John F. Kennedy's Contributions To The Us Government

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This paper encompasses the contributions of John F. Kennedy as the 35th President of the United States of America. It precisely discusses the services he rendered for accelerating the United States’ position as a world power. Even though critics were anxious about his future as a proficient leader, he proved all the assumptions and predictions wrong through his skillfulness and commitment as an efficient leader. By introducing revolutionizing reforms, he ensured the consistent economic growth of the country by positively changing the affairs in the agricultural, industrial, and housing sectors. Internationally, he was able to make the world realize the power of negotiations when he made use of his tactical skills to suppress the Cuban Missile Crisis. Also, he advocated the rights of all human beings irrespective of the factors that distinguish them color-wise, caste-wise, and religion-wise. Thus, this paper allows the reader to understand Kennedy’s significance in American politics till the end of time.

Introduction

​The 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK), was elected in 1961 and served the country until his unpropitious assassination in 1963. During his small tenure as the youngest US President, JFK contributed considerably to take the country to new heights (Selverstone, 2019). From introducing domestic reforms to taking significant measures for suppressing recession, John F. Kennedy did everything in his capacity to make his country great. On an international level, his involvement in numerous remarkable events helped the United States strengthen its position globally (Anirudh, 2016). This paper attempts to evaluate the achievements and contributions of John F. Kennedy to elevate the government as a Super Power in the world.

Reforms to Quash Recession

​When JFK took office as US President, the country was going through recession and a crippling economy. After a thorough analysis of the ongoing fiscal challenges, JFK introduced an executive anti-recessionary acceleration program under his supervision in an attempt to boost the economy. His major contribution in this area was the introduction and implementation of tax reforms that also included a novel investment tax credit. The country witnessed a momentous increase in the GDP from 2.2% per annum to 5.5% per annum in a span of two years. In addition, the steadiness of inflation (1%), rise in production (15%), and development of more job opportunities helped in stabilization of the economic standing of the United States (Anirudh, 2016).

Formation of the Peace Corps (1961)

​On March 1, 1961, John F. Kennedy enforced the Executive Order 10924 to establish the Peace Corps. This exemplary program aimed at recruiting American citizens as volunteers to render services for helping the infantile countries/nations in various spheres from construction, education, agriculture, to healthcare. The Peace Corps turned out to be an extremely successful initiative whereby the number of members reached 5,000 in 1963 and increased to 10,000 by 1964 (Anirudh, 2016). It was an endeavor by the optimistic President to develop feelings of mutual understanding and collaboration between the American nation and the undeveloped nations to respect each other and acknowledge the differences with openheartedness. Even after 5 decades since its inception, the Peace Corps has been growing tremendously and helping the nations fight against their immediate challenges (“Peace Corps”). More than 200,000 Americans have been successful in serving one-hundred and forty countries (Anirudh, 2016). Thus, “From John F. Kennedy's inspiration came an agency devoted to world peace and friendship and volunteers who continue to help individuals build a better life for themselves, their children, their community, and their country” (“Peace Corps”) ultimately elevating American government’s repute and respect in the world.

Aversion of Nuclear War with the Soviet Union through Negotiations

​During JFK’s presidency, the world witnessed the commencement of The Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. The Soviet Union had chosen Cuba to place its nuclear missiles as its strategy to directly confront the United States during the Cold War. It can be said that the two countries reached a point whereby the world started to feel the heat of a large-scale nuclear war. A 13-day rift between the two superpowers ended with the efforts of John F. Kennedy who positively responded to Nikita Khrushchev (a Soviet Leader) message to him. This smart strategy to negotiate and have sensible dialogues with the enemy helped the United States government to make Russia agree to disassemble its missiles and other weapons in Cuba. On the other hand, John F. Kennedy ensured that the American government would not take advantage of Cuban vulnerability to occupy it. It is also believed that the United States secretly reached an agreement to confiscate the placement of its nuclear missiles in Turkey. However, no public declaration was made (Young & Kent, 2003).

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Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1963)

​As the leader of America, John F. Kennedy took two measures that demonstrated his willingness to maintain relations with the Soviet Union with peace. In fact, his initiatives and strategies made the world realize that he is one of those leaders whose main emphasis is to make the planet a better place to live for future generations. First, he established Hotline – a teletype to connect the White House and the Kremlin. Second, he made a historical decision on 25th July 1063 and signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (Young & Kent, 2003). This was a direct message from America to the world that it does not want to engage in a fast-paced nuclear arms race and would take every measure for environmental protection. Once again, John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev engaged in dialogues and mutually decided to sign the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with America, U.K., and USSR as the three members (Anirudh, 2016).

​According to this treaty, the three countries were responsible to not test their nuclear assets underwater, in the atmosphere, or on the ground. It only permitted the testing to be conducted under the ground level. Since then, one-hundred and twenty-five member states of the United Nations have endorsed this treaty (Anirudh, 2016).

Instigation of the Alliance for Progress for Latin America Development (1961)

​In 1961, the Alliance for Progress was initiated by JFK with the purpose of establishment of cooperation between the United States and Latin America for economic development. For developmental projects, Latin America received $1.4 billion per year (from 1962 to 1967) from the USA consequently leading to the 2.6% growth. This monetary aid under the leadership of JFK helped in the reduction of adult illiteracy in Latin America. Moreover, financial aid brought improvements in administration, tax laws, economical institutions, and the housing sector. Even though John F. Kennedy had extended the Alliance for Progress with full commitment and dedication, it turned out unsuccessful due to the lack of willingness of the Latin American nations to implement the required reforms. Also, the US Presidents who came after JFK did not show similar enthusiasm as him to run the Alliance determinedly (Weis, 2001).

Significant Reforms for Improving the Nation

​The domestic program initiated by President John F. Kennedy is referred to as the “New Frontier” that included an assortment of novel reforms for bringing significant improvements on a national level. The program is aimed at the expansion of unemployment benefits. Likewise, major consideration was given to overhaul the transportation and housing in the cities. The New Frontier program also passed important anti-poverty legislation to provide increased benefits to the underserved populations for security benefits. In the same connection, farmers were also provided special assistance in the form of increased farm credit, conservation of soil, electrification of rural areas, and crop insurance (Anirudh, 2016).

Concern for African American Civil Rights

​Kennedy’s speeches reflected his staunch support for human equality, civil rights, and racial integration in the American society. One of the most remarkable contributions Kennedy made was signing the Executive Order 10925 in March 1961 necessitating the government contractors “to take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during their employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin” (Braitman & Uelmen, 2012). Likewise, segregation was banned in housing sectors that were funded by the federal government after he signed the Executive Order 11063 in Nov 1962. In the following year, John F. Kennedy delivered his famous civil rights address to advocate for civil rights and making Americans realize the importance of such rights to be a moral obligation. The groundbreaking 1964 Civil Rights Act contained stipulations inspired by JFK’s as he supported equal access to facilities for the African Americans and better participation in voting (Weis, 2001).

The Equal Pay Act (1963)

​John F. Kennedy ordered to initiate the Equal Pay Act of 1963aimed at the abolishment of wage discrimination considering the employees’ gender. It would not be incorrect to state that the law became a remarkable measure to close the wage gap in the salaries that were paid to females at that time. Since the enactment of the law, there has been a dramatic increase in the salaries of women. Another proposition put forwarded by President Kennedy JFK was to completely change the American immigration policy. His persistence and determination for equal rights resulted in the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act whereby the quota system was abolished by the government. Previously, candidates were preferred based on their original nationalities. However, this Act emphasized the skills of the immigrants and the association with US nationals to be allowed lawful immigration into the ‘land of opportunity” (Anirudh, 2016).

Conclusion

​To cut a long story short, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was one of the most remarkable US presidents who have been triumphant in playing an efficient role to revolutionize American politics. It was during his era that the media started to inflict a great impact on American citizens to cast their votes. It must be mentioned here that Kennedy lived a comfortable and privileged life before winning his presidency (Selverstone, 2019). His critics argued that his inexperience and affluent way of life would hinder his work as he could not understand the real issues that a normal American faced. By 1962 summer, the nation saw a troubled administration considering “a particularly difficult Cold War climate abroad, an antagonistic Congress at home, increasingly bold activist groups agitating for change, and a discouraging economic outlook” (Selverstone, 2019). The Kennedy administration did not seem to address and resolve the issues efficiently. However, things began to change positively with Kennedy’s role in the Cuban Missile Crisis. People who feared Kennedy would be a failure started to acknowledge his capable leadership, negotiation skills, humanitarian interests, and determination to make the country stronger. A close inspection of his contributions to the American government makes one realize that President John F. Kennedy was successful in restoring the nation’s faith in itself and encouraged them to serve all human beings (Selverstone, 2019).

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