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Impact of the Kennedy Administration

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was President of the United States for less than three years, yet he had a major impact on the country and on foreign and domestic policy for the next decade or more. Some of his actions produced effects that were beneficial, and others can be seen now as more problematic, notably enmeshing the country in the Vietnam War. Kennedy's presidency began in a spirit of glamour and change and ended in the assassination of the president.

The United States became involved in the situation in Vietnam during the Eisenhower Administration, but it was during the Kennedy Administration that U.S. involvement increased and American troops were committed to the support of South Vietnam. Herbert S. Parmet describes the Kennedy years: "'Camelot' began with smoke from a defective rostrum and closed with a burst of gunfire in the street of an American city. So ended just over a thousand days of elegance, alluring prose, chivalrous masculinity, and drama" (Parmet 3). Yet, no administration simply ends as abruptly as this. Its policies continue to have consequences, its problems have to be addressed by its successors, and its triumphs continue to serve the people long after the administration itself is out of office. This has been true of the Kennedy Administration as of others.

The image that came to be accepted for the Kennedy years was derived from the Broadway show Camelot. Historian Allan M. Winkler says that the Kennedy era at the beginning of the 1960s was unlike anything that had been seen before or that would follow. The image of Camelot stood for the young president and his wife and for the youthful attitude that seemed to come into American politics along with them. There remain questions about the validity of the election of Kennedy, especially because of peculiarities in Chicago, and the era was woefully short because Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. It was not an era of peace, and the Bay of Pigs a...

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Impact of the Kennedy Administration. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:21, June 26, 2019, from