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The Assassination That Changed America Essay

2236 words - 9 pages

Much was expected from the presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. But because of the tragic assassination of America’s political leader, his success fell short. John F. Kennedy was the youngest president at forty-three years of age to be elected to office. He was also the youngest to die while in office. John F. Kennedy was only forty-six years old when he died. He was assassinated on November 22, 1963. John F. Kennedy wanted major changes to be made to U.S. foreign policy. A policy he wished to get rid of was one that helped communism. Kennedy had hoped to create a better world with the cooperation of the Soviet Union but sadly the Soviets refused to ever cooperate with Kennedy and the ...view middle of the document...

When Kennedy heard that the Soviets were building more weapons he wanted to put a stop to it immediately. He wished to meet with the Soviet Union’s first Secretary of the Communist Party, Nikita Krushchev. Nevertheless, Kennedy’s idea backfired because the Soviet’s took his meeting as a sign of weakness and were now more aggressive towards the U.S. In the year 1962, Kennedy withdrew the new policies and fell back on the old ones hoping to ease relations with the Soviet Union. (JFK and Foreign Policy, PBS, The American Experience)
Obviously, not all of President Kennedy’s foreign policies were successful. The Bay of Pigs fiasco may have been one of his greatest errors in judgment. This was one of his first major moves in his position as president and it was not a good one. The Bay of Pigs invasion was an aggression towards Cuba planned by the Eisenhower administration but carried out by Kennedy’s administration. The Bay of Pigs operation was attempting to offer relief to those in the country after Cuba turned communist in 1959. The U.S. spent a lot of money supplying the rebels with weapons, tactics, training, and support. The Bay of Pigs invasion on the south coast of Cuba took place on April 17, 1961. It was a complete failure and gave the Soviet Union the upper hand. This will forever be known as Kennedy’s biggest failure while in office. (JFK and Foreign Policy, PBS, The American Experience)
However, Kennedy certainly redeemed himself on October 28, 1962. The Kennedy administration was made aware of the fact that the Soviets were building missile sites in Cuba. On October 16, 1962 they decided to end this quickly and swiftly. The Air Force and military wanted a full-scale invasion of Cuba and destruction of the missile sites. But Kennedy thought that this situation had the potential to become a world war. In response, he set up a blockade so that the Soviets would not be able to pass. Kennedy did not allow the Soviets to advance, forced them to leave Cuba and take all their weapons with them. The Soviet Union reluctantly agreed and with this the U.S. promised not to invade Cuba. As a result, the United States removed all military weaponry from Cuba in an attempt to show the strength of American foreign policy. (JFK and Foreign Policy, PBS, The American Experience)
In August of 1961, a serious foreign situation was made apparent to President Kennedy and yet another tough decision had to be made. Kennedy was made aware that the East German Communist government, with the help of the Soviets, had walled of East Berlin from the west preventing civilians and others living there to migrate to the west. At first, people in this territory were confused because it did not appear that any outside governments were planning to intervene on their behalf. Kennedy and his administration made an announcement concerning the treatment of East Germans but nothing more. Kennedy didn’t want to let this affect his relationship with the...

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