A.P. U.S. History Notes
Chapter 41: “The Stormy Sixties”
~ 1960 – 1968 ~
Kennedy’s “New Frontier” Spirit
In 1960, young, energetic
John F. Kennedy
was elected to president of the United States—
the youngest man ever
to that office.
The 1960s would bring a sexual revolution, a civil rights revolutions, the emergence of a
“youth culture,” a devastating war in
, and the beginnings of a feminist revolution.
JFK delivered a stirring inaugural address, and he also assembled a very young cabinet,
including his brother,
, as attorney general.
Robert Kennedy tried to recast the priorities of the FBI, but was resisted by
Robert S. McNamara
took over the Defense Department.
Early on, JFK proposed the
, an army of idealist and mostly youthful volunteers
to bring American skills to underdeveloped countries.
Graduated from Harvard, JFK was very vibrant and charming to everyone.
The New Frontier at Home
Kennedy’s social program was known as the
, but conservative Democrats and
Republicans threatened to kill many of its reforms.
JFK did expand the
House Rules Committee
, but his program didn’t expand quickly,
as medical and education bills remained stalled in Congress.
JFK also had to keep a lid on inflation and maintain a good economy.
However, almost immediately into his term, steel management announced great price
increases, igniting the fury of the president, but JFK also earned fiery attacks by big
business on the New Frontier.
Kennedy’s tax-cut bill chose to stimulate the economy through price-cutting.
Kennedy also promoted a project to land Americans on the moon, though apathetic Americans
often ridiculed this.
Rumblings in Europe
JFK met Russian Premier
and was threatened, but didn’t back down.
In August of the 1961, the Soviets began building the
to separate East and West
Western Europe, though, was now prospering after help from the super-successful
America had also encouraged a
, which later became the
of tariff negotiations eased trade between Europe and
Unfortunately, French leader
Charles de Gaulle
was one who was suspicious of the U.S., and
he rejected British application into the Common Market.
Foreign Flare-Ups and “Flexible Responses”
There were many world problems at this time:
got its independence from Belgium in 1960 and then erupted into
violence, but the
sent a peacekeeping force.
, freed of its French overlords in 1954, was being threatened by Communism, but
of 1962, peace was shakily imposed.