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America's MissionThe United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy$
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Tony Smith

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154923

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154923.001.0001

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Kennedy ’s Alliance for Progress, 1961–1965

Kennedy ’s Alliance for Progress, 1961–1965

(p.214) Chapter Eight Kennedy ’s Alliance for Progress, 1961–1965
America's Mission

Tony Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines John F. Kennedy's efforts to foster democracy and social justice in Latin America during the period 1961–1965 through an initiative known as the Alliance for Progress. The Alliance for Progress was vital to American national security interest in Latin America: it was formed to democratize authoritarian regimes and address the challenge of communism in the region. The chapter first provides a background on the Alliance for Progress, with emphasis on its linkage of socioeconomic to political reform, before discussing the Kennedy administration's justification for the program insofar as effecting fundamental change in Latin America was concerned. It also considers the reasons why the Alliance for Progress's proclaimed goal of promoting democracy in Latin America did not come to fruition, including Washington's failure to support land reform. The United States' experiences with Chile and the Dominican Republic illustrate the failure of the Alliance for Progress.

Keywords:   democracy, John F. Kennedy, social justice, national security, Latin America, Alliance for Progress, communism, land reform, Chile, Dominican Republic

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