History 65

Kennedy and World Affairs

February 14, 2006



I. Kennedy and Civil Rights


1. 1958 Elections and the Changing Face of Congress (liberal gains; effect on LBJ)


            2. The Transition (Kennedy political concerns; bureaucracy; forcing the issue—Freedom Rides and Ole Miss)


3. After Ole Miss (Wallace, Birmingham, Bull Connor; media response)


II. Kennedy’s International Vision


            1. An Ideological Cold War (Peace Corps and new conception of American world mission; US and neutrals; Rostow and theories of development; counterinsurgency and role of Lansdale; Taylor and conventional arms; Europe and nuclear weapons: Vienna, Berlin, De Gaulle)


            2. Crisis Diplomacy (background to CMC; discovery of missiles; structure of response—ExComm; membership and prejudices; options: lessons of past, problems of air strikes, limits of deterrence, Italian and Turkish missiles; decision for quarantine; UN and appeal to international public opinion; question of compromise)


III. International Difficulties


            1. Collapse of the Alliance (Punta del Este and central Alliance goal: containing Castro or promoting democracy?; Venezuelan model—role of Betancourt; importance of economic and military aid; difficulties of Peru and Brazil; liberal complaints and Hickenlooper amendment; role of US economic interests)


            2. The Foreign Aid Revolt (Trujillo, Bosch, and Dominican Republic as showcase for the Alliance; 1963 coup and loss of left-wing support; Morse, Gruening, and Senate debate; House struggles—Passman and appropriations, Republican challenges; pqesidential defeat)