Profiles in Courage

This essay has a total of 1022 words and 5 pages.

Profiles in Courage



In John F. Kennedy's book, Profiles in Courage, he discusses men who he believes to be
politically courageous. He points out in each case how they stood up for what they
believed in no matter what the consequences. JFK goes into detail about eight different
men, including, John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster and Thomas Hart Benton. Some of these
men were hated and mocked by their own political party and very few others were praised
and earned the respect of their country.

John Quincy Adams was a Massachusetts Senator. His support of the Embargo Bill, which cut
off all trade with Great Britain, caused him great unpopularity. He was a Federalist.
His party, his constituents, and even his home state was against the Embargo Bill, but he
supported it on the fact that he was looking at the effect on the whole country not only
the state he was representing. He knew he would be hated for his decision to support the
Bill, but he did what he thought would be best for the country.

Daniel Webster was a Federalist and a representative for Massachusetts in the House of
Representatives and in the US Senate. He was against slavery but when it became a
question of preserving the Union, he did what he thought would be best for the country.
He compromised his old beliefs of non slavery in order to save the Union. He spoke in
front of the Senate on this matter as an America, not a man from Massachusetts. This
speech was known as the "Seventh of March" speech. Webster unlike some of the others
described in this book succeeded and was praised by the North and South alike.

Thomas Hart Benton was a Senator from Missouri. Senator Benton was against slavery even
though he was representing a pro slavery state. He was loyal to the Union, which he had
fought for both on the battlefront and on the Congress floor. He was considered guilty of
being a traitor and criticized constantly by his own state and constituents.

Sam Houston was the president of the republic of Texas, the first Texas Senator and a
member of the Democratic Party. Even though he was a Southerner he was for the
preservation of the Union. He talked against both "the mad fanaticism of the North" and
"the mad ambition of the South." When Houston supported the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, that
was the last straw that held his career together. He was dismissed by Texas Legislation
and a man who felt more strongly about the views of a southern extremist was put in his
place. He came back two years later, though, and became Governor of Texas. He used this
position in order to continue his fight against the succession of the Union.

Edmund G. Ross was a Kansas Senator. At this time President Andrew Johnson was being
tried for impeachment. Ross went under a lot of pressure from his fellow Republicans who
wished for Johnson to be impeached. They needed his vote in order to succeed. When the
day came, Ross voted against the impeachment keeping the President in office. Because of
this, neither him nor any Republican that voted against the impeachment was ever
Continues for 3 more pages >>