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Can John F Kennedy be classified as one of the great US Presidents?

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Introduction

Can John F Kennedy be classified as one of the great US Presidents? John F. Kennedy was the president of the United States. He was also the youngest president and the first Roman Catholic. Although he was only in power for 2 years and 10 months his legacy still lives on today, through books, images, buildings and numerous conspiracy theories. American society over the years has portrayed him as an American Hero fighting for peace and justice. The media have cultivating this image of, "The Camelot legend." After his assassination on 22nd November 1963 the myth of Kennedy was formed. The legend developed as a means to elevate alleviate peoples suffering and shock, Kennedy went down in history as one of the most important presidents. He was seen as the mirror of American Culture, the all- American man and with his death, some say his career took off. Polls after his death saw Kennedy as being the most popular president, beating the likes of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. Undeniably Kennedy was a great leader, with an appealing personality but his achievements during his presidency have become matters of much debate. He did do great work to force soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to back down in the Cuban Missile Crisis and also is famous for initiating the space programme. This aside, "Even a well informed person in the street would have difficulties in naming a single historical event or achievement which can be credited to JFK."1 It is Kennedy's character and private life that captured the public's imagination not his political career as such. ...read more.

Middle

the brink of a nuclear war so he could come out as the hero.7 Although these criticisms are valid, Kennedy certainly did make courageous decisions during this difficult period considering his lack of experience. President Kennedy actually regarded the avoidance of conflict over the missiles as his finest achievement. He was praised for his cool efficiency in averting a nuclear disaster, in restoring stability to the balance of power, and for making Soviet Premier Khrushchev blink.8 John F. Kennedy's handling of the crisis and the caution he deployed in order to avert war lead to the growth in his popularity and his grand appraisal. Kennedy had come to the White House with great hope and ambition. During his time campaigning he had modelled himself on his hero, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He admired Roosevelt for his New Deal years and also his ability to "get things done."9 Kennedy tried to repeat Roosevelt success by promising "A New Frontier" and "to get America moving again.," he He even adopted some of Roosevelt's mannerisms. Under the public spotlight Kennedy exuded confidence but within the White House there was evidence to show he found the job difficult. He realized campaigning for change was one thing but getting things done was quite different with all the complexities. "He soon found that it was tough enough just to keep the old problems from getting out of hand."10 Perhaps then Kennedy's legendary image is undeserved because he certainly was not on the same level as some great presidents of the past such as Roosevelt. ...read more.

Conclusion

the parties the Kennedy's went to, what hairdo Jackie wore."16 Together Jackie and John F Kennedy were a powerful couple who for the short period brought a new spirit to politics. John F Kennedy's assassination on November 22nd 1963 is seen as the most shocking and emotional time in American History, the country was in morning. His premature death has undoubtedly increased his popularity and blurred the truth about his real achievements in office. Evidence in more recent years has been produced demonstrating his shortcomings as a president on foreign policy, his failings with Fidel Castro and Berlin, the Cold War. Even his seemingly perfect marriage to Jackie has been tarnished with evidence of adultery and his obsession with women. This aside Kennedy will always be remembered as a great President whose life was cut short. Kennedy was young and only just learning when he was assassinationassassinated. He had great political style and this has lead many to suggest that if had survived he would have been able to achieve much more. Kennedy's honour of being classified as a great US president is justified by the successes which he did achieve, he brought about the Civil Rights Act in 1964, the Peace Corps, initiated the space programme, and his infamous success of the Cuban Missile Crisis. What Kennedy is most famous for though is the hope he gave to Americas, he made people have faith in the government again and that is perhaps the reason why Kennedy is know as one of the great US Presidents. ...read more.

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