John F. Kennedy's Presidency

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What was John F. Kennedy trying to persuade the audience to do during his inaugural address?

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President Kennedy's Inaugural Address is one of the most famous speeches in American history. Given during the height of the Cold War, it is apparent from the beginning of the speech that nuclear weapons and their catastrophic potential weigh heavily on the President's conscience, where he notes that he has sworn the same oath as previous presidents, and yet

[t]he world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life.

President Kennedy then encourages various classes of peoples and countries around the world to work together for peace and prosperity: our allies; new states that were throwing off colonialism; poor countries; countries in Latin America; the United Nations; and, finally, our adversaries the communist countries. He tells them that a new perspective is rising in the United States,

the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 631 words.)

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