John F. Kennedy's Presidency

Start Free Trial

To what extent can John F. Kennedy be regarded as a successful president?

John F. Kennedy can be regarded as a successful president in that his policies helped to improve the state of the American economy. When Kennedy took office in 1961, the economy was in recession. Thanks largely to the stimulus measures he implemented, the American economy not only came out of recession but experienced an impressive rate of growth.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Although John F. Kennedy was only president for just over two years and ten months, he nonetheless managed to rack up an impressive list of accomplishments in his short time in office.

One of these accomplishments was his major improvement of the American economy. When Kennedy took office in January 1961, the economy had been in recession for nine months. However, thanks largely to the stimulus package implemented by the president, the United States soon emerged out of recession; not only that, but the economy would go on to experience impressive rates of growth.

Kennedy resorted to a wide variety of stimulus measures, such as raising the minimum wage, increased spending on infrastructure, and the expansion of unemployment benefits. The president also proposed a tax cut, but this wouldn't be implemented until after this death. However, when it was, it contributed to the continued growth of the American economy.

Taken together, the measures contained in Kennedy's stimulus package led to a large increase in GDP, lower unemployment, and a sharp rise in industrial production. The success of Kennedy's economic policies contributed to the sense that a new, dynamic generation had taken charge of the United States, with bold ideas that would transform the country for the better.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team