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What steps did John F. Kennedy take to expand the liberal state?

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nbyma | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 27, 2012 at 1:19 AM via web

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What steps did John F. Kennedy take to expand the liberal state?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 27, 2012 at 4:32 AM (Answer #1)

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If "liberal state" is defined by an increase in governmental action, I think that the entire slate of programs in the "New Frontier" can constitutes as significant steps to expand the liberal state.  In contrast to the fiscal conservativism of President Eisenhower, President Kennedy loosened the grip of federal funding and started initiative to provide government control and money in realms of education, space exploration, and health care.  The expansion of unemployment benefits and the use of federal funds in the creation of public housing and anti- poverty legislation are other examples of the liberal state policies of President Kennedy in action.  I think that Kennedy's desire to use government influence and action to address the issue of Civil Rights is another element of the liberal state expansion.  President Kennedy saw government as a force that can right that which is wrong, where government action can initiate positive social change.  This is an example of the liberal state's view of government.  In this light, President Kennedy saw government not as the problem, but rather a potential source of solution.  Through these steps, one can see how President Kennedy sought to expand the liberal conception of the state.

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