Published on March 3, 2014
Chapter 21 Section 2 Notes
Kennedy’s Domestic Policy
Objectives • Evaluate Kennedy’s domestic policies. • Assess the impact of the Kennedy assassination.
Terms and People • New Frontier − President Kennedy’s proposals to resolve economic, educational, health care, and civil rights issues and to explore space • Equal Pay Act − 1963 law that required both men and women to receive equal pay for equal work • deficit spending − practice of a nation paying out more money than it is receiving in revenues
Terms and People (continued) • space race − the competition between the Soviet Union and the United States to develop technology to land on the moon • Warren Commission − the official government commission that investigated the assassination of President Kennedy
What were the goals of Kennedy’s New Frontier? President Kennedy was determined to improve life in the United States. He succeeded in making some domestic policy changes regarding poverty and racial discrimination and spurred interest in the space race.
President Kennedy had a special style that made him seem different from other politicians. The new First Family charmed Americans with their youth and energy. The president surrounded himself with distinguished men from the country’s best businesses and universities.
Kennedy promised that his administration would bring America to a New Frontier. • He pledged to create economic opportunity and expand health care and civil rights. • He also wanted to jump-start the space program.
Some of President Kennedy’s New Frontier proposals succeeded. Kennedy was able to • Increase the minimum wage • Extend Social Security benefits • Improve the welfare system • Pass the first Equal Pay Act, a crucial step toward fair employment However, a conservative Congress prevented Kennedy from enacting all of the programs he proposed.
• Kennedy made several proposals related to the economy. Increased military spending • Tax credits for business and tax cuts for the middle class • Deficit spending to stimulate the economy Kennedy’s economic initiatives led to tremendous economic growth in the late 1960s.
Kennedy pursued a timid approach to civil rights. Civil rights marches and demonstrations took place all across the country. In 1961 “freedom rides” aimed to desegregate the south. Kennedy introduced a civil rights bill in 1963. He also proposed to strengthen civil rights in response to further violence in the South.
Kennedy recognized the need for the United States to beat the Soviet Union in the space race. He made it a national goal to place a man on the moon before 1970. Congress gave generous funding to NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
In July, 1969 an American flag flew on the moon.
In November, 1963, while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, President Kennedy was assassinated. The senseless murder deeply saddened Americans. To many, it seemed that America’s innocence had died with Kennedy.
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