Jfk and the cold war


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Jfk and the cold war

  1. 1. President Kennedy continued the Cold War policy of resisting the spread of communism by offering to help other nations and threatening to use force if necessary. JFK and the Cold War
  2. 2. 1960 Election • Democratic nominee – John Fitzgerald Kennedy = Senator from Mass. • Republican nominee – Richard Nixon = Vice President under Ike • Two factors that helped JFK win – t.v. and civil rights
  3. 3. Kennedy the Candidate • Well-organized campaign • $ backed by large, wealthy family • Obstacles: – Age: only 43 – Religion: Roman Catholic
  4. 4. 4 Kennedy Election • John F. Kennedy – from a wealthy, politically powerful family • Good looking, young, and comfortable in front of the television cameras • People felt Kennedy represented the future • Election of 1960 • Adopted the term “new frontier” • Played on the nation’s Cold War fears • Claimed the nation’s prosperity was not reaching the poor • One of the closest elections in history 4
  5. 5. 5 Kennedy and Civil Rights  King arrested  Nixon took no public position  JFK telephoned Coretta to express sympathy  Bobby Kennedy (RFK) persuaded the judge who had sentenced King to release him on bail (helps JFK appeal to the African-American community)  JFK won by fewer than 119,000 votes 5
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  7. 7. Televised Debate • 1st televised debate ever between presidential candidates • Nixon: expert on foreign policy – Wanted to use the debate to expose JFK’s weakness. • JFK – cool and calm • “Image replaced the printed word.”
  8. 8. 8 TV Debate Impacts Voters  JFK  wealthy, handsome, charismatic  Only 43  Roman Catholic  Kennedy looked and spoke better than Nixon, but weak against Communism  Nixon more experienced  8 years as Vice President  Former Governor  Huge Anti-Communist
  9. 9. Election Outcome • The Presidential election of 1960 was the closest in American history. John F. Kennedy won the popular vote by a slim margin of approximately 100,000 votes. Richard Nixon won more individual states than Kennedy, but it was Kennedy who prevailed by winning key states with many electoral votes.
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  11. 11. 11 Kennedy Takes Office: Inaugural Address Inaugural Address • Focused on change • Strong anti-Communist tone • Did not specify his domestic policy goals because so much division existed over domestic issues • “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” • Gathered a group some called “the best and the brightest” as his advisors • Most of Kennedy’s advisors were young. • Closest advisor was his brother, Robert (“Bobby”) Kennedy • Cabinet members had less influence than White House advisors. 11
  12. 12. The Best and the Brightest • McGeorge Bundy (Dean of Harvard): Nat. Sec. Advisor • Robert McNamara (President of Ford): Sec. of Defense • Dean Rusk(President of the Rockefeller Foundation): Sec. of State • Bobby Kennedy: Attorney General
  13. 13. 13 Camelot Years:The Kennedy Mystique • The press portrayed the Kennedys as a young, attractive, energetic, and stylish couple; with attention to arts and culture and an average every-day family • Modern day Camelot 13
  14. 14. Family • JFK, wife Jackie, son John Jr., daughter Caroline
  15. 15. Crisis Over Cuba • Fidel Castro: self declared Communist who welcomed Soviet aid • Took control of 3 oil refineries operated by the U.S. and British • Took control of U.S. sugar plantations
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  17. 17. 17 Crises over Cuba: The Cuban dilemma • Fidel Castro comes to power in 1959 • Puts on mass public trials and executions • U.S. denounces Cuba and accepts thousands of Cuban refugees • Castro seizes U.S. businesses and Eisenhower cuts off imports of Cuban sugar • 1960 – Cuba signs a trade treaty with the Soviet Union 17
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  19. 19. 19 Bay of Pigs Invasion Background • Fidel Castro was in power in Cuba. • Came to power after a guerrilla war, promised to restore people’s rights and freedoms • Once in power, he seized private businesses and made overtures to Soviet Union. Kennedy • Kennedy learned that the CIA was training troops to invade Cuba and topple Castro. • His advisors were mixed. • Kennedy was worried about Communism spreading to Latin America. • Kennedy gave the go-ahead. The Invasion • Bay of Pigs invasion failed. • Information was leaked early. • Air strikes failed. • Castro prepared for a land attack. • Invaders were captured and ransomed back to United States. • Strengthened Castro’s ties to the Soviet Union
  20. 20. The Berlin Crisis Citizens from E. Berlin flocked into W. Berlin - Better economy N.K. constructed the Berlin Wall to separate the two (Aug. 1961) - Sign of Communist oppression
  21. 21. 21 The Berlin Crisis Berlin’s Significance • Khrushchev demanded that the United States recognize East Germany as an independent Communist nation. • West Berlin was an island of freedom. • Many East Germans fled to West Germany through Berlin. • Kennedy refused to be bullied, sent troops into West Germany, built nuclear shelters, and waited for Khrushchev’s next move. The Berlin Wall • On August 13, 1961, Khrushchev closed the crossing points between East and West Berlin. • A high concrete wall was built to prevent further escapes to freedom. • Kennedy sent more troops, and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson visited West Berlin. • Kennedy said “A wall is a … lot better than a war.” • Over time, the wall was extended and fortified. • “Ich bin ein Berliner”
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  23. 23. 23 • Since the Cuban Revolution of 1959, Fidel Castro had grown increasingly antagonistic towards the United States and their interests. The Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations authorized the CIA to come up with ways to remove him: attempts were made to poison him, anticommunist groups inside Cuba were actively supported, and a radio station beamed slanted news at the island from Florida. The CIA even contacted the mafia about working together to assassinate Castro. Nothing worked. 23 Background
  24. 24. Bay of Pigs • Ike gave permission to the CIA to train Cuban exiles for a Cuban invasion • JFK continues with the plan • April 17, 1961 1400 Cuban exiles landed at the Bay of Pigs
  25. 25. Bay of Pigs • A huge failure • No airstrike prior to the invasion • No help from a diversionary unit • Failed because of the selection of a poor landing site • Overestimation of the Cuban people’s willingness to support a strike against Castro
  26. 26. 26 The Cuban Missile Crises • A U.S. U-2 spy plane detected Soviet surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) in Cuba. • The Soviets argued that the SAMs were defensive missiles and swore that they didn’t have offensive missiles in Cuba. • Later U-2 flights showed that the Soviets had lied. Buildup • U.S. actions in the Bay of Pigs and Berlin crises encouraged hard-line leaders in the Soviet Union. • The Soviets were worried about another invasion of Cuba and U.S. nuclear missiles placed in Turkey. • Kennedy was worried about accusations of being “soft on communism.” Crisis Begins
  27. 27. Cuban Missile Crisis • In an attempt to counter any new American intervention and to improve the Soviet position in the nuclear arms race, Castro and Kruschchev devised a daring plan: installation of Soviet missiles and nuclear bombers in Cuba
  28. 28. 29 Cuban Missile Crisis • Khrushchev agreed to dismantle the missiles if the United States pledged to never invade Cuba. • Both Kennedy and Khrushchev took steps to ease tensions between their countries. • They set up a hotline to allow direct communication during times of crisis. • The Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed, ending atmospheric and underwater testing of nuclear weapons. Managing the Crisis • Kennedy assembled a group of advisors, known as the ExComm, to help him plan a response. – ExComm military members favored an air strike, perhaps followed by a land invasion of Cuba. – Others argued for a naval blockade. Kennedy agreed with this plan. • The world watched as Soviet ships carrying missile parts approached the naval blockade. They turned back. Effects of the Crisis
  29. 29. 30 Cuban Missile Crisis • Oct. 14, 1962 – U-2 flights showed 65 sites for offensive medium-range ballistic missiles – could reach the U.S. in 3 minutes • JFK ordered a naval quarantine of the island (used the word “quarantine” rather than “blockade” since blockade was an act of war) • Oct. 22 – went on national television informing the Soviets of American policy and demanded their retreat • American forces around the globe went on alert • For almost a week, the world was on the brink of nuclear war 30
  30. 30. Cuban Missile Crisis • Khrushchev said that he would remove the missiles if the U.S. agreed not to attack Cuba and removed its missiles from Turkey • Kennedy publicly agreed to the 1st and privately to the second • Was this necessary? Should Kennedy have gone on T.V. or negotiated privately?
  31. 31. 32 Kennedy and Khrushchev
  32. 32. Easing Tensions • Two Agreements • 1. Direct hotline between the White House and the Kremlin • 2. Signing of the Limited Test Ban Treaty – called for an end to all nuclear tests in the ocean, the atmosphere and outer space – by the end of the year, 113 other nations had signed the treaty
  33. 33. 34 How did Kennedy’s foreign policy reflect his views of the world? • Trained and sent volunteers to Africa, Asia, and Latin America to serve for two years • Most volunteers were young college graduates • Increased goodwill toward the United States Kennedy’s Foreign Policy • Believed in peace that did not have to be enforced with weapons of war • Believed in peace for Americans and for all men and women around the world Peace Corps • Offered billions of dollars in aid to Latin America to build schools, hospitals, roads, power plants, and low-cost housing • Intended to counter communism’s influence Alliance for Progress
  34. 34. 35 Kennedy Foreign Policy and the Cold War • Kennedy also followed the Cold War policies of his predecessors. • He continued the nuclear arms buildup begun by Eisenhower. • He continued to follow Truman’s practice of containment. • He developed the strategy of flexible response. – Strengthening conventional American forces so the nation would have other options than nuclear weapons in times of crisis 35
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