Bread and the Ballot: The United States and India's Economic Development, 1947-1963

By Dennis Merrill | Go to book overview

Seven
JFK and India's Development Decade, 1961-1963

By the time John F. Kennedy became president in January 1961, most American officials agreed that policy toward India and the rest of the Third World needed further modification. Although the Eisenhower administration had begun to make a number of important policy adjustments, the political factors that had stimulated the change remained in force during the early 1960s. Decolonization spawned political unrest in Africa, civil wars raged on in Southeast Asia, and revolutionary impulses swept across Latin America following Fidel Castro's rise to power in Cuba. More than ever, the strategy of cultivating Third World military allies to meet the threat of direct Soviet aggression, a legacy of the Korean War era, seemed obsolete. Washington increasingly showed concern over the Kremlin's alleged "indirect aggression" in emerging areas, especially its support for certain insurgencies and its economic aid to established governments. No one seemed more cognizant of the changing international realities than the youthful, new president. "Today's struggle does not lie here," Kennedy told Paul Henri Spaack of Belgium in early 1963, "but rather in Asia, Latin America, and Africa."1

In certain ways Kennedy worked to reshape United States policy to meet the needs of the new era. A long-time critic of Eisenhower's emphasis on military aid, the new president showed greater determination to pursue American interests through economic measures. Proclaiming the 1960s to be the "development decade," he raised the level of United States economic commitments abroad, launched a multibillion dollar "Alliance for Progress" in Latin America, and sent idealistic Peace Corps volunteers to distant Third World villages. The president also demonstrated his interest in the Third World by appointing well-known liberals such as Adlai Stevenson, Chester Bowles, and Michigan Governor G. Mennen Williams to highranking posts in the administration. Sensitive to Third World nationalism, Kennedy made a special effort to reach out to nonaligned nations such as India, Egypt, and Ghana. "We cannot permit all those who call themselves

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Bread and the Ballot: The United States and India's Economic Development, 1947-1963
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • One - Introduction: American Developmentalism And India 1
  • Two - A Missed Opportunity, 1947-1950 19
  • Three - War and Aid, 1950-1951 47
  • Four - A Matter of Priorities, 1951-1953 75
  • Five - A Changing Cold War, 1953-1956 102
  • Six - Take-Off, 1957-1961 137
  • Seven - Jfk and India's Development Decade, 1961-1963 169
  • Eight - Conclusion 204
  • Notes 213
  • Selected Bibliography 257
  • Index 271
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