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How far did the "American dream" as defined by president Kennedy and Johnson shatter between 1960 and 1968?

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Introduction

How far did the "American dream" as defined by president Kennedy and Johnson shatter between 1960 and 1968? The word dream is defined as "to have an ambition" in answering this question and thinking of what were the dreams of president Kennedy and Johnson I define their dreams and begin to evaluate the events from 1960 to 1968 and whether the presidents achieved their dream or was it "shattered". President Kennedy was born into a large family, he went to private schools and then went on to graduate at Harvard University. President Kennedy's dream was anti communism, economic growth and civil rights. President Johnson's dream was to educate the young, medical care and to abolish poverty. President Kennedy's dream shattered between 1960 and 1968 due to the events occurring in those years. The Bay of Pigs event was an important factor which also taken in to account when saying the "American dream" shattered .The bay of pigs event occurred in 1961 Kennedy opposed Fidel Castro's regime as there seemed to be more and more communism taking place in Cuba which threw a huge threat over America. ...read more.

Middle

The Cuban missile crisis and Berlin crisis show that Kennedy's dream was kept alive, as these were successful events and fulfilled parts of Kennedy's dream. The event of the Cuban missile crisis was that president Kennedy negotiated with the Soviet Union leader Khrushchev and persuaded him to remove their missiles from Cuba. Many historians regard Kennedy having no "dreams" due to him having an image that was always presented rather than his ambitions. Although towards the end of his presidency his image wasn't looking good and it was also shattered through the years. Towards the last year of Kennedy's presidency the civil rights were well on their way and were protesting and chanting with banners. Martin Luther King was the leader of the civil rights movement his protest always remained non violent. Protests were carried out in Alabama, Birmingham etc.although one of the non-violent protest led to an incident in which a police officer started to attack the protestors with dogs, teargas, etc. This incident led to TV channels broadcasting this and many outraged Americans realised the angered at the police officers action. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although Johnson continued the idea of a dream it's correct to say that Johnson's dream shattered in the 1960s. Johnson wasn't really very interested in the Vietnam cause but didn't want to call back the American army due to it accepting defeat. The war effort from 1965 to 1968 deepened which resulted in many deaths for the American army although Johnson didn't want the attention on the Vietnam War because he was scared that the Great society programme wouldn't be recognised. Johnson great society programme was successful but by 1966 his supporters were turning against him as they thought he untrustworthy. This shows that his dream was shattered because Americans had lost faith in him and also Johnson was unable to achieve any of his goals. By 1966 Johnson tried to persuade congress to pass only 1 act, which was the model cities act .The great society didn't achieve to its full potential, as Johnson wanted it too. Therefore his dream was shattered and unfulfilled. Overall I conclude that both the presidents failed to achieve their dreams and that their dreams shattered in the years 1960 to 1968. ...read more.

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