crisis, Civil Rights, Recession and
Inflation. With each issue he faced he responded with dilligence, careful thought and
decisive action. Throught every scenario he faced from election to the Senate to the
Presidential campaign he was able to expand his ideas and maintain a healthy open
attitude. That was the shock of November, 1963. Jack Kennedy was living at his peak.
Almost everything seemed to be moving in his direction. He was healthy, respected, and
looking forward to the comepletion of his first term and start of his second term. To
suddenly be "cut off" is not simply a loss, but a loss of what could have been. In less than
three years he presided over a new era in American race relations, a new era in our a
Latin-American relations, a new era in fiscal and economic policy and a new era in the
exploration of space. His Presidency helped launch the longest and strongest period of
economic expansion for that period of time, and new and enlarged roles for the Federal
Government in higher education, mental affliction, civil rights, and the conservation of
human and natural resources. If I was to rate the president I would conclude that since he
was the first Executive power to back the civil rights movement and such that he was
indeed a great president. A man far greater than the legend he left us who truly believed
that one man could make a difference. I feel that what makes him such a great president is
what he stood for, hope in an era of doubt, public service ahead of private interests, for
reconciliation between black and white, labor and management. His sole defense for such
a rating are his actions and his beliefs. I have to admit that before this report I really knew
nothing of J. F. K. Of course I knew of his assassination but of his legislative and
executive work I knew absolutely nothing except for the work he did for civil rights which
my father informed me of at an early age. However now I feel a great deal more informed
and I found his life rather interesting. If he had not of died he would be around 86 this
year and most likely still very active in the Senate or some form of political office.
Interesting to note the effect his wisdom and advice could have affected the way the
United States is now today.
































































































Blaize Hite

Mr. Nelson

Modern American Studies, Period 1

5 Novermber 1996


Theodore C. Sorensen.

Kennedy.

New York: Harper & Row, 1965. 783 pp.


John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in the Boston suburb of
Brookline. Kennedy was the son of Joseph P. Kennedy a formerambassador to Great
Britain. Kennedy was much like his father, possesing a delightful sense of humor, a strong
family loyalty, a concern for the state of the nation, endless vitality and a constant air of
confidence no matter how dire the situation (Kennedy, Sorensen, Harper & Row, New
York 1965, Page 18).
Growing up in a priviliged household and graduating with honors from Harvard. He
served as an assistant to his father (1938), naval officer (1941-1945), journalist (1941 and
1945) and Congressman (1947-1953), he had traveled to every major continent and talked
with the presidents and prime ministers, of some thirty-seven countries. In 1952 he was
elected to the United States Senate and in 1953 he married Jaqueline Bouvier. However
one year later a spinal operation brought him to the edge of death"s door, causing him to
deeply reflect on his character (Sorensen 28). After his dangerous operation he
researched and wrote a book, about democracy. The next year narrowly missing the Vice
Presidential nomination of his party, Kennedy emerged as a national figure in large
demand.

"John Kennedy was not one of the Senate"s great leaders" (Sorensen 43). Very
few laws of great importance bear his name. Even after his initial "traditionally" inactive
freshman year in the Senate, his chances for major contributions to the Senate excluding
his stances on fair labor reform and against rackets, were constantly diminished of his
Presidential campaign. His voting record reflects his open minded views, and strengthed
beliefs. He was well liked and respected by many Senators. Kennedy was regarded for
his eagerness and cool logic in debate situations His only real "enemy" was Senator
Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin (Sorensen 45).McCarthy"s rough and wide-ranging hunts
for Red, "pinks" and headlines had stomped on the freedoms of people who had not
committed a crime, and Kennedy was too rational and reasonable a man to remain
indiferent to the extremism known as Mcarthyism. Kennedy often was a thorn in
McCarthy"s side obstructing many of McCarthy"s personal choices for various offices and
by serving on certain committies of which McCarthy was chairman, such as the
Government Operations Committee (Sorensen 46).

Kennedy"s political philosophy revoloved around the idea that one could not allow
the pressures of party responisbility to cloud ones personal responsibility. Meaning after
all was said and done that the decision falls upon yourself to make the choice regardless of
what your party platform was. Of course the platfrom had significant merit, nevertheless
it still came down to the individual. "Democrats, he said, generally had more heart, more
foresight and
more energy. They were not satisfied with things as they were and believed they could
make them better" (Sorensen 71).

"John F. Kennedy wanted someday to be President of the United States"
(Sorensen 95). Not becuase he was dissatisfied with his life as a Senator nor because he
possessed some grand scheme for the future of America. He merely felt that it was the
center of action of the American System. "at least you have an opportunity to do
something about all the probelms which. . . I would be concerned about [anyway] as a
father or as a citizen. . . and if what you do is useful and succesful, then . . . that is a great
satisfaction" (Sorensen 95). Before the election of 1960 Kennedy used the result of his
newfound celebrity status to do a bit of travelling across the country. Convering more
than thirty thousand miles in twenty-four states, he made over 150 speeches and
appearances in the course of six weeks. He spoke to various conventions, varying from
civic to labor, farmer to youth. However his senatorial duties enabled him to accept less
than 4 percent of the hundreds of invitations that poured into his office, mainly consisting
of important Democratic canidates or fund-raising dinner chairmen. As the years
progressed the fact materialized that his hard work had finally begun to pay off. His
audiences had became larger and even more
enthusiastic. Therefore at 12:30 P.M., on Saturday, January 2, Senator John Fitzgerald
Kennedy walked into a crowded press conference and read a one-page declaration of his
candidacy for the Presidency (Sorensen 122).
"I am announcing today my candidacy for the Presidency of the United States. . . .
In the past forty months, I have toured every state in the Union and I have talked to
Democrats in all walks of life. My candidacy is therefore based on the conviction that I
can win both the nomination and the election" (Sorensen 122).
Kennedy"s campaign opened on a low note, polls showed that Nixon was far better
known than Kennedy on the basis of his national office and four nationwide campaigns;
that Nixon was looked upon as more experienced; and that Kennedy was known primarily
as a wealthy, inexperienced, youthful Catholic. The Democrats were in a state of division,
while Nixon had successfully rallied the Republicans. Kennedy took the this time to
organized himself and manifest support for his campaign run, through a steady onlslaught
of speeches, and meetings Kennedy seemed almost to thrive (Sorensen 178). Focusingnot
on singular issues but instead Kennedy expressed his discontent with America"s current
situation, he insisted that we could do better.

Kennedy indeed won the election by a very narrow margin, so narrow that the
victory could almost be attributed to any list of decisive factors. However there are seven
that prominantly stick out. The Television Debates. At this point in American history this
was the most televised campaign ever and Kennedy"s vitality and knowledge appealed to
millions of voters who probably would have simply acknowledged him as too
inexperienced and young. One survey showed that four million voters made up their
minds simply by the debates, giving Kennedy a three-to-one margin (Sorensen 213).
Campaign Tactics. Kennedy"s vigorous, intensified campaign style was aggressive from
the start instilling a feeling of unreached potential. His tactics enabled him to swing many
undecided voters and probably even more if time had permitted (Sorensen 214). Party
Identification. Kennedy appealed frequently and aggressively to party unity, loyalty, and
history. His party was the majority party in terms of Senators, Congressmen, governors,
and mayors, this allowed for heavy organization and heavy registration of voters. Nearly
seven million more people that the amount that voted four years earlier. Black Relations.
Kennedy"s concerned call to the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was hailed throughout
the black community, which thenproceeded to vote overwhelmingly for Kennedy.

Do to length constraints the paper will jump ahead to focus on one example of the
President"s response to a domestic issue and the President"s view on foreign policy.

"The Fight For Equal Rights" (Sorensen 470). In 1953 John Kennedy was
adamantly in favor of civil rights legislation as a political neccessity and simply recognized
that this legislation was morally correct. However in 1963 Kennedy was deeply
committed to human rights. His convictions on this subject were not converted, but
instead reached by his characteristic gradualness, logic, and cool mentality. He
immediately began to implement programs that would incorporate a stronger black
prescence in the legislative and judical branches of government. However an element that
was seriously lacking were civil rights measures. No amount of Presidential pressure
could put through the Eighty-seventh Congress a meaningful legislative package on civil
rights (Sorensen 476). Kennedy responded to his situation at a press conference by
saying, "when I feel that there is a necessity for Congressional action, with a chance of
getting that Congressional action, then I will recommend it" (Sorensen 476). Nevertheless
Kennedy pushed and pushed first through legislation aimed at massive registration to
massive desegregation. Executive orders barred segregation or descrimination in the
armed forces Reserves, in the training of civil defense workers, in the off-base treatment of
military personnel, in Federally aided libraries and in the summer college training institutes
of the National Science Foundation and National Defense Education Act.








"The Olive Branch" (Sorensen 509). John Kennedy"s approach to foreign affairs was very
different from his approach to domestic problems, this was because foreign affairs had
always appealed to him far more than domestic. They took up a great deal more of his
time and energy as President. They severely tested his abilities of execution and
judgement, and his ability to react to consistent unforeseeable events. The following two
quotes are one of many that sum up his opinion on foreign policy, "Let us never negotiate
out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate" and "We must face up to the chance of war,
if we are to maintain the peace. . . . Diplomacy and defense are not substitutes for one
another. . . . A willingness to resist force, unaccompained by a willing to
talk, could prevoke belligerence--while a willingness to talk, unaccompanied by a
willingness to resist force, could invite disaster. . . . While we shall negotiate freely, we
shall not negotiate freedom. . . . In short, we are neither "warmongers" nor "appeasers,"
neither "hard" nor "soft." We are Americans" (Sorensen 511)

The President faced many crisises whether domestic or foreign. He was forced to
deal with the escalating Cold War, the Cuban Missle Crisis, Civil Rights, Recession and
Inflation. With each issue he faced he responded with dilligence, careful thought and
decisive action. Throught every scenario he faced from election to the Senate to the
Presidential campaign he was able to expand his ideas and maintain a healthy open
attitude. That was the shock of November, 1963. Jack Kennedy was living at his peak.
Almost everything seemed to be moving in his direction. He was healthy, respected, and
looking forward to the comepletion of his first term and start of his second term. To
suddenly be "cut off" is not simply a loss, but a loss of what could have been. In less than
three years he presided over a new era in American race relations, a new era in our a
Latin-American relations, a new era in fiscal and economic policy and a new era in the
exploration of space. His Presidency helped launch the longest and strongest period of
economic expansion for that period of time, and new and enlarged roles for the Federal
Government in higher education, mental affliction, civil rights, and the conservation of
human and natural resources. If I was to rate the president I would conclude that since he
was the first Executive power to back the civil rights movement and such that he was
indeed a great president. A man far greater than the legend he left us who truly believed
that one man could make a difference. I feel that what makes him such a great president is
what he stood for, hope in an era of doubt, public service ahead of private interests, for
reconciliation between black and white, labor and management. His sole defense for such
a rating are his actions and his beliefs. I have to admit that before this report I really knew
nothing of J. F. K. Of course I knew of his assassination but of his legislative and
executive work I knew absolutely nothing except for the work he did for civil rights which
my father informed me of at an early age. However now I feel a great deal more informed
and I found his life rather interesting. If he had not of died he would be around 86 this
year and most likely still very active in the Senate or some form of political office.
Interesting to note the effect his wisdom and advice could have affected the way the
United States is now today.
































































































 

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