John F. Kennedy a Good but Not Great President

Topics: John F. Kennedy, Berlin Wall, Cold War Pages: 2 (673 words) Published: April 8, 2013
April Hawkins
Period: 1
President John F. Kennedy was a good, but not great president. He accomplished many good things but there were a couple things that held him back from being an overall great president. Investigating why he was a good, but not great president is important because, by learning about him we can look at his good qualities and decision making skills and learn from what he did wrong; to make an even better president and an even better tomorrow.

One of the reasons why John F. Kennedy was a good president was he fought to end segregation. Kennedy knew that taking bold actions against segregation would split the Democratic Party between the North and the South, so for the first two years he didn’t change a thing. Two years is a pretty long time to wait to change something so important. But when he did change it, he supported sponsoring major legislation to outlaw discrimination and segregation, he ended segregation in federal housing and interstate transportation, and he enforced that law and enrollment of black students at the universities of Mississippi and Alabama. Kennedy did do a lot to help end segregation but he waited a long time to help, for a good reason? Maybe.

The second reason that JFK is a good but not great president is his role in the building of the Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall was built because since WWII had ended Berlin had been a divided city. The border between eastern and western Europe was closed everywhere but Berlin. Berlin became an escape route for refugees to flee their country. Thousands of refugees were flocking into West Berlin each day, at that rate West Berlin would lose much of its workforce. Khrushchev warned Kennedy that he would not let it continue, Kennedy responded that he would defend West Berlin at the risk of war. To this Khrushchev responded with building the Berlin Wall “(…which Kennedy did not try to stop.)” (Gaines). When Kennedy spoke at the wall he stated “ …democracy is not...
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