am20 - The Americans(Reconstruction to the 21st Century...

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1 The Americans (Reconstruction to the 21st Century) Chapter 20: TELESCOPING THE TIMES The New Frontier and the Great Society CHAPTER OVERVIEW President Kennedy survives major confrontations with the Soviet Union but cannot get his domestic policies past Congress. President Johnson succeeds him and launches an era of liberal activity with a wide-ranging program of new laws. Section 1: Kennedy and the Cold War MAIN IDEA The Kennedy administration faced some of the most dangerous Soviet confrontations in American society. As Eisenhower’s second term drew to a close, Americans were restless. Soviet advances seemed to show that the United States was losing the Cold War. Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy defeated Republican Richard Nixon, the Vice President, in an extremely close election. Kennedy won in 1960 because he had a well-organized campaign. He also benefited from the first televised presidential election debates in the nation’s history, in which he appeared forceful and Nixon ill at ease. Finally, Kennedy was helped to victory by thousands of African Americans, who voted for him because he had taken steps to support Martin Luther King, Jr. President Kennedy and his wife brought charm and an interest in the arts to the White House. Critics said that his administration was all style and no substance. Kennedy appointed many intellectuals and business people to high administration offices. His chief adviser was his brother Robert, named attorney general. Kennedy emphasized foreign affairs. He urged a tough stand against the Soviet Union and adopted a new military strategy called flexible response, meant to give the president
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2 many options other than nuclear weapons. He increased defense spending and created the army’s Special Forces. Kennedy’s policies were challenged in 1961 by Cuba, where Fidel Castro had seized
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am20 - The Americans(Reconstruction to the 21st Century...

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