President Kennedy 's Foreign Policy Decisions Shaped By Cold War Ideology

President Kennedy 's Foreign Policy Decisions Shaped By Cold War Ideology

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1. In what ways were President Kennedy 's foreign policy decisions shaped by Cold War ideology?
With the Cold War in full swing when he stepped into office, President Kennedy had no choice but to turn to Cold War ideology when determining the country’s foreign policy. For example, the Peace Corps, which “…sent young Americans abroad to aid in the economic and educational progress of developing countries” (Foner 969) was spawned out of the desperation to improve the global image of America. When President Kennedy took office in 1961, the United States’ image was still subpar to that of other nations. The Cold War ideology obsessed over making the United States the image of freedom and conveyer of lifestyle ideals, and Kennedy’s Peace Corps aimed to show the rest of the world that Americans cared deeply about the success of other countries. Through the Kennedy Administration, the United States also showed that they cared for other countries, in an effort to improve their global image and spread their ideals of freedom, through the Alliance for Progress. Much like the Marshall Plan, the Alliance for Progress provided sums of money to economically support Latin American countries. Kennedy claimed that the program would promote “…‘political’ and ‘material freedom’” (Foner 970), with the hopes of diminishing the appeal communism could have on the countries. In addition to aiming to improve the United States’ image, some of Kennedy’s foreign policy had roots in the Cold War ideology of containment. As tensions with Cuba began to rise after Fidel Castro took over the government, Kennedy sought for ways to eliminate Castro’s control in order to contain his revolution’s influence. Most notorious, the Bay of Pigs disaster was a U.S.-planned...


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...atic control, specifically found in educational and work settings, which repressed one’s individual and cultural freedoms. Counterculture also embraced new religious and spiritual “…creativity and experimentation” (Foner 993), in an effort for one to find their personal authenticity. Some even gained interest in eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, and chose to meditate or partake in yoga, which eventually found popularity in mainstream America as well. Overall, counterculture aimed to create a new American lifestyle, which embraced all cultural freedoms with the aim of revamping the norm of values and behaviors in the United States. The movement had a focus on freedoms pertaining to personal choices in lifestyle such as sexual behavior, clothing choices, and religion, with a specific emphasis on freedom from bureaucracy and wealth-obsessed organizations.

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