Kennedy and Khrushchev Essay

2085 Words9 Pages
John F. Kennedy, in his January 1961 inaugural address, emphasized the desire for peace among U.S. adversaries and the unwavering fear Americans must foster in negotiating with those who oppose the country’s democratic principles. Within the early months of his presidency, Kennedy faced pressure within his administration to combat the rising socialist power of Cuba in Latin America. However, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev forced his position in Cuba, ultimately countering U.S. occupation by deploying Soviet troops and maintaining communist influence in the region. Khrushchev believed that U.S. invasion in Cuba was imminent and prepared to fight against American troops. The Vienna Summit in 1961 outlined the desire to takeover Berlin, a…show more content…
John F. Kennedy was symbolized as a young charismatic president that gained rapid public exposure and popularity with strong character and morals. Author Michael Dobbs posits:
While their initial instincts may have been similar, it is difficult to think of two more different personalities than John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev. One was the son of an American millionaire, born and bred to a life of privilege. The other was the son of a Ukrainian peasant, who went barefoot as a child and wiped his nose on his sleeve. One man’s rise seemed effortless and natural; the other had clawed his way up through a combination of sycophancy and ruthlessness. One was introspective, the other explosive (One Minute to Midnight 35).
Khrushchev fervently believed in communism and the prospects of the Soviet Union as a world power. He was much older and more experienced than Kennedy, but in global relations, the United States held the upper hand. Khrushchev was well aware of the Soviet Union as the weaker power and used intimidation to create a sense of apprehension within the United States. The threat of nuclear war for Khrushchev was not to reach a boiling point with Kennedy, but to give “the Americans a taste of their own medicine” (Dobbs 37). Therefore, the American and Soviet people felt unremitting trepidation because of possible nuclear war. There were contrasting class differences between the two leaders of the most powerful countries in the
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