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Институт президенства в США

Jefferson would, symptomatically, at the end of his great life (devoted largely to serving America) attempt (unsuccessfully) to exclude the teaching of religion from the University of Virginia which he had brought into being. Contrariwise, most Americans - in their (generally) extremely limited knowledge of even their own nation's history-place together views which Jefferson himself considered to be fundamentally antithetical. The beliefs of a greater spiritual cosmos, e.g. Dante's world's, the spiritual-metaphysical beliefs of man and world, cannot properly be fit inside of Jefferson's world and his ideals - at least not realistically intellectually. The cosmos of the "American Creed" has its own reality and dignity - but it is not such that all of the ideas which Americans have come to place inside of its famous phrases, can, truthfully and unproblematically, be placed.

In my view - and no one who reads this great man's biography can doubt his devotion and service to America, Jefferson was true to the history, reality and life of mankind in his time. One of his biographers called him "one of the most devoted disciples of the Age of Reason". (Nostalgia and longing for the "age of faith" - like the time before the "Fall of Man" - is understandable; but the "age of reason" was, if not an inevitability or necessity of history, still nevertheless a new more realistic relationship of man to nature. So that no mere easy return to the past is true or realistic.) He was a realistic man of science; he could not and would not rest in the "age of faith". And, as was characteristic of this and later time, once the Bible and religion were subjected to the "age of reason", the beliefs of the "age of faith" could never be immediately accepted unquestioned again.

While he was close to Darwin in his scientific attitude, he would have deeply lamented Darwin's eventual rejection both of a creator God (chance and natural selection rather than divine design) and the view of man's reason and conscience as special "gifts" (Jefferson) of God to man.

In fact, Darwin and Jefferson (as well as many of their contemporaries of course), were offended by many of the same "unbelievable" aspects of Christianity and in relationship to Jefferson's phrases as well!

Here is an aspect - perhaps even more fundamental and definitive in some ways than the problem of the popular and noble "American Dream" - of how Americans are unaware and unconscious of the lineage of their own spiritual and intellectual origin and history. Very, very few even college-graduate Americans could even begin to give a serious account of the relation-ship between their own personal spiritual beliefs, the cosmos of their "American Creed" and the intellectual and spiritual history of mankind (e.g. Indo-European sources, Dionysus the Areopagite's cosmography, Dante's Comedy, even Newton, Laplace, et al). They are simply unaware and uninformed of how America's "ideas" acutally stand inside of not only European, but Occidental and world intellectual and spiritual history. Indeed, I am certain that even the current President of the USA himself- himself an active Christian Southern Baptist believer - would find it difficult to give such an account of the relationship of his Baptist religious beliefs, to the natural ideas of man and cosmos in the "American Creed" which he had cited in his November 1995 speech, in which he defined America to the world. But American ideals - the cosmos of the American Creed-do stand within the entire spiritual and intellectual history of Mankind - however little this may be clearly conceived and worried by Americans themselves.

The cosmos of the "American Creed" is a natural, not a spiritual one. The failure to recognize and understand this clearly cannot be of spiritual and intellectual hope, health and help to Mankind. If America is now in many ways leading the world, it should, presumably, know and understand more deeply and clearly what America and her ideals are actually about.

Jacksonian Democracy

Andrew Jackson became the U. S. President in 1828. For weeks thousands of people had been coming to Washington, D. C. to see his inauguration. Jackson was the hero of common people. He was truly a President of the people.

Jackson was a fighter. He took part in the Revolutionary War. His soldiers called him "Old Hickory" because hickory wood was the toughest thing they knew. When he had moved to Tennessee he served its people as a lawyer, judge, Congressman and senator. But he won his greatest fame as a soldier. Because of his activities in Florida, the U. S. was able to take control of that area from Spain.

Jackson believed in people who loved him. He felt that common people could run the government. This idea has come to be called Jacksonian democracy. These people elected him as their President. He gave them their first chance to really have a part in government.

Not everyone benefited while Jackson was President- Women, black and Native Americans were not able to take part in gov_ernment. In fact, in some cases, the government worked against them.

The Cherokee nation serves as an example of what happened to many Native American tribes and people in Jackson's times. The Cherokees had a great deal of land in Georgia and Alabama. They were farmers. They had roads and lived in houses. They had a written language and a weekly newspaper. Their government was democratic. But white settlers wanted their land.

The land was promised to the Cherokee nation by treaty. Missionaries, Congressman Henry Clay, and the Supreme Court all said that the Cherokees had rights to their claims. Even so, the Cherokees were thrown off their land. They were told to go to Oklahoma. With soldiers watching them, they had little choice but to obey.

This journey lasted several months. Disease, hunger and cold brought death to many. Over 4,000 Cherokees Were buried along the Trial of Tears which stretched from Georgia to Oklahoma.

Jackson said that their removal was necessary. Without it, he said, the Cherokees all would have been killed by white settlers looking for more land. Jackson did agreat deal to make people feel a part of government. But he was not ready to give equality to Native Americans. A slave holder, all his life Jackson did not believe in equality for blacks either.

Yet in Jackson's time, some people were starting to oppose slavery. These people were called abolitionists.

Jonh F. Kennedy

For many Americans the election of John Fitzgerald Kennedy as the 35th President of the United States in 1960 marked the beginning of a new era in this country's political history. Kennedy was the first Roman Catholic and the youngest man ever chosen Chief Executive. He was also the first person bom in the 20th century to hold the nation's highest office.

Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29. 1917, Kennedy was descended from two politically conscious, Irish-American families that had emigrated from Ireland to Boston shortly after potato blight and economic upheavals had struck their homeland in the 1840s. Kennedy's grandfathers, Patrick J. Kennedy and John F. ("Honey Fitz") Fitzgerald, became closely associated with the local Democratic Party; Kennedy served in the Massachusetts legislature, and Fitzgerald won election as mayor of Boston. In 1914 the marriage of Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald united the two families. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the second eldest of Joseph and Rose Kennedy's four sons and five daughters.

Joseph P. Kennedy was an extraordinarily successful businessman. Despite the relatively modest means of his family, Kennedy attended Harvard College, and upon graduation in 1912 began a career in banking. During the 1920s he amassed a substantial fortune from his investments in motion pictures, real estate, and other enterprises, and unlike many magnates of his era he escaped unscathed from the stock market crash of 1929. Joseph Kennedy himself was never a candidate for elective office, but he was deeply interested in the Democratic Party. He made large contributions to the presidential campaign of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932; in return, Roosevelt appointed him chairman of the recently established Securities and Exchange Commission, where his business expertise proved especially helpful in drafting legislation designed to regulate the stock market. In 1937 Roosevelt named Kennedy US ambassador to Great Britain.

Despite his wealth and political influence, the Democratic Irish-Catholic Joseph Kennedy never won the acceptance of Boston's Protestant elite. He deeply resented this, and determined that his sons' achievements would equal, if not excel, those of their Brahmin counter-parts. Toward this end he modeled their lives and education after those enjoyed by the Yankee upper class.

John Kennedy, like his brothers and sisters, grew up in comfortable homes and attended some of the nation's most prestigious preparatory schools and colleges. He was enrolled at the age of 13 at Canterbury, a Catholic preparatory school staffed by laymen, but transferred after a year to the nonsectarian Choate School, where he completed his secondary education before entering Princeton University. Illness forced him to leave the college before the end of Ins freshman year. but the following'. autumn he resumed his studies, at Hanard.

Kennedy's college years coincided with a time of world crisis 'The future President had unusual opportunities to combine know ledge gained in the classroom with his own firsthand observations. As a government major at Harvard he benefited from the teachings of some of the nation's most prominent political scientists and historians. men who in the late 1930s were acutely aware of the growing menace of Nazism. Moreover, in 1938 Kennedy spent six months in London assisting his father. who was then serving as US ambassador. "This slay in England gave the young student an excellent opportunity to witness for himself the British response to the Nazi aggression of the 1930s, and he used the insight gained from the experience in writing his senior thesis. This thesis, in which Kennedy attempted to explain England's hesitant reaction to German rearmament, was extremely perceptive. and in 1940 it was published in expanded form in the United States and 6reat Britain under the title Why England Slept.

After receiving his B.S. degree cum laude from Harvard in 1940, Kennedy briefly attended ihe Stanford University Graduate School ot Business, and then spent several months traveling through South America. Late in 1941, when the United States' entry into World War II seemed imminent. Kennedy joined the US Navy. As an officer he served in the South Pacific Theater, where he commanded one of the small PT or torpedo boats that patrolled off the Solomon Islands.

On April 25. 1943, Kennedy assumed command of P 1 -109, the vessel on which, only a little more than four months later, his courage and strength were put to their first serious test. On the night of August 2, 1943, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri rammed PT-109. The force of the destroyer sliced the American craft in half and plunged its 11 -man crew into the waters of Ferguson Passage. Burning gasoline spewed forth from the wrecked torpedo boat, setting the waters of the passage aflame: but Lieutenant Kennedy retained his composure, directed the rescue of his crew, and personally saved the lives of three of the men. Kennedy and the other survivors found refuge on a small unoccupied island, and during the days that followed he swam long distances to obtain food and aid for his men. Finally, on the sixth day of the ordeal the crew was rescued.

Kennedy's bravery did not go unnoticed. For his deeds in August 1943 he subsequently received the Purple Heart and the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. Injuries sustained during his courageous exploits and an attack of malaria ended Kennedy's active military service, however. Later in 1943 he returned to the United States, and in 1945 he was honorably discharged from the navy.

After leaving the navy, Kennedy, like many other young men who had served their country during World War II. had to make a decision about his literature career. At Harvard he had become increasingly interested in government. but he did hot originally plan to seek public office. Members of the Kennedy family had expected that the eldest son. navy pilot Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., would enter politics - a hope cut short when he was killed in a plane crash during the war Deeply affected by his older brother's death. Jonh Kennedy in 1945 compiled a memorial volume. As We Remember Joe. which was privately printed. Shortly afterwards he determined to pursue the career that had been the choice of his late brother

Appropriately. Kennedy sought his first elective office in Easl Boston, the low-income area with a large immigrant  population that several decades before had been the scene of both his grandfathers political activities. Announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the US House of Representatives in the 11th Congressional District early in 1946, Kennedy, with the assistance of his family and friends, campaigned hard and long against several of the party's veterans and won the primary. Since the district was overwhelmingly Democratic, Kennedy's victory in the primary virtually guaranteed his election in the November contest. As expected, on November 5, 1946, he easily defeated his Republican rival and at the age of 29 began his political career as a member of the House of Representatives.

East Boston voters returned Kennedy to Congress in 1948 and 1950, and for the six years he represented the 11th District he continuously worked to expand federal programs, such as public housing, social security, and minimum wage laws. that benefited his constituents. However, in 1952 the young politician decided against running for another term In the House. Instead he sought the Senate seat held by the Republican Henry Cabot Lodge.

The incumbent Lodge was well known and popular throughout Massachusetts; in contrast, Kennedy had almost no following outside of Boston. But from the moment he announced his candidacy for the Senate, Kennedy, assisted by his family, friends, and thousands of volunteers, conducted a massive and intense grassroots campaign. This hard work brought results: on November 4, 1952, when the landslide presidential victory of Dwight D. Eisenhower carried hundreds of other Republican candidates into local, state, and federal offices throughout the nation, the Democratic Kennedy defeated Lodge by a narrow margin to become the junior senator from Massachusetts.

On September 12,1953, Kennedy married the beautiful and socially prominent Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, who was 12 years his junior. Shortly after their marriage, Kennedy became increasingly disabled by an old spinal injury, and in October 1954 and again in February 1955 he underwent serious surgery. A product of the months of convalescence that followed was his Profiles in Courage, a study of American statesmen who had risked their political careers for what they believed to be the needs of their nation. Published in 1956, Profiles in Courage immediately became a bestseller, and in May 1957 it won for its author the Pulitzer Prize for biography.

During his years in the House and for the first half of his Senate term, Kennedy concerned himself primarily with the issues that particularly interested or affected his Massachusetts constituents. However, when he resumed his congressional duties alter Ins prolonged convalescence, national rather than local or state affairs primarily attracted his attention.

His determination to run for higher office became evident at the Democratic National Convention in 1956. Adam Stevenson, the party's presidential nominee, declined to name a running male. and instead left the choice of a vice presidential candidate to a vote of the delegates. Seizing this opportunity. Kennedy mounted a strong, if last-minute, campaign lorshe nomination   in which he was narrowly defeated by Senator Lstes Kefauver of Tennessee Kennedy's efforts were no entirely unrewarded however. He proved himself to be a formidable contender and. perhaps more important, lie came to the attention of the millions of television viewers across the nation who watched; the eonvention proceeding. He was redeemed to the US Senate in 1958.

Shortly after defeat of Stevenson in 1956. Kennedy launched a nationwide campaign to gain the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination. During the tour intervening years, ihe Massachusetts senator developed the organisation that would help him win his goal. Through his personal appearances, ami writings, he also made himself known to the voters ol the United Stales. Kennedy's tactics were successful He won all the state primaries he entered in 1960   including a critical contest in West Virginia, where an overwhelmingly Protestant electorate dispelled the notion that a Catholic candidate could not be victorious - and he also earned the endorsement of a number of state party conventions.

The Democratic National Convention of 1960 selected Kennedy as its presidential candidate on the first ballot. Then, to the surprise of many, Kennedy asked Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, who had himself aspired to the first place on the ticket, to be his running mate. Johnson agreed, and the Demoeralic slate was complete. For its ticket, the Republican National Convention in I960 chose Vice President Richard Millions Nixon and Kennedy's earlier political rival. Henry Cabot Lodge.

Throughout the fall of 1960, Kennedy and Nixon waged tireless campaigns to win popular support. Kennedy drew strength from the organization he had put together and from the fact that registered Democratic voters outnumbered their Republican counterparts. Nixon's strength stemmed from his close association with the popular President Eisenhower and from his own experience as Vice President, which suggested an ability to hold his own with. representatives of the Soviet Union in foreign affairs. The turning point of the 1960 presidential race, however, may have been the series of four televised debates between the candidates, which gave voters an opportunity to assess their positions on important issues, and unintentionally also tested each man's television "presence." Kennedy excelled in the latter area and political experts have since claimed that his ability to exploit the mass media may have been a significant factor in the outcome of the election.

On November 8, I960, the voters of the United States cast a record 68.8 million ballots, and selected Kcnnedy over Nixon by the narrow margin of fewer than 120,000 votes in the closest popular vote in the nation's history. In the Electoral College the tally was 303 votes to 21 John Fitzgerald Kennedy took the oath of office as the 35th President of the United States on January 20, 1961. A number of notable Americans participated in the ceremonies:  Richard Cardinal Gushing of Boston offered the invocation, Marian Anderson sang the national anthem, and Robert Frost read one of his poems. Kennedy's inaugural address, urging Americans to "ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country," was memorable. The new Chief Executive also asserted, "Now the trumpet summons us again ... to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle... against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself."

Both challenges were in keeping with what observers would later mark as Kennedy's greatest contribution: a quality of leadership that extracted from others their best efforts toward specific goals. Many felt themselves influenced by his later reminder to a group of young people visiting the White House - that "the Greeks defined happiness as the full use of your powers along the lines of excellence."

Whether because of his-leadership, the climate of the times, or the conjunction of the two, Kennedy's term as President coincided with a marked transformation in the mood of the nation. Before that, complacent in their peace-time prosperity, most Americans were preoccupied with individual concerns. Now came a widespread awareness of needs not previously recognized. No longer could Americans ignore pressing problems that confronted them both at home and abroad, and increasingly, they showed a willingness to try to effect meaningful changes. The new mood was one of challenge, but also one of hope.

As he had promised in his inaugural address, Kennedy successfully sought the enactment of programs designed to assist the "people in the huts and villages of half the world." The Alliance for Progress, a program- ambitious but ultimately less than successful - for the economic growth and social improvement of Latin America, was launched in August 1961 at an Inter American Conference at Punta del Este, Uruguay. The Peace Corps,

which offered Americans a unique opportunity to spend approximately two years living and working with peoples in underdeveloped countries, was a more successful attempt to aid emerging nations throughout the world.

In the realm of foreign affairs, Kennedy's record was a mixture of notable triumphs and dangerous setbacks. He allowed the Central Intelligence Agency to carry out plans laid before his administration for an invasion of Cuba by anti-Communist refugees from that island. Between 1,400 and 1,500 exiles landed on April 17, 1961, at the Bay of Pigs, but suffered defeat when an anticipated mass insurrection by the Cuban people failed to materialize. Severely embarrassed, the administration nevertheless successfully encouraged the creation of a private committee, which ransomed 1,178 invasion prisoners for $62 million.

Cuban Premier Fidel Castro, after repelling the Bay of Pigs invasion, turned to the Soviet Union for military support and allowed the Russians to install secret missile sites in Cuba. From these locations, 90 miles from US soil, the USSR could launch missiles capable of striking deep into the American heartland. Reconnaissance by US observation planes uncovered the Soviet activities. Taking a decisive stand President Kennedy, on October 22, 1962, announced that the United States would prevent the delivery of offensive weapons to Cuba. Kennedy demanded that the USSR abandon the bases and threatened that the United States would "regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union." After a week of intense negotiations. Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev agreed to dismantle all the installations in return for a US pledge not to invade Cuba.

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