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Lecture

3:27 - the kennedy years 1961

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Department
History
Course
CAS HI 280
Professor
Michael Holm
Semester
Spring

Description
March 27 th The Kennedy Years, 1961 I. Kennedy’s Hopes for the World a. change is not only possible, it is necessary: a result of his youth and his  energy; “can­do” mentality b. transforming the White House into a cultural entity as well as a political  one II. The Alliance for Progress a. “To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to  break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them  help themselves… not because the Communists may be doing it, not  because we seek their votes, but because it is right.” i. belief in the power of foreign aid to help reform countries as one  would wish ii. Walt Rostow  1. fathers of modernization theory 2. a believer in American progressive idealism as the path to  development in the third world 3. American society is “at its best when we are wrestling with  the positive problems of building a better world… Our  great opportunity lies in the fact that we have developed  more sucessfully than any other nation the social, political,  economic techniques… without either compulsion or social  disorganization” 4. expectation that America was the most developed country  in the world and that other countries would of course aspire  to be more like the U.S. 5. Rostovian take off model of economic growth: economic  modernization occurs in five basic stages of varying length: a. traditional society b. preconditions for take off c. take off d. drive to maturity e. mass consumption (United States) b. Peace Corps i. established by Executive Order – signaled the extent to which the  underdeveloped world was becoming a new front in the Cold War c. Latin America i. a desire to see a revolution very much driven by American  principles ii. no expectation or room for the concerns of those actually on the  world d. commits a considerable amount of money to the project e. setting of targets for countries involved i. annual increase of 2.5% in per capita income  ii. creation of democratic governments iii. elimination of adult illiteracy by 1970 iv. price stability to avoid inflation/deflation v. equitable income distribution and land reform vi. economic and social planning f. failure i. not enough funding from Congress, for one thing ii. most countries involved in Latin America were not exactly thrilled  at the idea of becoming “democratic” iii. uwillingness of the ruling elite to relinquish power III. The Bay of Pigs a. Cuba i. Kennedy had inhereted the problem of Castro from Eisenhower ii. between 1960 and 1961, Castro grew increasingly close to  Moscow and Nikita Khrushchev iii. Castro regime viewed as a clear and present danger to American 
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