John Fitzgerald Kennedy was one of the most famous and influential presidents in the history of the United States. During his presidency, he attempted to make several reforms, supported by his “New Frontier” legislature. The goals of the New Frontier were to improve school funding, civil rights, and foreign policy. The New Frontier was to make the American population feel as if no frontier was impossible to achieve, including the controversial final frontier of space. Despite the fact that many of his acts and bills were not passed or supported by Congress, the New Frontier was what led to many of the greatest advancements which helped shape America today.
The date was January 20, 1961 when Kennedy first mentioned the New Frontier (Nelson 622). He used it as part of his presidential acceptance speech, along with his natural charisma, to pull in support for his highly progressive approach. The term “New Frontier” itself was something Kennedy created on his own, a term he believed represented the generation of those willing to make change in their country (O’Donnell 224). The New Frontier, an expansion of the New Deal, urged Americans not to ask how can their country contribute more, but rather how they can contribute to the country. The New Frontier did not promise Americans happier lives instantly, it promised gradual change which could only happen if the people of the United States were willing to accept it. (O’Donnell 224). Though there were many who would not accept it, this included a majority of congress, which was very often split on decisions, but this was mostly due to partisanship, a tendency to agree with one’s political party at all times (Sorenson 342).
A major change that came with the New Frontier was the P...
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...8). Kennedy would find it difficult to appeal to both the American public and Congress, a problem that would persist throughout his entire presidency.
Despite the numerous flaws in Kennedy’s presidency, it can very easily be looked at as a major success. Kennedy remained confident throughout his entire term believing that change can still occur. Though sadly, it would not be until his assassination in 1963, that people would finally begin to understand what his goals were. People no longer felt ashamed of his failures but felt gratitude for his successes, through the advancements in space technology to the civil rights acts, as well as the Peace Corps. He left behind a legacy that could not be forgotten, and
an influence that continues to affect people today. Kennedy and his New Frontier changed more than just a nation, he changed the way people today think.
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